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I ADVANCE MASKED (WITH ANDY SUMMERS)

Robert Fripp

Eclectic Prog


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Robert Fripp I Advance Masked (with Andy Summers) album cover
3.56 | 49 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Advance Masked (5:12)
2. Under Bridges of Silence (1:42)
3. China - Yellow Leader (7:09)
4. In The Cloud Forest (2:30)
5. New Marimba (3:38)
6. Girl On A Swing (2:04)
7. Hardy Country (3:02)
8. The Truth of Skies (2:06)
9. Painting and Dance (3:25)
10. Still Point (3:07)
11. Lakeland / Aquarelle (1:43)
12. Seven On Seven (1:37)
13. Stultified (1:28)

Total Time 38:46

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp & Andy Summers / electric guitars, Roland & Moog synthesizers, various percussion

Releases information

A&M 75021 4913 2 UK 1982

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ROBERT FRIPP I Advance Masked (with Andy Summers) ratings distribution


3.56
(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

ROBERT FRIPP I Advance Masked (with Andy Summers) reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is always a rare treat when gifted artists come together for a project, and this collaboration between two of rocks' most influential guitarists fulfills that promise and creates just the right blend of rhythmic mastery with atmospheric minimalism. Robert Fripp and Andy Summers guise the music in neutral colors and subdued garb without losing intensity on 'I Advance Masked', a true partnership wherein both players contributed equally, each only adding something to a moment of music if necessary. The result is an unselfish record of constant forward movement and sonic wonders, especially for 1982.

The driving title track sets the pace and we're off on a special trip. 'In the Cloud Forest' slows things with warbles, quavers, the chimes of Summers and piercing round notes of Fripp. Though vaguely reminiscent of both 1980s King Crimson and the Police, 'I Advance Masked' is an animal all its own, never imitating or taking from the two men's other bands. 'New Marimba' pulses and 'Girl on a Swing' is a nice respite with gentle chord washes and a beautiful solo from Fripp. 'Hardy Country' refreshes the tempo and the adventures in modulation that are such a part of this session. 'The Truth of Skies' moves into darker realms, 'Painting and Dance' teases with mathematic counterpoint and 'Still Point' thrills with an urgent rhythm and great lead.

A challenging record from start to finish, it can be both carefully listened to or relegated to 'background' music and still satisfy both needs. Very pleasing and a great stater for 'texture-rock'.

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Review by js (Easy Money)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars If you enjoy that style of interlocking guitar melodies that Fripp pioneered in the early 80s then you will probably want to get this album. I actually think this album is probably one of his most successful efforts in this area. The difference with this album is the abscence of a rock beat on almost all of the songs, this really allows the guitars to stand out on their own without a loud beat to battle with.

Fripp is heavily influenced by traditional music from around the world on this outing. Most people recognize the influence of Indonesian gamelan on his music during this period, but there is also a strong African influence as well. Mbira or thumb piano music from Rhodesia seems to be a strong factor in songs like Painting and Dance. Also, the interlocking guitar style of 80s pop bands from what was then known as Zaire seem to be an influence as well. Traditional music from China and Japan are also an influence on this almost classical sounding album.

Although busy guitar work dominates most of the songs on this album, there are some exceptions. Under Bridges of Silence is a sombre ambient soundscape and Girl on a Swing is a peaceful Asian influenced melody. In the Cloud Forest features Fripp playing a free-ranging solo with his classic Frippertronics guitar sound, something I wouldn't expect on an 80s record. Another interesting song is the title track which is one of the few songs with a pronounced drum beat. It sounds like the perfect blend of 80s Crimson and the Police only without the vocals. There are other songs that are in styles that are hard to describe, but sound like pure Fripp.

Another interesting aspect of this album is the way in which it seems to predict the arrival of Math Rock, and to a lesser extent Post Rock, years before either of those genres had a name. I think this album is closer to what is called Math Rock today than Fripp's work in the early 80s version of King Crimson.

This is a great album that sounds better everytime I hear it. Fripp pulls influence from clasical music from around the world and ends up with a glimpse of the future.

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Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars While The Police was a band that rode the Punk bandwagon (Outlandos D'Amour remains one of my Punk reference in the matter), this trio was anything but a punk band that was made of untalented kids trying to have their quarter hour of glory, but not learning the trades of musicianship. Nope, these guys were highly talented with Sting being a jazz bassist in Newcastle circles, while Stewart Copeland had drummed with Curved Air for time But clearly, the better musician was Andy Summers, roughly ten years older than the other two and spending his time since the middle 60's looking for a break. For quite a while his destiny coincided with George Bruno (AKA Zoot Money) with whom he started in the British RnB scene, before forming their psychedelic group Dantalion's Chariot, without much success past their first hit-single. When that ended, Summers joined Soft Machine replacing Daevid Allen, where he apparently connected well with Ratledge and Wyatt, but not at all with Kevin Ayers who didn't like Andy's jazz penchants. He ended up being sacked by Wyatt (Ayers didn't have the balls to do it himself) after an American tour, two weeks before anothertour, this time supporting The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It turns out that Ayers would quit Soft Machine a few months later for his own solo career. So Summers phoned Zoot in LA and was taken immediately into Eric Burdon's New Animals (where Zoot was holding the keys) and Andy spent almost two years in that job, until the group's break up and Burdon joining forces with WAR. Summers then went to Uni and studied music. He resurfaced in England in late 74, and ironically was fairly quickly taken in Kevin Ayers'backing band (probably some guilt involved, here)?. But Andy couldn't find a permanent job either. He ended up helping out a punk band Strontium 90 (helped out by Gong's bassist Mike Howlett), where the French guitarist Henri Padovani was a bit too shallow in the musical department. His arrival helped that group's transformation into The Police? the rest is history?.

But when Sting was taking the major songwriting workload, letting only remnants to Summers, Andy started to look elsewhere for his musical satisfactions and working with Robert Fripp was definitely one of his long time wish, that came to fruition in the early 80's. Note that these albums were fairly low-key projects since both had major acts going, Fripp having revived King Crimson at the start of the decade. Sooooo what to say of this album? It doesn't sound like either Crimson or Police, but lots of parts are reminiscent of Fripp's austere Crafty League Of Gentleman/Guitarists (or sumthin' similar to that), but that's not to say that Summers let Fripp steal the spotlight. In terms of instrumentation, both are apparently toying with all instruments, including synths, bass and (African) percussions.

Sonically this album is somewhere between the ambient Fripp (No Pussyfooting and the Frppertronics thing) and the Crafty League Of Guitarists, the result sounding like a typical ECM jazz /new agey album of the 80's. Much of the guitar works come from (or will be used) from CLoG, using those Indonesian scales (some more Far-Eastern influences pervade through as well), and the music never goes really dissonant. While a pleasant and unobtrusive listen, this album will not have you riveted to your seat, but it is also gentle music enough not to irate women, and can even be used as cuddling music with the more open-minded ones, despite a certain austerity.

Not exactly my type of album, but Fripp fans should appreciate, because if the album's role distribution seems very egalitarian (the production being handled by both guitarists), in terms of influence, this is definitely more Frippan than Summersian realm. The better of the two albums they made together, even if the second side of Bewitched is somewhat stronger than I Advance Masked.

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Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ambient guitar-scapes

In late 81-early 82, the guitarists of Crimson and The Police joined to record their first collaborative effort titled "I Advanced Masked." I bought it on a whim a few years later and didn't enjoy it much in those days. Now it is more enjoyable but mostly as a curiosity than a truly musical fulfilling rock album. The two paint some short and atmospheric tracks of guitar and synthesized guitar sound, leaving some to stand on their own and adding rhythms to others. My favorite is the lovely and longing "Girl on a Swing" which has beautiful repeating note sequences with mild lead licks over the top, quite melancholic. Much of the album is similar; it doesn't vary too much in approach. Sometimes in the heavier moments like the title track it can sound like a slower, hazier version of 80s Crimson but without the cutting edge bass and drums it lacks bite. The moods are somewhat cloudy and immersed in flowing washes and swirls. It's an album I enjoy more as background music and doesn't inspire much passion. The fantastic album cover is my favorite thing about it, and somehow or other I managed to acquire a poster of this album cover which adorns the basement wall. So while I don't play it often, I gaze at the cover every day. Recommended for fans of Fripp solo projects to check out, but others may be less than overwhelmed. Far from essential in my opinion but worth checking out if you can find it without spending a lot.

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Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Robert Fripp and Andy Summers, both amazing guitarists who are better known for their soundscapes they create with guitar and their innovative use of the instrument more than they are at performing the conventional guitar solo that you can hear almost anywhere in rock music, get together to mesh their styles in this amazing collection of mostly miniature soundscapes. This is a great showcase of their amazing talents and guitar playing styles, but don't expect to hear any axe grinding solos here, most of the time the geniuses are playing together and mixing their styles together to create some amazing sounds.

Fripp, who is of course known as the frontman fo King Crimson is famous for his rapid-fire arpeggios and his sustained Frippertronics sound which is layer upon layer of looped guitar sounds that start to sound more like a synthesizer than a guitar at times, and this was created to help bands that don't have a usual keyboard player to create a more varied sound. Andy Summers is of course the lead guitarist for The Police who also has a knack to create sounds with his guitar that were previously only known to come from a synthesized format. Listening to The Police, especially "Ghost in the Machine" you can hear this sound a lot. When you listened to the 3 players in The Police, you often wonder how 3 people can make the sounds they do and who is playing keys....well a lot of that sound was from Summers on his guitar. These two innovative guitarists come together in this first collaboration from them and the effect and the sound is out of this world. I mean, really listen to this and realize, except with a few exceptions, these sounds are all coaxed from their guitars.

There are 2 longer tracks here which are the title track and China - Yellow Leader. "I Advance Masked" (track 1) is exactly what real fans would expect out of these two guitarists. The two styles are very evident here with the obvious arpeggio playing by Fripp and the sustained notes from Summers over a driving beat. It sounds exactly like Fripp guesting on a Police album (without vocals that is) or the other way around. Great way to start the album. Track #3 is the other long track at over 7 minutes and is actually 2 distinct songs melded together with a similar oriental inspired sound.

The other tracks here are soundscape miniatures that range from slow and pensive and somewhat ambient (though to say this album is ambient is incorrect) like "Girl on a Swing" to abrasive and dissonant like "Stultified". There are tracks where the styles are obvious and you can tell who is playing what part and others where the styles are meshed so well, that you can't tell who created what sound. Every song, even the short ones, are distinct and there is really quite a variety of sound here if you really sit back and pay attention.

This album is overall quite beautiful at times and inspirational yet innovative at others. Some people may have a hard time digesting the music here, even though it is quite a bit more accessible than most of the Frippertronic albums. These songs are much more melodic and utilize the playing styles of both guitarists quite well. Never do you hear anything that sounds like one person trying to outdo the other. These tracks were created thoughtfully with both guitarists complimenting the other. That's what makes this album so unique above other solo or collaborative instrumental albums that highlight rock guitarists. This album is nothing but a masterpiece of prog rock and of guitar rock and should be considered that. The music heard here has continued to inspire guitarists for years and still does to this day. A real student or fan of prog rock should be familiar with this music and understand how it has influenced other bands. To understand prog rock that is created today, it is always good to go back to the roots and this is where you should go to study post 80's style prog rock. This album is essential. 5 stars.

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Latest members reviews

3 stars While not a bad album,I ADVANCED MASKED is not a great album either.It isn't anything like KING CRIMSON,or THE POLICE,for that matter.It does sound more like a FRIPP solo album;full of sonic soundscapes and low key droning guitars,which is very much like the essence of all FRIPPOTRONICS,but wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#45867) | Posted by bob x | Tuesday, September 06, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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