Robert Fripp / David Sylvian

Damage

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Damage is derived from the closing shows of the 1993 Road to Graceland tour, which heralded the collaborative reunion of King Crimson's Robert Fripp (guitar) with David Sylvian (guitar/keyboards/vocals), the former leader of Japan. This hour-plus set finds Sylvian in tremendous voice and Fripp sonically enveloping spaces and respecting silences in a bout of well-manicured fretwork. The pair is augmented by soon-to-be Krim members Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Trey Gunn (Chapman stick/vocals) as well as former Martha & the Muffins axeman Michael Brook (guitar). The contrast in styles from Fripp's ethereal Soundscapes and edgy guitar inflections to Sylvian's smoother and refined demeanor is reminiscent of Brian Eno's early collaborations with Roxy Music. The fact that both know how to manipulate the spaces between the notes unites them further. Damage is full of those moments; so many, in fact, it is amazing that Fripp and Sylvian do not make the time to work together more often. "Firepower" contains a premier example of exactly how each craftsman is able to compliment the other. Fripp's extended solos at the end of the piece are definitive and singularly his own, yet the context in which he approaches his role as soloist yields an overwhelmingly palpable symbiosis between music and musician(s). Likewise, listeners who consider Fripp a calculated and overtly technical guitarist might be shocked by his cerebrally funky additions to tracks such as "God's Monkey" and "20th Century Dreaming (A Shaman's Song)." The syncopated nature of the melodies allows for a great deal of interplay and collaboration between Gunn and Mastelotto -- a trait they'd further incorporate into the mid-'90s version of King Crimson.

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