Projekct X – Heaven and Earth (2000)
Adrian Belew — Guitar and additional ‘V Drumming’
Robert Fripp — Guitar and Soundscapes
Trey Gunn — Bass Touch Guitar and Baritone Guitar
Pat Mastelotto — Traps and Buttons
This release is comprised of jams from The ConstruKction of Light sessions. It’s much better than Thrakattak (1996) which is just a lot of guitar wankery and silly noises.
The main reason it really works is drummer Pat Mastellotto, taking the attitude of ‘get out of the way or follow’.
The sound is cosmic and futuristic, built with an unrelenting tension from the manic electronic driving rhythm pulses.
He contrasts Bill Bruford’s cerebral attack, creating a new KC that’s has an electric energy and trippy, organic subsonic stomp. Stick player Trey Gunn, really anchors the bottom end with a snake-like prowess; winding and driving against Pat’s dominating beats.
Mastellotto’s performance is scarily propulsive and far more congruous with this style of the material than ever before. Instead of using an electronic kit to merely replicate the cymbal washes and snare pops of an acoustic kit, he uses sampled sounds to his advantage, using spontaneous studio jams to retrospectively create arrangements that embrace the dark, electronic trance pulse of the digital age, while at the same time retaining the angular improvisation.
Everyone else is just there to fill in the void.
What really makes the key difference here is a lack of any attempts at structure. As labyrinthine as the roadmaps were for previous albums, they were still roadmaps; and often laden with guitar parts recognizably descended from territory of the 1980’s lineup.
Here Fripp and Belew shed the calculated straitjackets and let roar like never before. It is a true window into the age-old Crimson manifesto of attempting to control chaos.
Is a big blast of Pat and Trey hitting the low end while Fripp & Belew riff over it all.
“Heaven and Earth”
Is the best track, having a more composed form and structure. It begins quietly, but soon morphs into a strong groove by the rhythm section.
This a favorite album of mine because of it’s unrelenting crazy crackling energy.