Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oax Pick - King Crimson's "Vrooom"

After the release of Three of a Perfect Pair there was a ten year intermission. To make the explanation a bit simple (= my version), Robert Fripp has said that Crimson never cease to exist, but it can take pauses. And the band is not even its members, the band is the music, so when there is King Crimson music that has to be played and recorded, well, up jump the band and who's in it... differs. After TOOPP the gap was for ten years before there was new music that had to be played and recorded, this time by what would become known as The Double Trio, Fripp & Belew on guitars, Gunn & Levin on basses, sticks, whatever you call their instruments with THICK strings and Mastelotto & Bruford drums and percussion of various kind. There was also some samples and electronics. The first sign that showed us fans that the new King Crimson was not only speculations was a 30 minutes EP in 1994, "Vrooom", which was to be followed by full-length "Thrak" following year plus various live sets later. "Vrooom" consists of 6 track (the title track was later split into two, Vrooom and Coda: Marine 475) Four of the six tracks showed up on "Thrak", but in slightly different, more pollished versions. Looking back at the double trio version of Crimson and all their releases, "Vrooom" has always been my favourite, despite its shortness (most Beatles' albums were about half an hour long). The songs are rougher and tougher than the later versions, not with demo sound quality, more like early versions played by a hungry band really enjoying playing together again in a time when no-one knows what will become of it. Will it be more? A full-length album? Tours? Now we know the answer is yes to all these questions, but during the recording of "Vrooom" it sounds like "We're having some great songs, ideas, structures, let's try them, let's just have fun". That's why I like it so much. It sounds like they are really having fun with the new material. O'

1 comment:

  1. Great recommendation, Oax.

    I agree, I have to say: In hindsight, I also prefered the 'rougher' "Vrooom" versions of the Double Trio repertoire to the more polished versions on "ThraK". These Woodstock recordings sound 'live in the studio', whereas the sessions at Real World sound a bit more... considered? The material would, of course, evolve and improve further as they played it live during "hot dates", as countless 'DGM Live' and 'Collectors Club' releases will reveal.

    Fripp's own description of King Crimson is that it is/was "a way of doing things", rather than a particular sound or style.