On Andy Summers and Robert Fripp's second album, Bewitched, the duo offered a new batch of their instrumental songs, which turned out to be much more rock-oriented than their texturized 1982 debut, I Advance Masked. The album was originally going to be a more musically varied affair - at the time, Summers talked about recording calypso and Tex-Mex/Ry Cooder-like tunes with Fripp, but they never saw the light of day. Like its predecessor, it contains plenty of great guitar work, with songwriting being stressed over instrumental virtuosity…
Guitar wizard Robert Fripp joins forces with some of the finest six-string pickers around, offering up a truly intricate variety of music on Show of Hands. With 17 guitarists contributing to 19 tracks, the likes of Trey Gunn, Paul Richards, and Curt Golden (just to name a few) decorate the album with elaborate string arrangements that range from avant-garde to classical in nature. Anyone who is a guitar enthusiast will be astonished at how tight Fripp comes across with his unique style. From time to time, vocalist Patricia Leavitt displays her beautiful falsetto voice a cappella for a fresh change of pace…
This 1999 release precedes the excellent new recording from perennial prog-rockers King Crimson, titled The ConstruKction of Light. Yet with The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior, electric guitarist and Crimson founder Robert Fripp, touch bassist Trey Gunn and hard hitting drummer Bill Rieflin mesh gears for some truly energetic interplay! Spearheaded by Fripp’s signature style attack consisting of loops, EFX, and sinuous lead soloing along with a keen (if not legendary) sense of the dynamic, the trio pursues booming, driving rhythms and abstract themes amid fiery improvisation and otherworldly effects. Throughout, touch bassist Trey Gunn displays the synergy and intuitiveness exhibited on recent collaborations with Fripp in King Crimson and elsewhere.
Robert Fripp's solo debut, originally released in 1979, Exposure is not only an important release historically in terms of influencing much music to come, including post-punk popular groups of today, it also is a who's who of guest musicians from Daryl Hall to Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, Terre Roche, Brian Eno, Tony Levin, Phil Collins, Narada Michael Walden, Jerry Marotta, Barry Andrews and Sid McGinnis. This standard edition is being released as a two disc set, with 24-page booklet. Remastered with many previously unreleased tracks. The jewel case version is being released simultaneously with a limited edition gatefold deluxe version which will appeal to the large base of serious Fripp collectors. Only packaging differs between the two versions tracks remain the same.
Initially surfacing as a cassette in 1995, then reappearing later that year as a slightly revised and expanded CD, Flowermix, as the name indicates, consists mainly of remixes from the excellent Flowermouth album. Steve Wilson himself handles almost half the efforts, the rest given over to folks like David Kosten, later of Faultline; Os, aka Andrew Ostler, future partner of Tim Bowness in Darkroom; and Bowness himself. While some mixes concentrate on a dancefloor setting, others take a subtler approach or otherwise seem less concerned with raves as with their own internal logic.
Thrang illustrates the technical virtuosity of Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen without ever creating truly engaging music. This edition of the band features guitarist Fripp, bassist and former Gang of Four member Sara Lee, drummer Johnny TooBad, and ex-XTC and Shriekback member Barry Andrews on organ. Recorded live on a small club tour, the music does have the spontaneous spark of improvised music, but frequently the songs just sound like a showcase for their talents, not as individual pieces of music. Fripp can play nearly anything – he runs through spiky punk, prog-rock, new wave pop, dance and rock & roll, with flair and expertise.
Robert Fripp's beautiful but brief compilation, Pie Jesu, features material from A Blessing of Tears and The Gates of Paradise; the CD acts as an appealing, accessible introduction to his contemporary Frippertronics, which Fripp appropriately terms "Soundscapes." The music, created entirely from guitar and effects, including loops, delay, and repetition, is easy to consume and digest – a very comfortable, tranquil, flowing sound, somewhat different from his '70s Frippertronics excursions. While some critics have inappropriately termed/described his Soundscapes series as new age music, it is far from it. Fripp has been experimenting with these sounds through a variety of structures and presentations for more than 25 years.
Robert Fripp's "1999" CD from 1994 was released during a time when the legendary guitarist was making a major comeback. King Crimson had returned after a decade-long absence and Fripp re-emerged with his first solo performances in almost as long. 1994 also marked the birth of Fripp's 'soundscaping' technique which was and still is an extension of his 'Frippertronic' experiments of the 1970's and '80's. Instead of using two tape machines as had been the norm with 'Frippertronics', Soundscapes utilized digital technology and guitar-synthesizers to create and loop the endless mass of sound created by Fripp from his guitar. The idea was not a new one but the sound definitely was.
God Save the King is actually a split release and/or a Robert Fripp compilation, depending on how you look at it. In 1980, Robert Fripp released something of a split disc himself, called God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners, consisting of a side of Frippertronics and a side of Discotronics, the latter being Frippertronics with a "dance-oriented" (according to Fripp) rhythm section. Also in 1980, Fripp formed a new group, borrowing the name from his early-'60s band, the League of Gentlemen.
Fusing the talents of Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, and the California Guitar Trio, you'd be wrong to assume that The Bridge Between is a boring album of guitar aerobics for guitar enthusiasts. This is a wonderful piece of work. Its most dubious attribute is to sometimes descend into Sky (the Anglo-Australian outfit formed by John Williams, Francis Monkman etc) territory in its medieval harpsichord delivery ("Passacaglia," "Contrapunctus"). However "Kanon Power" and standouts "Bicycling to Afghanistan" and "Blockhead" are fretboard knitted excellence. Unfortunately, the latter two are separated by a five-minute downbeat – "Blue" – and the set is spoiled by a near-13-minute endgame "Threnody for Souls in Torment," which would be better placed elsewhere. None the less, you can always hit the stop button after "Passacaglia" or better, stick "Afghan" and "Blockhead" on repeat!