The ProjeKcts

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Projbxp3.jpg Projbxp4.jpg
Originally released: 1999


  • Adrian Belew (V drums) - P2
  • Bill Bruford (drums and percussion)- P1
  • Robert Fripp (guitar) - P1, P2, P3, P4
  • Trey Gunn (touch guitar, talker) - P1, P2, P3, P4
  • Tony Levin (basses, Stick, Synth) - P1, P4
  • Pat Mastelotto (electronic traps and buttons) - P3, P4



CD1 ProjeKct One: Live At The Jazz Cafe => Reviews

  • 4 i 1
  • 4 ii 1
  • 1 ii 2
  • 4 ii 4
  • 2 ii 3
  • 3 i 2
  • 3 ii 2
  • 2 ii 4
  • 4 i 3

CD2 ProjeKct Two: Live Groove => Reviews

  • Sus-tayn-Z
  • Heavy ConstruKction
  • The Deception of the Thrush
  • X-chayn-jiZ
  • Light ConstruKction
  • Vector Shift to Planet Detroit
  • Contrary ConstruKction
  • Live Groove
  • Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid
  • 21st Century Schizoid Man

CD3 ProjeKct Three: Masque => Reviews

  • Masque 1 - 13

CD4 ProjeKct Four: West Coast Live => Reviews

  • 1-4 Ghost (Part 1)
  • Deception of the Thrush => Reviews
  • Hindu Fizz
  • ProjeKction
  • 8-12 Ghost (Part 2)


Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.

Entire Release

Date Submitted: 23-Sep-99
By: Sean Hewitt (seanhewitt at yahoo dot com)

"The ProjeKcts box set is the greatest music produced by King Crimson since the Discipline album in 1981. For me, this set leaves the (admittedly brilliant) Great Deceiver discs standing. That was a historical artefact - this is astounding music for today and tomorrow.

"As RF has noted in his diary, the ProjeKct One CD is more closely related to the improvs of the 70s line-up. But this is subtler, stronger stuff, with a greater range of colours on its palette. I particularly liked the inclusion of Trey Gunn's glorious solo over Soundscapes and bass from the second night. I was there and remember Bill Bruford waiting out the piece, eating Extra Strong Mints at the back, before adding his own insightful contribution at the end. Because of this restraint, and the piece's beauty, it stands as a Trio for the 90s. Only better.

"ProjeKct Two is a blazing live album which captures the character of that superb outfit. I was a bit disappointed by X-chayn-jiZ - where's the demented piano-guitar intro? - and the long crowd section on the closing "mystery" track. But the rest hits the spot, particularly the various permutations of ConstruKction and the superb work by Trey and RF on Live Groove itself.

"For sheer surprise, P3 takes the biscuit, though. I've been banging on about Big Leaps and new directions with tedious regularity for longer than I care to remember but even I was taken aback by this CD. Pat has taken the performances and digitally cut and spliced them into a whole new soup. Bits of the gigs, bits of rehearsals, stunning blending of different performances. Just listen to the beauty of Masque 13, the savagery of Masque 9 and the demented edge of Masque's incredible! PM's work is a total sideways step into the future. His drumming has incredible colours, stunning propulsive force. Speaking as a leading Bruford fan, I was blown away by his playing on this album and on the P4 volume, which is not quite so "new", but more classically Crimsoid.

"Highlights include the opening Ghost 1, a version of Deception Of The Thrush which lifts the piece to a whole new level, the manic Hindu Fizz and even a bit of on-stage tomfoolery between (I think) TLev and RF.

"Each of these CDs stands on its own merit. Together they conjure the real "bridge between" the Double Trio and the Double Duo. You can hear the band evolving and glimpse snatches of dozens of possible futures.

"The future is bright - the future is Crimson!"

Date Submitted: 23-Oct-99
By: Charlie K. (chaz at take3soft dot com)

"Just received the ProjeKcts Box two days ago. I've had time to listen to it once through, so this is my first impression.

"It's all amazing. ProjeKct One had me the most interested upon opening since Bruford is the drummer on it. Followed closely by ProjeKct Two with Belew on the V kit since I haven't heard much of Adrian's drumming before. But I'll tell you the one that's got me is ProjeKct Four. Oh my God! Absolutely incredible. Music ahead of its time. Very current and in the now. A bit ambient. An bit like the industrial drum and bass music around these days. But much more artistic than some of the computer generated stuff I've heard. Mastelotto is amazing. Mathematical precision his drumming is. It's hard to believe it was performed live. The bass is SO huge. Hats off once again to Levin. Tony Levin rules! This is some trippy stuff. Music on the cutting edge. I cannot wait to hear the Collector's Club P4 release.

"The whole box is quite mind altering and can certainly put one in a mood. I couldn't listen to the whole 4 discs straight through. Too much. I drive a truck all day and it all fits very well into the busy traffic moving scenery scene. But the fourth disc is the one that has grabbed me right off. And worked the hell out of my subwoofer. Disc one is full of those wonderful Bruford snare rim shots that I seem to be completely addicted to. P2 is funky, with a treat of a hidden track at the end. Trey Gunn's road diary as liner notes is fascinating to read. I'd say P3 is the one that has the most room to grow on me... gonna take a while after the other three have had their runs through my brain, but the ones that take a while to grow on me are usually the ones that stick best. Beginning to think Mr. Gunn has become Mr. Fripp's right hand man on the melodic side of things (there are parts where they are definitely sharing one brain). And Robert is awesomely passionate in his playing throughout. Worth the price of admission folks. Only question left on my mind is where the hell was I when these shows were taking place."

Date Submitted: 29-Oct-99
By: Richard Romeo (rmr at apscompany dot com)

"Four CDs worth of extended improvs and musical tweakings suggesting a range of emotions, and for this listener, thankfully, no lyrics. My favorite period continues to be the unsettling work of 73-74 group, but this box set is what that group accomplished, updated for the 90s. It heartens me to see Mr. Fripp and company age well, and continue to make challenging music.

"An aside on the 21st century Schizo Man crowd controversy: I found it interesting to hear such sad, embarrassing protestations from the crowd while Heavenly Music Corporation plays in the background--an apt title for such an event.

"Anyway, I'll be playing and replaying these discs with abandon, and wish to thank all the projeckt musicians for their wonderful work and dedication."

Date Submitted: 3-Nov-99
By: Alex Otaola (aotaola at hotmail dot com)

"After gladfully sinking into my new 'ProjeKcts' box set containing four discs worth of KCs Fractals' jams in Aspic the first thing to strike me is how much the personal sound of Mastelotto and Gunn is starting to blossom into its own, more distinct self; this I believe can fulfill the promise of the double trio instead of almost making them take the role of an enhancement to the 80's KC line up.

"It must surely be a completely different experience to at least have a visual clue as to 'who' is producing 'what' sound. It's also an exercise in listening:

"Being a BB fan P1 takes my award (although track naming is indecipherable), P2 has the snapiest '21st Century...' in 25 years, P3 & 4 dwelve more into electronica, ambient & Ligeti meet KC head on! Any more words would spoil music that has to be experienced, plus the liner notes already give great insight from (and about) the people involved. The artwork is also outstanding too!

"I have to disagree with Fripp's liner notes when he claims this fractalisation to be an alternative to KC's breakup at the END of a cycle. After listening to these cds I feel we might be witnessing the geling of the current cycle. A major concern amongst fans must be wether Bruford will be in the next KC or not, but I think this will come down to personal matters since musically Bruford and now Mastelotto (and even Belew!), have developed their own personal sound and palette which can only add more dynamics to the ensemble.

"I can't believe how there still are KC fans out there who rant about how pointless 'Thrakattak' or the improvisational side of the band is (this goes all the way back to "Moonchild"), since this is a 'gamble' the band has always loved to take (remember "Trio", "Requiem" ? ..."Last Skirmish"?!?) and thus the enjoyment for the performer and the audience is to together witness magic, when it happens. I thought KC fans would know a band is 'searching' instead of 'noodling'!! I'd love to witness this guys noodle anytime and I'd approach it as if it were a modern big band version of an electric Keith Jarrett piano concert ( the way, have you noticed how Jarrett-like Belew's drums sound on the last seconds of "Planet Belewbeloid"?!?).

"With a double trio that can surely now sound like ten people instead of six I think the guys have a pretty good chance of delivering a shot as resounding as Bitches-Brew was. Let's wait and hope for music to direct its beam again..."

Date Submitted: 5-Nov-99
By: Jason Clemons (thomasjohns at worldnet dot att dot net)

"I picked up the box set last Friday and was blown away by what was contained inside.

"I can't wait for what's next."

Date Submitted: 7-Nov-99
By: Fabrizio Vecchia (doa at divinf dot it)

"Probably, the best music you can hear, today."

Date Submitted: 8-Nov-99
By: Dean Mcclure (deanmm at comcast dot net)

"received the projekcts live box set. was looking forward to it after seeing the projekct 2 concert in philadelphia. very exciting to see musicians producing non pop and completely satisfying modern music. it bounces, it drones, it seduces, it makes you dance and smile. isn't it a shame that there is no outlet for this type of thing. i really enjoy turning people on to their stuff. it just sneaks up and grabs you. totally appealing to so many. i hooked my wife on adrian years ago and he is still her fave.

"ps: i would never bother mr. fripp or anyone else for an autograph or picture unless they offered. i especially wouldn't bother somebody while they were enjoying a performance. long live mr. fripp and co."

Date Submitted: 15-Nov-99
By: John-David Lucas (lraven at floodcity dot net)

"not since INTCOTCK /or the 80's Crimso has wonders have the projekt box set been pushed to even greater heights! not even larks.starless! IMHO. only the one 'true' art rock band,though beefheart/magick band came close could due such mastery! mystery and 'trust' in the transcendence in 'musick'!"

Date Submitted: 23-Nov-99
By: John Bakley (jcb813 at aol dot com)

"To my Wife's great displeasure "King Headache" has evolved into a new four headed strain of lobe Jack Hammering mayhem. Her immunity, built through years of quietly endured exposure, has been decimated She draws a line in the carpet and Im forced to relocated to the cellar or bear the discomfort of Headphones. Not being a musician I don't hear the SOUND within a set context, I hear the SOUND and I'm taken places!

"The Leviathan breaches!"

Date Submitted: 10-Jan-00
By: Brian Nestor (bpn at twave dot net)

"This box set is definitely the biggest artistic chance that Crimson has ever taken. In four CDs - nearly four hours of music - there are two recognizable songs, and these are basically torn apart and reconfigured. Not for the squeamish or someone looking for a comfortable listen.

"Each ProjeKct has an individual identity. P1 has the best grooves, with BB's drumming almost dominating the proceeding. P2 is the most playful, with Adrian's drumming exploding in unpredictable directions like a New Age Keith Moon, and Trey and Robert skitting around each other in a festive mood. P3 is pure hardcore Thrak, and P4 has the deepest bass grooves.

"However, the music done by each individual ProjeKct has enough variety to make any real comparison only viable on the surface. The depth of music invention is staggering. Even by jazz standards this is a monumental box. Just trying to figure what Trey or Robert is playing is a major feat - Trey can replicate the Fripp style very accurately now, and tends not to play the bottom the way Tony Levin did, and I swear it sounds like Trey is also getting into some serious SoundScape, just to confuse the matter even more.

"It is hard not to look for clues to the next KC incarnation. Fripp has mentioned a "Double Duo" - Pat and Adrian playing drum with Robert and Trey in the forground, and no formal bass? Time will tell..."

Date Submitted: 28-Apr-00
By: Michael Adashefski (oingoboingo100 at earthlink dot net)

"What a wicked batch of spells and wonders this is! Though this isn't the Crimson King in its full persona, there are shades and glimpses of the King in all of these discs. At times the music goes into very pastoral territory where chords and percussion float past like clouds, but at other passages the force of these improvised pieces can cause walls to crumble (especially if you have subwoofers which face the walls!!). There is plenty of room for each musician to shine in his own space and a lot of surprises, such as how great a drummer Adrian really is in ProjeKct Two and how much Trey Gunn really adds to each of these line ups. Through it all Mr. Fripp has a lot of room to fire off some of the most blistering soloing of his career and once again show off his well-honed chops, but it's also a chance for the King to create new music in an unrestrictive area within the services of it's chosen members.

"The one unnecessary point of the entire proceedings is the inclusion of the misbehavior of the audience at the ProjeKct Two gig. Since Trey Gunn very eloquently described this incident in his diaries there was really no need to contain the recording of the incident on the end of the 2nd cd. The space this incident occupies would have been better filled with more of the excellent music that this line up produced, rather than the misbehavior of some of the attendees of the show. As much as we can all wish that crowds would behave and respect the wishes of the musicians onstage, some children have a more difficult time of practising self-control than others. It's a shame.

"Still I highly reccommend this box set to all who have ears. This is some of King Crimson's finest improvising to date and we are all the better for its release. Long live The King!!"

Date Submitted: 28-Jul-00
By: (ChalkPie88 at aol dot com)

"Unbelievable stuff. Don't hesitate one more minute - go buy it now. This is music you will be listening for a long time and be astonished every single time. I own and love ALL Crimson discs, but this is one of the best, if not the best."

Date Submitted: 15-Oct-00
By: Andrea Lazzaro (ajesi at wanadoo dot fr)

"The Projekcts? Simply ingenious sonority.
Fripp & Co. show us how is the musical perfection."

Date Submitted: 11-Nov-00
By: Bill N (billrn at prodigy dot net)

"We all know King Crimson is and always has been a great improvising band. Even in their first 1969 gigs, they were pushing structural limits with great success. Their improvising has always been more attuned to the higher impules in modern classical and left field jazz then it has to anything in rock. Cage and Coltrane would have been proud.

"But great improvising alone does not make great records. Every great KC live album had fresh takes on known songs that then took off on wild and wonderful spontainious adventures. This balance is what made those concerts so amazing.

"Here, you have a lot of ideas KC were in the process of developing: an interesting concept from a fan's point of view, but not terribly listenable. There is no center of gravity, nothing that makes the box set make sense. I never get the feeling here that there was any driving musical point that Fripp and Co. were trying to make. Crimson albums never lacked conviction before.....but here, they sound like their searching and haven't quite found what they want.

"I have no doubt that King Crimson can take dozens of these ideas and make many more great albums if they choose to. I hope so.

"But for me, I'll take the novel, not the author's notes."

ProjeKct One: Live At The Jazz Cafe

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"Frankly, I love this. The first couple of tracks’ worth, which are fairly loud and aggressive, don’t convince me so much but the remainder of the CD becomes a great soothing experience on par with Jon Hassell or Can’s best music. Bill Bruford and Tony Levin each play fantastic, inventive things here which makes this the closest I’ll get to hearing an 80’s Crimson reunion. At its best this is music of the highest order."

ProjeKct Two: Live Groove

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"This is a bit tighter and more interesting than their previous studio release. The one particularly good groove from that recording is given a really wicked, demonic-sounding Frippertronics intro and then played for a nice length of time. I think that the band’s material drifts a bit, and that much of this doesn’t really add up to much, on the whole, except for that killer first track."

ProjeKct Three: Masque

Date Submitted: 16-Feb-02
By: (Thestutch at aol dot com)

"Ah , yes , now THIS is more like it . Welcome to the 21st Century , kids ; things are not as they seem . A sonic thug , this CD will beat you , take your wallet and rape your dog . That's a good thing ; well , maybe not for Fido . Fripp and the boys realy dive deep on this one , riding the undertow thru a river of chaos . From the opening squeal it's dark , dangerous and well worth the price of admission . But beware : there are no " songs here
this is 100 % instumental exploration . If P2 took you into space , P3 will
submerge you into the churning ocean of time . Birth and Death , Hate and Love , Chaos and Discipline . It call all be found here . Enjoy at your own risk ."

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"Abstract, electronic, full of intensity (rhythmic and otherwise) yet aspiring to (and achieving) an ethereal sense. This describes what Miles Davis did ahead of the pack in his “electric” years, describes what electronic music specialists have been working at for the past 10 years, and describes what the players end up getting at on this CD. They try to update their sound to the “sound of the times”. It’s pretty interesting, actually. It lacks defining properties almost but it paints some kind of interesting impressionistic portrait. It would probably be interesting to hear some of these grooves at greater length."

ProjeKct Four: West Coast Live

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"As with ProjeKct Three, we move into chattering electronic percussion and hip-hop/drum ‘n bass beats, mixed with sustained guitar tone. Here, though, Tony Levin comes in and provides a real defining characteristic, namely, a wall of bass. Which makes this work better, at least to a casual listener, than ProjeKct Three. This CD contains some relatively fascinating, thought-provoking music which I quite enjoy."

Deception of the Thrush

Date Submitted: 10-Nov-99
By: Ryan Tassone (aqua_tarkus_ at hotmail dot com)

"I find this version to be markedly better than the one found on ProjeKct 2: Live Groove, not only because of the notes being played, which are perfectly arranged on this particular performance, but also the totally unique drumming that starts it off...try and count to it! This, of course, is due to Pat's obvious advantage over Ade: drumming talent. Trey Gunn's "talker" still baffles me. What in God's name is it, how is he doing that, and what the hell is he saying? I believe the first phrase is "double the length," but everything else is virtually undecipherable. And when Fripp comes in with one of his trademark swoops, at the most immaculate While his soloing style never really seems to change, it catches me off guard every time, thanks to his synth (is this a crutch, perhaps? NAH!). But the best part, by far, is when the soothing soundscape begins, and there's no lead instrument in the forefront, so I can only anticipate that it's time for Trey Gunn to show his stuff. The drums fade away, as does the bass, almost like TG is overwhelming the hard-edged sound of the rhythm section with his profound subtlety. That trill at the beginning that can only be done accurately on a touch guitar, the way he anticipates the next chord before it happens, his tasteful restraint during a substantial part of the box set...he's a very, very important figure in this band's balance, and this performance shows it."