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King Crimson - THRaKaTTaK CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

2.77 | 232 ratings

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4 stars Those of you who say you love King Crimson will be put to the test on this album "THRaKaTTaK". This album is only a bunch of improvisations recorded in concert that were played during various performances of the song "Thrak". These are all experimental improvisations and they are all "glued" together to make one sometimes noisy and sometimes sublime, continuous performance. Only those with an ability to listen with an open mind and an ear to hear some pretty gnarly effects will get this. The album is not for the masses, that's for sure. But you do get to hear some really amazing improvisation that proves that the musicians involved here listened really close to each other and they all worked together to make some really phased out compositions right off the cuff.

The double-trio line-up for this tour that these tracks come from was pretty amazing. You have Robert Fripp (of course) doing his unique guitar work, creating sounds, effects and noises that sound like he is torturing his guitar, and Adrian Belew following suit on his own guitar. Fripp also connects it all together with swashes of mellotron that almost turn the entire thing into a soundtrack. Tony Levin and Trey Gunn have their own toys along for the ride with the Chapman Stick, the Warr guitar, fretless bass and upright bass. Then to top it all off, there is the dual drum kits of Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto. Quite a line-up for sure.

However, don't expect to hear any conventional tracks here, or even a variety of King Crimson style compositions, as these tracks are all instrumental, experimental, improvised live, and very avant-garde. This goes on for over 57 minutes, and there is no reprieve. If you come into this album with that in mind, you may just find yourself listening in awe at the crazy talent involved here. I understand that this is not for everybody, so let that serve as a warning. In fact, many KC fans will not like this, but those that understand the sound of the ProjeKcts and experimental improvisation that KC used, then you will get it. This is an amazing document to another side of the musicianship of the KC universe. Yes it is noisy at times, othertimes it is amazingly beautiful, and I understand that many people don't like this kind of music, but the only way to really appreciate it, is to go into it knowing what you are getting into, and then really listening to what is going on. If you still don't like it, then that's fine, but if you find you do like it, then you have just opened up yourself to a whole new universe of King Crimson music and you have a lot of ProjeKct material to investigate.

TCat | 4/5 |


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