Sunday, April 16, 2006

Deceived!

What is is with King Crimson and deception? "The Great Deceiver" was always one of my absolute faves by the rockin' teenage combo, but recently the excellent DGM website (home to all things Crimson and Frippish) put up, as one of their excellent free weekly downloads, an exquisite rendition of their all-purpose tour warhorse - "The Deception Of The Thrush". It's loose three-paert format seems to bring out the absolute best in Fripp's boys. It is, far as I'm aware, one of the few KC tracks only ever performed live (cf: "Doctor Diamond"). The version at DGM can still be accessed through their podcast service, and is, imho, the best ever. If only for Trey Gunn's achingly sad solo at the end. But i always loved it, especially on the versions that have the weird vocal samples at the beginning; shuddering growls of abstract poetry...
Of course I thought I'd listen to some other renditions and realised I own TEN different takes, by KC as well as Projeckts Two, Three AND Four. Ulp...I hate to say it but maybe it's a Krimson Klassic because it's so simple in its construcktion. (drum beat interspersed with growling, beeping etc-->Fripp solo with harmoniser-->Trey Gunn Warr guitar solo accompanied by Fripp on midi strings...) It takes years of practice to be that simple, and KC, when they don't try and be too cerebral, do it so well. It provides a blank enough canvas onto which virtually anything can be layered. The one live in Nashville in 2001 seems to start with castanets...
One of my other favourite simple Crimson moments, which actually links in nicely to the faux African vibe of Eno and Byrne's My Life...is "The Sheltering Sky" from Discipline. It occupies exactly the same space as the other duo's work (along with Remain In Light, natch). How I longed for its gentle evocation of a warm heartland to go on FOREVER...
Anyway, I managed to get through all that without making any thrush jokes...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh get that wfmu link working will you?

Garuda said...

Sorted Mr/Ms Anonymous - apologies for that

Anonymous said...

apology accepted ;)

Peter said...

one of my favourites too...that sort of loose structure does bring out the best in them, it's true. the poetry's from 'the wasteland', if i remember correctly...

i think that's why i liked the projekcts so much - they seemed to be an adventurousness and playfulness that kc lacked at the time. there's loads more space too, and i don't think it's just because they had fewer players. and that loose structure gave them just enough rope to play with. later editions of crimson weren't really effective as free improvisers - side 2 of three of a perfect pair and especially thrakattak sort of proved that imho (and so does some of projekct 1). but give them a sniff of a structure, and they're off...