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Robert Fripp

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Robert Fripp Radiophonics 1995: Soundscapes Volume 1 - Live In Argentina album cover
4.05 | 23 ratings | 1 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Radiophonic I (11:11)
2. Radiophonic II (14:47)
3. Buenos Aires Suite (31:07)
a) Atmosphere 11:56
b) Elegy (For Mothers and Children) 5:48
c) Streets 5:34
d) Sky 7:49

Total Time: 57:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitarist

Releases information

CD: 1996 UK DGM DGM 9505

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ROBERT FRIPP Radiophonics 1995: Soundscapes Volume 1 - Live In Argentina ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

ROBERT FRIPP Radiophonics 1995: Soundscapes Volume 1 - Live In Argentina reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ThulŽatan
5 stars 'Radiophonics' continues the ascension of Soundscapes towards new heights of direct music, picking up where '1999' left off - the long immersions into turbulence and desolation - and progressing through a wider range of moods, with new sounds and new effects.

The openers 'Radiophonic I' and 'II' resemble most the previous album, largely featuring the ominous electronic rumbling, but are full of harsh atonal interruptions that leap out from the background... a rush of awareness, a realisation, a surge of pain. In the time it takes for these long tracks to unfold, they can become quite mesmerising, and in the case of 'Radiophonic I' this leads the listener eventually to a place of numb respite. The piercing waves of 'Radiophonic II', though, instead build mercilessly into an intense, discordant wall of noise, before breaking down into very unsettling panning, where the track's previous loops are ground up and thrown around from side to side. I particularly like how the sounds are gradually 'compressed' each time they reach the farthest point of the pan, creating a sense of extreme pressure and distortion. The juxtapositions of tension and release, attack and retreat, that exist in these tracks are themes that would be explored much more effectively in the more heavily edited and manipulated 'Gates Of Paradise' release a couple of years later.

The four tracks of the second suite are from live performances in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and really raise this release to five stars. The first part, 'Atmosphere', is among the most disturbing Soundscapes, fading in to an already terrifying ambience of huge depth and space. This piece offers not even a second of relief, the sense of fear and submergence burning on and on, until at last it merges into the beautiful 'Elegy', where the bold notes seem to find rest and harmony, in a scene that is sad yet affirming - such reflections are explored at length on the next album in the series, 'A Blessing Of Tears'. The third section, 'Streets', recalls the nauseating pan effect from the end of 'Radiophonic II' for a longer workout, busy, restless, uneven, and somehow distantly evocative of persistent high-speed traffic. A more familiar guitar string sound opens up the calm contemplation that is the album's final track, 'Sky'. As broad and promising as its title suggests, this piece creates a serene and confident conclusion to the challenging journey that has come before it, and disperses very peacefully at the end.

This album marked a real beginning for the Soundscapes 'package' - a sophisticated CD sleeve scheme complete with abstract art by John Miller, complementing the equally-if-not-more-so abstract music. The comprehensive booklets within feature very interesting writings by Fripp on the nature of musical performance and the fragile conditions for allowing music like this the come to life; music that is not tied up with tradition or accepted styles, music outside of any mass or popular culture context, music where every note is glorified and crucial to the whole. This philosophy and the music have been a huge influence on my own creativity, and even as a musician it is often hard to believe that Fripp made these recordings on the spot in live venues. Very absorbing and rewarding music for the keen listener.

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