KING CRIMSON - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind

The Heart of the Prog/Power Movement

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KING CRIMSON - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind

Postby elendil » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:43 pm

Finally picked this up the other day. It's a triple live album with a Blu-ray video. I don't have a Blu-ray player so can't watch that.

I can count the number of live albums I own on two hands, but what drove me to purchase this was (1) this outstanding rendition of "Starless" - - and (2) KC's longstanding reputation for reinterpreting their songs live. For this album, the 7-piece version of the band is in place: Fripp (guitars), Jakszyk (vocals + guitars), Collins (sax + flute), Levin (bass + Stick), & three percussionists, one of whom also handles keyboards.

First thing to note about these live performances is that the sound quality is outstanding. Crowd noise has been carefully edited out but it still has the unmistakable feel of live performance. The band (Jakszyk actually) went through their 2015-16 tour and picked out the best performances of each song chosen. There's a good bit of their classic 70s oeuvre here, along with 90s and later stuff (no Discipline/Beat/Three of a Pair material). There are several improvisations, but none of them more than about five minutes in length (off the top of my head).

With three percussionists, you might expect a blasting skins attack, and there's a little of that, but mostly what results is a densely textured percussive layer that is able to render pieces like "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" with all the bells and, well, not whistles exactly, but other percussive devices! "Starless," as mentioned is another highlight, as is a highly dissonant, heavy, almost Pan-Thy-Monium-esque treatment of "Level Five."

Bottom line: essential for KC fans and really any fan of progressive music and the chromatic scale.

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