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King Crimson - The ConstruKction Of Light CD (album) cover

THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.14 | 760 ratings

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Glubluk
5 stars 'The ConstruKction of Light' is my all-time favourite studio album by King Crimson, period. Why?

1. Three of the tracks: TCOL, FraKctured and LTIA IV are utterly mind-blowing pieces, compositionally as well as performance-wise. The musicianship is stellar, which admittedly is nothing new for KC, but there are some additional aspects to these tracks that are missing from most of other KC output. First of all, there is the hard, almost metal, edge to the playing and production, with an uncompromising rawness to the guitar tone and a hard hitting rhythm section (more on that later). This is punctuated by the shimmering clear guitar tone and even some trance elements (TCOL). these elements did appear on other KC tracks, but not in a manner this condensed and in-your-face. Most importantly, though, the tracks are catchy. All the melodies and riffs stay in my head, in contrast to the vast majority of purely technical excursions by other bands. Fripp and co. have the uncanny ability to play complex material in unusual time signatures/keys and make it (relatively) accessible. Last but not least, the "Coda: I Have a Dream" section is one of the best sections ever composed by KC, a finale easily equalling the last minute of "Starless" in its power and beauty.

2. The rhythm section. Oh man. There's just nothing like it, anywhere. The fact that there's Warr guitar replacing the bass and that Pat Mastelotto mixes live drums with a vast array of patches would be enough to make the drum & bass aspect of the album unique. But on top of that are the rhythms themselves, or an almost complete absence of a steady rhythm. What Trey and Pat do instead is add a layer of rhythmical anarchy to the already fractured guitars. A controlled chaos of the best kind. The effect on the listener is one of constant anticipation, you just don't know what lurks around the corner. Personally, I also like the tones used by the players: the Warr guitar covering a wider frequency spectrum makes the deep bass tones ? when they appear ? more pronounced, while the electronic patches serve to accent elements of riffs that could normally go unnoticed, often changing the whole feel of a certain fragment.

3. The other songs. While a notch below the instrumentals, the vocal pieces provide a nice counterpart to the incessant barrage of riffs/interlocking guitars. Not that they are simple (they are anything but), it's rather their irreverent, non-serious nature that prevents the album as a whole from becoming overbearing and in this respect they give some rest from the more 'serious' material.

There is also the bonus track, a pleasant ProjeKct-type excursion into rhythmic improvisation. A good track, but it is hard to consider it as an integral part of the album. In retrospect, the "Heaven & Earth" material (released as a separate CD) could have been the 2nd disc of a single 2CD package with this one, as it would have nicely shown the two sides to this KC incarnation, especially that fans seem to a strong preference for one of them.

All in all, Fripp may not like the album, fans may not like, but I absolute love it, ever since the day it was released.

Glubluk | 5/5 |

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