VROOOM

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Originally released: 1994

Personnel

  • Robert Fripp (guitar)
  • Adrian Belew (guitar, voice, words)
  • Trey Gunn (stick)
  • Tony Levin (basses and stick)
  • Pat Mastelotto (acoustic and electronic percussions)
  • Bill Bruford (acoustic and electronic percussions)

Contents

Tracks

(Note: click on title for lyrics)

All songs written by King Crimson.

Lyrics

All words by Adrian Belew.

Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream

sex sleep eat drink dream 
primal tribal apple egg vegetable eel 
i have a new canoe but it does not have a wheel  

private velvet animal oldsmobile mind 
i'm sitting in the fireplace burning up my time  

private velvet animal empty t.v. 
they're fishing in the kitchen 
but they haven't caught up to me  
primal tribal chemical digital night 
i've got to get dressed to go out of my mind  
sex sleep eat drink dream  

Cage

walking down the street, you stare at your feet
and never do you let your eyes meet the freaks,
the deadbeat addicts, social fanatics,
they're a dime a dozen and they carry guns
halloween, every other day of the week
living in a cage in the usa
living in a cage in the usa
holy smoke! somebody blew up the pope
living in a cage in the usa

all around us the rules are changing
taller walls and stronger cages
nothing is sacred or too outrageous
taller walls and stronger cages
what in the world has happened to the world
what in the world

driving your mercedes you think you're safe
but there's no escape in a world of hateful
criminal minds with guns and knives
who say "give me your ride or give your life"
halloween, every other day of the week
living in a cage in the usa
living in a cage in the usa
holy smoke! somebody blew up the pope
living in a cage in the usa

all around us the rules are changing
taller walls and stronger cages
nothing is sacred or too outrageous
taller walls and stronger cages
what in the world has happened to the world
what in the world

One Time

one eye goes laughing, 
one eye goes crying 
through the trials and trying of one life 
one hand is tied, 
one step gets behind 
in one breath we're dying  

i've been waiting for the sun to come up 
waiting for the showers to stop 
waiting for the penny to drop 
one time 
and i've been standing in a cloud of plans 
standing on the shifting sands 
hoping for an open hand 
one time  

All songs published by Crimson Music / BMG / Fuji Pacific

Reviews

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


Entire Release

Date Submitted: 23-Oct-94
By: Mike Taylor (piscine at mailhost dot tcs dot tulane dot edu)

This review first appeared in the 'Gibralter' Progressive Music newsletter.

King Crimson: VROOOM (1994; Discipline Records DR 9401 2)
=========================================================

Though Gibraltar usually eschews the "big name" prog bands, leaving their discussion to their respective electronic digests, I've made an exception here. The reformation of Crimso is always eagerly, nay, zealously anticipated. The new "double trio," in particular, has met with a massive amounts of rousing speculation. Before I begin, I feel I have to register this caveat: I have a great deal of admiration for King Crimson but there are countless fans who would (and will) do more justice to this release than I am capable of. These fans are intimately more familiar with KC's ever-changing styles across their many albums. I haven't even HEARD all of Crimson's albums, though that is slowly being remedied. (Quit gaping, it's unsightly!) Still, I'll do my best to help whet your appetite as the approaching release date nears.

As most of you probably know by now, the new Crimson formation consists of the _Discipline_ band (Fripp, Belew, Bruford and Levin) plus Trey Gunn on Stick (Levin is credited with Stick and basses) and Pat Mastelotto on acoustic & electronic percussion. _VROOOM_ was recorded in early May during the first rehearsals of this new formation. This six song "EP" is presented "as a calling card, rather than a love letter, to those generous enough to give it ears." This calling card heralds Crimso's return in one aggressive, triumphant and, as you would expect from King Crimson, progressive blast.

A glance at my jotted notes reveals such comments as Intense...Strident... This is like having TWO _Red_ trios => double the intensity, double the pleasure...GEEZ, is this intense...Pure Assault...SHRED!! The disc opens with a 17 second unlisted track of subterannean emanations to introduce the assertive groove of the title track. "VROOOM" (7:16) is divided into two sections. The first is again divided into two alternating themes. The first theme is a blues boogie rhythm, as played by the _Discipline_ group using the heavy sonic assault of the _Red_ group. The second theme is a spacier section, with phased guitar playing picked chords, over which the bass plays a gentle but stately line. About half way through "VROOOM," the band changes direction completely, playing a very Beatlesque passage oddly like the intense ending of the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus." Crimso creates a dense wall of sound, pulsating between the speakers, making it difficult to discern all six musicians. In particular, it is very difficult to discern between Bruford and Mastelotto, if indeed both are playing. The next two tracks featuring the writings of Belew.

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" (4:42) uses another groove (suprisingly, many of these songs are based on familiar and fun grooves), this time featuring Belew's inimitable vocals. Belew brings his strong Beatles' influence into play, particularly in the verse. His voice has been processed to sound amazingly like John Lennon, singing in his "intense and angry" voice, ala _The White Album_, giving this tune a strident edge. This song also again highlights the strong role played byt the percussion throughout this album. With two percussionists, both playing electronic drum kits, a lot can happen between them, and does. It takes several listens to appreciate the full extent of percussive rhthyms on this disc. Next is the incredibly quick-paced "Cage," (1:35), a song about locking ourselves in our homes to protect ourselves from the crime that rules the streets. Belew delivers 45 lines of text in the brief time of this song, but leaves room for a quick "intensity break" from the band.

The most difficult instrumental listen is "Thrak" (7:18). The band plays two, maybe three different rhythms simultaneously. Each rhythm ebbs and tides independent of the others, each slowing and speeding the pace at it's leisure. Electronic percussion hones the ragged edge of the out-of-synch polyrhthyms, creating a GREAT deal of tension. "Thrak" is seven minutes of pure, teeth-grinding assault, relentless until the very end. At this point, the band continues with "When I Stop, Continue" (5:18), a studio improvisation that runs on a little longer than Belew intended, hence the title. This improv is probably one of many sessions the guys used to feel out the new material and each other. The mind can only boggle at the possibilities that occured in those six days of May...and the impending full-length release. An excellent improv, "When I Say Stop, Continue" is the best song to separate and highlight Mastelotto's and Bruford's intertwined percussive rhythms. After the climatic build and imperfect ending, King Crimson close on a gentle note. "One Time" (4:28) is a beautiful latin shuffle in 6/8, and is the type of song I feel features Belew's voice at his best. In a wistful voice recalling "Matte Kudasi," Belew sings:
One eye goes laughing
one eye goes crying
through the trials and trying of
one life
one hand is tied
one step gets behind
in one breath we're dying.


Date Submitted: 20-Oct-94
By: Christopher Hoard (c_hoard at bax dot compuserve dot com)

"God hath no scorn that menaces like Thrak...

"I payed a visit to that classic Victorian monstrosity that harbors Possible Productions, and was rewarded by a certain Mr. Perry with my very own review copy of VROOOM... (not to mention the Lark's Tongue T-Shirt--very cool). Some initial impressions are related here.

"I heard six substantive tracks -- two apparently improvs -- from the (first?) rehearsal sessions of the double trio. Given a full CD price of admission -- or here what would be the going rate for an import EP (about $15) -- VROOOM is a BARGAIN. All my fears as to whether this would really be a visitation from the King were immediately blasted away in a torrent of shrieking strings and battlefield nuke percussives... Anyway, there's more breath and depth of genuine music encompassed in those 31 minutes than you're bound to experience buying a "full length" CD from just about any other reputable band as of late.

"What kills me about this little "calling card" as Mr. Fripp put it in his liner notes -- is how much of that original (circa '69 and '73) experimental *spirit* combined with biting lyrical observation -- this offering evokes. The six limbs of this beast lumber and pirrouhette -- both like six Mecha-Godzillas trashing Tokyo -- and then like prancing as gracefully as a virgin ballerina -- all the while retaining this singular wholeness. Translated; we have a BAND here, mates.

"And given the polyrhythmic industrial meltdown of "Thrak" -- it's clear they're taking no prisoners. "Thrak" is the fourth piece, and by far as difficult listening as anything KC have ever come up with -- still the orchestrations managed in this double-trio ensemble are arresting. I can see know why BB was so excited about this recording when I spoke to him -- in a short space this band has set out to do everything the 80s KC did -- and does it better. The overall feeling and energy here reminds me more of the "Great Deceiver" period than the 80s KC; in listening now several times to the three vocal tracks with Belew's singing -- I'm convinced his talents and vision as a vocalist/lyricist are propelled far beyond what he's demonstrated as a solo artist in this context. Which is to say -- Belew fans will be thrilled, and KC fans in general should find the next Crimson LP to be as interesting and ambitious vocally/lyrically -- as anything that has passed before. There's a lot of Beatles filtering through the (mostly distorted) vocal tracks too. Anyway, I wish I were one of you lucky blokes in the U.K. -- I'd catch the first train to Bath and campout around Real World studios and offer to serve up free Indian food and ale -- if they'd just let me hear some of the outtakes!

"VROOOM" booms forth as another classic KC instrumental -- there seems to be a direct continuum extending from "20th C. Shizoid" to "Lark's Tongue" to "Red" to "Indiscipline" to ... I hope I don't imply any of this material is out of date. The music as as ground-breaking and complex as any from the "Discipline" years -- but so much of it harkens back to earlier incarnations that there's a lot of resonance at play here. Where Tony Levin and Trey Gunn separate in this melange is difficult to discern. Belew, Fripp, and Gunn have all demonstrated what masters of atmospherics and electronic effects they are in the mid-to-upper registers--and the ambience is always thick here. The new KC, especially on "Vrooom" has made the most of two drummers--and my suspicion is BB is playing the role again he studied under Jamie Muir--that of a percussionist. Yet in other tracks, especially "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream," -- the backbeat and groove is solid, tight, and as steady and unstoppable as an aircraft carrier sailing a glassy sea. Major power looms in the reserve reactor propelling the percussives. The tension in "VROOOM" breaks with pretty--almost acoustic guitar arpeggios and the melodic voice of Levin's bass--there's a lead voice in this concoction to tantalize everyone's taste.

"The glue that holds much together is the ambience--either Frippertronics or the effects (I suspect from listening to Gunn's '1000 Years') Gunn achieves on his upper register stick. "Sex, Sleep" will both whallop us Crimsies and should prove an inspired choice by some daring FM radio programmers to alert us that another ensemble (apart from Plant/ Page) can occasionally open the eyes of Rock's comatose corpse, and get it grooving, if not breathing fire... Belew has managed his best invocation of Lake's "Schizoid" vocals here--yet in no way is it derivative; his voice is richer and more expressive to me, based on these three tracks--than anything I've heard before--and generally much more pronounced in the music than guitar sounds I can identify as unmistakably Belew--but no need to wait until the REAL record...

"Cage" is a minute and a half of cheerful insanity... "Livin' in a Cage in the USA" says it all--it's a miracle how they fitted this much SONG into such a short gap in space-time. Anyway, Belew segues into a roccous rap, induced no doubt by the stressful situation of the average middle-class American now confined to small apartments... "What in the world is wrong with the world?" he asks us--and then he proceeds to size up the whole situation over the contrapuntal roller-coaster that blazes Balinese rock--pure inspiration reflecting on pure, compartmentalized anguish. By this point I've had my $15 worth...

"BUT THERE'S MORE!

"Thrak" however--gets tiring--it's riveting and awesome--but doesn't go down well with my morning (super-high octane) coffee. Still for pure, unadulterated Crimsonian menace--this one about sums it all up.

"The second piece which sounds like another improv is "When I Say Stop, Continue." A fascinating journey--which ends on a note of hillarity.

"A psuedo-reggae ballad, "One Time" -- offers us the icing on the cake. It's another beautiful piece featuring Adrian's best singing ala "Matte Kudesai." This is definitely the calm after the storm.

"In summary I found these six tracks to be as inspired and original as any assortment of KC tunes--and I think in general the subscribers to Elephant Talk will find it a most necessary sampling--something to whet our appetites and compare to the REAL thing, right? The recording quality here is quite good--better than your average live-off-the-console -- but certainly not in the league with a studio album from Real World. Still I think Fripp and crew have done us a service, and in doing have allowed us to help support further efforts with the 90's KC and its affilliates and off-shoots. Anyway I have no doubt the efforts of this band will result in another glorious reign of the King... yes, the rivers will soon be running crimson again, if not already..."


Date Submitted: 12-Nov-94
By: John R. Nash (nash at chem dot wisc dot edu)

"Here's my impressions after a few listenings to VROOOM. I'm not giving a blow-by-blow review, since that's already been done (and will continue to be done, I imagine). My comments tend to focus on the drumming... that's what usually strikes me first about music. Others will comment on the rest of the band, I have no fears...

"Packaging: Nice, especially considering this is "just" an EP. Thanks for including the words.

"Signatures: Hey, I finally have a "Fripp" signature, which as we all know is not the easiest thing to get. Belew's sig hasn't changed since he wrote it on his first solo album... I wondered where I'd seen that before.

"VROOOM: The sound seems to me to be the Fripp/Belew guitar sound of the 80's Crimson over a very Larks/Red rhythm section, thicker, fuller, and louder. Note to myself: bring earplugs to the concert... this music is loud. I can generally tell Fripp and Belew's guitar styles and sounds apart, from being familiar with their work. Bruford's drumming is very disctinctive -- Mastelloso's parts are therefore whatever doesn't sound like Bruford :-). Levin/Gunn is more difficult for me to hear. In general, there's some nice interplay between Bruford's and Mastelloso's snares -- listen, they're distinctly different sounds! The opening section sounds a bit like Red, and the closing section reminds me of the closing of Larks' Tongues, part III. I also recall another album with a quiet, ambient opening before a putting-the-boot-in first track. I think it was called "In the Court..." or something.

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A good song, although it could use a bit of tightening up, I think. A new-sounding "tom" in the percussion section, very noticeable. In the instrumental section, Bruford and Mastelloso have a lot of fun with where they put their snare hits... never quite at the same time.

"Cage: The music in the verse sounds to me like "what if we played Discipline as fast as we possibly could? Wouldn't that be incredibly funny?" Not a terribly musical song, but that's not the point. Whoosh!

"Thrak: This song is growing on me. Rather industrial-sounding in places -- almost like a subway train in the percussion. At points, this piece careens nearly out of control, but finds its way back in sync. I note that there is no "keyboard" listed in the instrumentation. Most likely, it's Belew making those keyboard-y noises, although it could be TLev as well.

"When I Say Stop, Continue: I do believe this is our first example of the 90's Crimson doing a "blow." There is a decidedly improvisational feel to it, especially in light of the ending. Aside to Robert Fripp: please consider including at least one blow in concert... this group could make some very interesting spontaneous music, I think. I would respond "with enthusiasm," certainly!

"One Time: King Crimson with a Latin beat. Well, that took me by surprise. Catchy tune, though, with some nice lyrics by Belew.

"Overall impression: I'd say I got my money's worth for this disc. It's short, but the quality is high. (Think of how short the "full" album Beat was!) Raw around the edges, sure, but that's to be expected. This is a much darker Crimson than the 80's outfit. I'm definitely glad Bruford is back -- he really contributes a lot... King Crimson is back, with no compromises. Unless Belew has a hit single hiding somewhere, it will not be a money-making venture, but it will be well-listened to by those that appreciate it.

"It feels good to talk about "new" King Crimson for the first time in my life (I am 25).

"Looking forward to the full album, and definitely to seeing these guys live,"


Date Submitted: 13-Nov-94
By: Michael Feathers(feathers at gate dot net)

"Well, my copy of _Vrooom_ finally arrived in the mail the other day. Needless to say, this is an important release in progressive circles. A while back, I half-jokingly mentioned to friends that I am very eager to hear _Vrooom_ because I want to know what the next ten years of music will sound like. From Primus to Henry Rollin's Band, I hear a little `Indiscipline' everywhere I turn recently.

"I was not disappointed. Before hearing _Vrooom_ I wondered if King Crimson could pull it off. Although each incarnation of the King redefines itself, I knew that before _Vrooom_, King Crimson did not have the stranglehold on sheer aggression and abject sonic oppression that they had during the 70s. The 'Discipline' era was something that I enjoyed immensely but in retrospect the pop orientation that they evidenced at times was something that I hoped would not surface in the 90s. I wanted to hear something new. Something from no man's land which would stand well against the music that I've been finding myself drawn to recently: Magma, Etron Fou, Henry Cow, 5uus, Doctor Nerve etc.,.

"What did I find? King Crimson has changed. Reviews I've read have used the 'Discipline' era and the 'Starless/Red' era as points of reference. But, _Vroom_ is quite different from music of the 'Discipline' era. It does not wear its complexity on its sleeve. Cymbals crash into distorted chordal lines making a wall of sound which, although undeniably more complex than any previous work, does not 'foreground' each instrument in a panorama of clean timbres and space. There are no clearly marked guitar solos. Each instrument does something different but you have to dig into the sound to hear it. The most interesting things are subtle in the mix.

"The comparisions we've seen to the Starless/Red era are apt, but to me it seems that there is much more going on here. The 90s Crimson is Crimson by subtraction. They have the energy and aggression of the 70s era without the classical and jazz/rock references. When I listen to _Fracture_, some details and indeed the structuring of the music itself remind me of classical music. _Lark's Tongue In Aspic Pt II_ in its softer violin driven portions invariably reminds me of Mahavishnu Orchestra. While those were both extremely structured composed pieces, the same patterns seemed to appear in their improvised material. It is as though King Crimson set out in the 70s to create a new form of rock music based on improvisation but the vocabularies of classical music and jazz kept sneaking in. _Vrooom_'s 'Thrak' in contrast, is the new band: the music turns and pivots like sinister machine, exposing a new face of detail every few seconds using only a Crimson vocabulary. On _Vrooom_, the King seems to have finally achieved its earlier aim.

"I sense a maturity to this release which I never missed in King Crimson until I heard it. The band sounds comfortable. They are not trying to impress upon us that they can toe the line between pop and experimentalism. They proved that in the Eighties. In addition, the music as a whole manifests a seriousness and depth that Fripp seems to have been cultivating for a while. I can not help mentioning the difference in tone between Fripp's first tape delay work on _No Pussyfooting_, and recent works such as 'Bringing Down the Light', 'Threnody for Souls in Torment' and passages from _Vroom_. This progression does not seem to be Fripp's alone. There is a depth to Adrian Belew's vocal performances which is stunning and touching. 'One Time' is a masterpiece of understatement which seems poised to replace Matte Kudasai as King Crimson's best vocal reflective interlude.

"King Crimson is older and wiser. The members approach music with a wealth of life experience and we can hear it.

"The heart is more connected to the hands, and the feet continue to move vigorously."


Date Submitted: 9-Nov-94
By: Scott T. Anderson (sanderso at nic dot gac dot edu)

"This is not "Talk." It is not "Black Moon." It is not even "We Can't Dance."

"VROOOM is the new EP CD from King Crimson. You've surely heard about it, but now it is out in the hands of mortals like me. It is pure King Crimson. They haven't lost anything (I'd say they've gained).

"The current lineup is the fabled "Double Trio": two guitars, two sticks, and two drummers. Fripp and Belew, Levin and Trey Gunn, Bruford and Pat Mastelotto.

"This new era of King Crimson is sure to be a delight, if VROOOM is any indication.

"After a 17-second untitled track that introduces the album quietly, the band bursts forth with the title track. It is pure Red-era King Crimson, but doubled. The relatively "canned" sound of the '80s is gone, but the awesome power of those musicians, plus the timeless sound of mid-'70s King Crimson, and some fresh sounds courtesy of the two rookies, are all in full force. This is a fantastic introduction to the latest incarnation of quite possibly the definitive progressive rock band.

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" is a somewhat funky tune, continuing to merge the old (including an imitation of Greg Lake's megaphone vocals from "21st Century Schizoid Man") with the new. Belew's singing is better than ever on this album, and the song as a whole is great.

"Cage" is a short, strange, humorous, complex piece. I swear I heard a riff from "Fracture" in it (or maybe it was in "Thrak," I'm not sure at this point).

"Thrak" is to '90s King Crimson what "Fracture" was to '70s KC. It is harsh, heavy, at times scary, extremely rhythmically complex (taking KC polyrhythm to a whole new level), and thoroughly impressive.

"When I Say Stop, Continue" is a great improv, that starts out with a droning stick rumble and great guitar effects, and builds into a rocking jam. Near the end, Belew exclaims, "Okay, now come to a dead stop! One, two, three, four... Fripp and perhaps Levin or Gunn comply, but the rest go on for a bit (hence the title). It's interesting... this totally imposing improv comes to a hilarious conclusion.

"One Time" is almost Latin feeling. It is really a beautiful song, showing that KC is as diverse as ever. Great singing by Belew, great playing by the band... it leaves the listener wanting more. But the 31 minutes are up.

"What more can I say? This is an absolute must for any King Crimson fan. I can't wait for the full-length album (and the TOUR!)."


Date Submitted: 15-Nov-94
By: Greg (Crimson at eworld dot com)

"A non-musicians' thoughts on VROOM (after about 10 listens)...

"Overall, I'm disappointed. It seems that the collection exudes mostly muscle and anger, and is in some appreciable need of contrasting nuance, texture, and emotion. Most of the pieces sound like cuts that wouldn't make a regular album release. Actually, the pieces seem to be in various stages of completion. As much as I anticpiated the release (I ordered via mail and still grabbed a copy when I first saw it at Tower), I almost wish they waited until they spent more time together before putting this out. It doesn't help that the recording is harsh, and the instrumentation is often not articulated (was that the idea?)

"The title track VROOM, and Cage seem to have the greatest potential, and Thrak, while quite challenging, becomes muddled and doesn't reach a satisfying resolution by its end. (BTW - Is VROOM the mysterious LTiA 4 mentioned in a previous ET? - the final part reminds me of LTiA 3...)

"Sex.... sounds like the most "finished" cut on the CD, but, despite all the activity, isn't particulary interesting melodically or rhythmically. In certain ways, it's the 90's version of Indiscipline, with it's alternating parts of restraint and cacaphony. But Indiscipline contained (and much of their other work did as well) a compelling contrast of chaos and order, of discordance and beauty. Beat's Requiem is a good example. Not an easy piece for a first listen, but the contrast of RF's part to the building chaos around it, and its final, rather mournful resolution, is the type of contrast that is missing from something like Thrak. In an interview with Brian Eno and Jon Hassell several years ago, Hassell commented on what was wrong with so much of the New Age stuff that floats out there. "There isn't any evil in the music" was something along the lines of his comment - it was all too good and sweet. The lack of contrast made it less interesting. Perhaps in the opposite way, that's what's happened with VROOM.

"I guess what's most disappointing is that the potential for a wide range of texture and was incredible - two guitarists, two bassists, and two drummers. There dosen't seem to be a lot of drumming interplay, and can anyone say where two bassists are? I mean, it's LOUDER than the previous four-piece unit, but is it any richer?

"Perhaps this new sound will reach back and rekindle an audience put-off by the 80's incarnation. In a lot of the pre-release discussions here and elsewhere, there seemed to be a fair number of comments revealing "gratification" that KC was returing to a Red-era sound, and not the 80's sound. My prejeduice is that I like the 80's sound quite well. There's so much texture to listen to; months after enjoying RF's and AB's guitarwork, I began focusing on TL's parts, and then BB's, and then I caught other background textures...While some of that exists on VROOM, there's too much drive without enough steering.

"Now having said all this, I still think VROOM's more interesting to listen to than much of anything else out there. And that's not a contradiction, just an indication to the standard I use when I listen to KC and RF. I'm also hopeful that by the time the studio release hits in the Spring, contrast, articulation, and interplay will take a more important role in composition.

"Am I being too harsh since this is a calling card and not a love letter? Is that designation an acknowledgment that you're listening to a work in progress? Should that make one's reaction different? I'm a laserdisc consumer, and VROOM is sort of like the supplemental material on a special edition, but without the main film. It might be a lot more interesting when compared to the context of the finished work, which in this case, is still yet to come."


Date Submitted: 1-Jan-98
By: Hadert von Dicke (5107 at inf dot tsu dot tomsk dot su)

"If the other bands could create "love letters" at least comparable to this "calling card"... A pity that all the possible competitors are split up... quite happy that Crims aren't! My favorite thing is "When I say stop, continue" - maybe because it's the main thing that differs VROOOM from THRAK (which contains practically no improvs). Majestic order appearing out from chaos - it's one of the strongest sides of Crims. Fine... and short enough to choose it when being hellish pressed for time and at the same time eager to have Music! Description in short: THE RETURN OF THE FIRE WIZARDS."

Cage

Date Submitted: 1-Sep-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"Cage rocks! Ther is no good reason why they didn't put this on Thrak with a one minute solo form Belew to beef the short song that it is."

When I Say Stop, Continue

Date Submitted: 23-Jul-96
By: Chris Mitchell (squonk at utkux dot utcc dot utk dot edu)

"'When I Say Stop, Continue' is the earliest example of the double-trio in free improv mode, and it's worth the EP's price alone. Not as demented as later forays like on ThrakAttak, but it has an aural menace all its own. And it demonstrates one of the many ways the six piece lineup can configure itself instrumentally.

"Levin starts it off by tapping out a low drone with his funk fingers - this is not a Stick. Fripp and Gunn provide most of the stranger textures. Fripp is mixed to the left, and he alternately works with delayed notes and minimal soundscape techniques. Gunn, meanwhile, constructs his own soundscape, which reaches its full maturity towards the end of the piece and keeps running after Belew says Stop. Belew himself is mixed to the middle and contributes occasional guitar squawks and grunts.

"Bruford is mixed to the left - he rumbles on the toms for most of the piece. Mastelotto is heard in the cymbal flourishes and eventual snare/tom hits. The duo ultimately reaches a driving rhythm, and this is the point where Levin jumps off of his drone and joins the drummers.

"The ending is quietly hilarious, but effectual. Apparently, Belew's vocal was not heard in everyone's headphone mix, therefore the drummers and Gunn kept playing."
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