Weekend links 611

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Let The Power Fall (1981) by Robert Fripp. A postcard included with the original vinyl release of the Let The Power Fall album.

Exposures 1977–1983 is the title of another wallet-busting CD/DVD/blu-ray box which will be released by DGM at the end of May. Unlike the previous King Crimson sets this one will be devoted to Robert Fripp’s first run of solo releases, covering the albums that emerged from the artistic campaign he described at the time as “The Drive to 1981”: Exposure (1979), God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners (1980), The League Of Gentlemen (1981), and Let The Power Fall (1981). If you’re as interested as I am in this period of Fripp’s career then this is all very exciting. Exposure has been reissued several times over the years, and exists in three different “editions” featuring alternate mixes and song variations, but the other albums have been unavailable in any form for decades, possibly as a result of the turmoil caused by the mismanagement and eventual collapse of the EG label. In addition to the reissues the box will include live recordings, a League Of Gentlemen Peel session plus a substantial quantity of Frippertronics material, including the loops that were recorded for Eno & Byrne’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Fripp retained a credit for his contribution to Regiment but the results are so far down in the mix that they’re easy to miss. Related: The Drive to 1981: Robert Fripp’s Art-Rock Classic Exposure.

• Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Valloisin, Paris, is currently creeping out visitors to Strange Aeons—We will meet you there, an exhibition by Peybak (Peyman Barabadi and Babak Alebrahim Dehkordi) that borrows its title from HP Lovecraft and includes a number of creatures, “neither embryos nor chimeras”, which may be found prostrate and breathing on the gallery floor.

• New music: Sub Zero, in which Kevin Richard Martin returns to the subterranean/subaqueous/subarctic zones he charted on his Isolationism and Driftworks compilations in the 1990s; plus The Carrier by Large Plants, an album of “psych rock belters” coming soon on the Ghost Box label.

• Science fiction as revolution: Joe Banks talks to Iain McIntyre, co-editor of Dangerous Visions and New Worlds—Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985, about the flourishing of the New Wave of SF in the 1960s and 70s.

• “We know from his letters that Joyce sent a Greek flag to Nutting for him to colour-match. So, he was aiming for ‘Greek’ blue.” It’s that book again. Cleo Hanaway-Oakley on Ulysses, blindness and blue.

• Intermittent Eyeball Fodder: More visual delights gathered by S. Elizabeth.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Nicholas.

• Galerie Dennis Cooper presents…Liz Larner.

Let The Power Fall (1971) by Max Romeo | Minor Man (1981) by The League Of Gentlemen ft. Danielle Dax | Heptaparapashinokh (1981) by The League Of Gentlemen

4 thoughts on “Weekend links 611”

  1. Jeepers, thirty-two discs! I splurged on Fripp’s Quiet Moments soundscapes box set because it was nice to have all that great stuff in one place. But after almost a year I still haven’t made it through the entire thing yet. Even though it was definitely Exposure and Frippertronics that made me a lifelong Fripp fan I’m having a hard time justifying a purchase. I already have two versions of Exposure and still have the original LPs for Exposure and Under Heavy Manners/God Save the Queen and the League of Gentlemen. I have multiple downloads of Frippertronics and live LOG from Fripp’s own website. There is a lot of cool stuff in this new set but I figure only about a third of it would actually get heavy rotation. The Washington Square live Frippertronics set is being released as a standalone so maybe some of the other material will be as well. UHM/GSQ is certainly deserving of a separate release. I’ve had the pleasure several times over the years of playing UHM for Byrne/Talking Heads fans who’ve never heard it.

    Remain in Hell Without Despair

  2. Ha, yeah, it’s quite an indulgence, and like you I have all the original vinyl (that postcard is from my own copy of the album) plus the Exposure reissue CDs. I don’t have any of the downloads, however, or the LOG live recordings so it’s definitely tempting. I got three of the King Crimson boxes and they’re very nice productions, copiously annotated as Fripp’s releases usually are. And I like this period of his career more than I do some of the later KC incarnations; a very diverse, fertile and original period.

  3. KC was a gateway drug for me at I think the age of 15 or 16 when I bought all the albums from In the Court through to Red in a job lot from Exchange and Mart. Specifically, it was Lark’s Tongues in Aspic Part One that challenged me most. I had to work to overcome my initial desire to dismiss it due to a youthful sense of angry alienation. Once I managed that and enjoyed the subsequent sense of reward and the intuitive depth it provoked, that set the tone for much of my listening, and perhaps even experience of culture as a whole, thereafter. With the caveat of course of having to be interested in some way in the first place in whatever it is I’m paying attention to. I just don’t think I have the time to buy any of the boxes though, too much else I want to explore. I really liked KC up to Three of a Perfect Pair, but after that, their work just hasn’t appealed to me I’m afraid.

  4. I like the first Crimson album for its Mellotron-driven pomposity but the KC period I’ve always been obsessed with is the 72-74 lineup. When The Great Deceiver box appeared in the 1990s it became apparent how remarkable that group was at developing live rock improvisation; We’ll Let You Know, Trio and the track Starless And Bible Black from the album of the same name are perfect examples. In fact most of that album was recorded live with some minor overdubs on the longer pieces. What you get on the DGM boxes is all the recordings from all the tours, so there are many more remarkable moments although the Larks’ Tongues concerts are mostly rather poor quality.

    As for the rest of the catalogue, I’ve never been as interested in the albums between the first one and Larks’ Tongues. I kept up with them for quite a few years after Three Of A Perfect Pair but started to find Belew’s lyrics to be increasingly trite and self-conscious, culminating in the penultimate track on The ConstruKction Of Light which is a long and pointless list of the world’s ills. Far better is the Sylvian and Fripp album, so much so that I wish they’d done more together at the time. I was pleased recently to find a bootleg on Dime from their 1993 tour which features Sylvian singing a version of Exposure.

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