King Crimson Gears Up For Tour Supporting 'The ConstruKction Of Light'
The continually enigmatic King Crimson will release its 12th studio album, "The ConstruKction of Light" (Virgin Records) on May 23rd, with a European tour commencing on May 27th. The band will warm up for the tour with sold-out May 19-21 performances at Nashville's 12th & Porter Playroom.
Plans for a full stateside tour have not been announced, but the band plans to perform in Japan and the U.S. later in the fall.
''The ConstruKction Of Light'' touches upon various elements of all Crimson generations, and even introduces a few new ideas, such as the blues. '' Adrian Belew is a stunningly good blues guitar player,'' said guitarist Robert Fripp. ''And he's also a good Hendrix player. So I said to him, 'Let's play the blues.''' The result is the mutant Delta voodoo of ''ProzaKc Blues.''
Fripp also had praise for ex-Mr. Mister drummer Pat Mastelotto, calling him ''a stunningly underrated drummer. And no one has any idea what Pat's really capable of.'' Rounding out the streamlined quartet is Trey Gunn on touch guitar.
For the band's previous album ''Thrak,'' there were six people in the band--Fripp, Belew, Mastelotto, Gunn, legendary bass player Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford. Of working with just one drummer, Fripp said, ''Well, with one drummer rather than two, there's more space available. I have no problems with space or silence. In fact, silence is the richest experience I think I can conceive of as a player.''
Where are Levin and Bruford? ''Six busy musicians, putting them together in one place, is almost impossible,'' Fripp said. ''Four people is logistically and technically a lot easier. Knowing Tony was busy with Seal, and Bill was busy with his group Earthworks, it seemed the six of us would never get together in the foreseeable future. So I called Adrian from Tokyo, and knowing that Pat and Trey were ready to go, we made a commitment to record the album.'' The album was recorded last year at Belew's home studio in Nashville.
Belew, who has played with Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, and David Bowie, joined the group in 1981, which at that time also featured a four-person lineup. ''When we first came out with 'Discipline' in 1981, it was kind of shocking,'' he said. ''We were all armed to the teeth with the latest technology. You had Tony Levin playing the [Chapman] stick, Bill Bruford was playing electronic drums, and both Robert Fripp and I blasting away on guitar synthesizers, none of which had been heard. We did have our own approach to the music, too, so it was a remarkably muscular quartet.''
Fripp said of that era, ''In 1981 with King Crimson, it wasn't possible to use the musical vocabulary of the early '70s, because of the degree of animosity towards anything a little bit connected with groups of the 1970s.
''In 1994, I didn't allow myself to use any of the interlocking guitar vocabulary of the '81 Crimson. But this time we arrived in Nashville with a commitment to make an album, and I gave myself permission to follow where ever the music led, with whatever vocabulary seemed most appropriate.''
Fans of the group should expect to see the usual without-a-net performances on the road, complete with hits and misses. As Fripp stated, ''It doesn't matter to me when I'm in the audience whether the performer is making mistakes. My interest is, how can the performer recover? That's when you see real quality.''