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Robert Fripp - Follow (With Travis) CD (album) cover

FOLLOW (WITH TRAVIS)

Robert Fripp

Eclectic Prog


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admireArt
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team
4 stars To set it clear, from the start, Robert Fripp's music is closer in this stage, to "contemporary classical music" than to the average prog language (the Symphonic -Prog tagging, goes some other way, ironically) . So if you have the knack for this kind of "classical" language , BUT also, for the "King's" early days with the Crimson court, you will surely appreciate this effort.

Of course, Mr, Fripp hasn't turned into some "pompous, modern classic snot" who pretends to be what he is not. In fact he has grown the opposite way, where "payola", and unruly deals and their according poses are seen as a matter of discomfort and even as a compromise to ones own dignity.

Therefore, Robert Fripp, still is the musical "iconclast" , he was since the "Crimson" was born alongside schoolyard partner Greg Lake. His language has self-evolved, as his goals, but for good, into sophistication. From his "normal" guitar playing, to "Frippertronics", to "Soundscapes" all are played here in this project.

For those familiar with "The Tangent", Theo Travis (thank the Gods!) is now better known. All those mysterious wind passages that happen there, here they become compositions.

This collaboration in turn is closer at times,(in return or as a paradox), to KC's early acoustic/electric experiments , with the experience and elegance time has brought, by relentesly pursuing, his own self and natural musical language.

"FOLLOW" in specific, shows a better balanced "clash" of opposites, both in composition, as in performance. Which of course is part of the pre-planned meeting of so diametricallly opposed instruments.

Some earlier Travis & Fripp collaborations had less balance, so they sounded like fighting along more than playing between. Here the expressions of each musician's tools, are as rich as their own talents, AND never abusing each others space, which makes it, for us listeners, quiet an overwhelming catalog of sounds and virtuosity brought up in a single stage.

And those last touches of early "Crimson" like-musical frenzy, makes this record quiet collectible.

****4 PA Stars .

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Send comments to admireArt (BETA) | Report this review (#886463)
Posted Wednesday, January 02, 2013 | Review Permalink
TCat
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What a beautiful combination. Fripp's soundscapes and Frippertronics paired with Theo Travis' own Ambitronics. These instrumental experiments are pensive and lovely, very accessible mostly minimal pieces with a lot of atmosphere. The music is completely improvised, but it all has direction and the tracks are titled appropriately to fit the ambience of the music.

The recording was specifically created for the best playback on surround sound systems, and, of course, Steven Wilson was brought in to produce the album. However, the sound is also excellent and crystal clear on regular stereo systems as well. The CD comes as 2 discs, the first with the regular recording and the 2nd with the surround sound recording which also contains 3 bonus tracks.

The music is very peaceful and meticulously played. It is also quite accessible in that there is not very much dissonance involved, but there is a lot of beauty involved and could be one of Fripp's loveliest collaborations. Except for a few places, for the most part there is no harshness as was evident on Fripp and Eno's collaborations. This particular music however was composed to be able to be performed in churches.

The first 3 tracks were thoughtfully named in that their titles fit their moods and feelings. "Soaring and Gliding" does just as it says, it gives you the feeling of free floating among the clouds. "Dark Clouds" is definitely a darker feeling which evokes the feeling of approaching and threatening clouds giving the feeling of an oncoming storm. However when the storm does reach the listener in "When the Rains Fall", the sustained notes in the background give the base of a staccato and arppegiated flute and reed sound which represents the rain falling softly. Simply beautiful.

Next is a short track which is a solo by Travis called "Hear Our Voices" which is a perfect example of how "Ambitronics" works. This track flows into the next track "1979" which is named after the year that Fripp's part was recorded. Travis adds his input over the top of the original track for an interesting sound which reminds me almost of a Native American sound.

"Open Land" has another nice ambient sound with more variation and the mood tends to drift towards a spacey feeling which is even more prevalent in the next track aptly named "Return to Saturn." From here the next track "Rotary Symmetrical" follows in what seems to be a natural way, but suddenly there is a harshness in Fripp's sound that seems to frighten up a flock of brass and wood that starts to flutter everywhere. The sound starts to approach a clinical sound somewhat more reminiscent of the earlier Frippertronic sound but with the added beauty of Travis' wind instruments. This departure into harshness prepares the listener for the final track "So There" which is a surprisingly more rock oriented sound, but not anything conventional. The last track tends to remind you that even though most of this album tends towards the classical composition, the music is really rooted in progressive rock and though the change is not abrupt which would have made the track feel like it was tacked on, the previous track makes this track feel like it is all part of the entire work.

This is an amazing sound. Even though Travis and Fripp have had previous releases, none of them have felt as cohesive and complimentary as this one does. It feels like these two geniuses have been developing their music to the point that they were finally ready for one another. Never has experimentation felt so natural and beautiful as it does here. If there are any recent Fripp albums that could be considered essential, it is this one. It feels like the culmination of the work of these two musicians has come about on this album, that the music from both artists have been waiting around for this moment to be heard in this way. I didn't expect this album to be as good as it is and maybe that sways my rating a little, but I must say that this entire album is extravagant and beautiful. Fripp fans must get this as it is essential in a cumulative sense and because it simply is a masterpiece of improvisation and experimentation.

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Send comments to TCat (BETA) | Report this review (#1374426)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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