London Times review:
ProjeKct Box Reviewed
by Stewart Lee (from the Sunday Times)
At the Albert Hall in 1995, prog-rock perennials King Crimson radiated a kind of smug ignorance, a confidence in the indisputable relevance of their new material that might have crumbled had they a keener ear on the experimental sounds of the underground. But Dorset guitar guru Robert Fripp smelt the rot and addressed the problem. Crimson fragmented into smaller, more manageable R&D units known as "projekcts", touring small clubs incognito, and improvising their way towards the next level. The hefty Projekcts 4-CD box set has been edited down from hundreds of hours of tapes to showcase the best of Crimson's four current subdivisions. Projekct One is pretty much what you'd expect, Fripp and Trey Gunn's guitars carving corrosive noise or icy ambience around bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford, while Projekct Two sees Fripp and Gunn struggling to forge something solid around Adrian Belew's rather flimsy drums. But on the third and fourth CDs two different fractals succeed in creating something shocking, revolutionary and utterly contemporary. Pat Mastelotto triggers rhythm samples and drum programmes of such power and velocity that Fripp, Gunn and Levin have to raise their game, tossing echoes of the finest moments of their back catalogue into a harsh dystopian soundscape. This earth-shattering music sounds like it should have emerged from beneath the hoods of young, shaven-headed techno types, rather than from the gnarly fingers of men entering their fifties. Against the odds, Fripp has re-invented his band once more, in a way that shames all other 1970s survivors. Posters for the current Yes reunion tour, for example, boast the desperate headline No Boundaries. What can the poor fools possibly mean? King Crimson, on the other hand, would be worthy of the hyperbole.