Robert Fripp

Pie Jesu

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Robert Fripp's beautiful but brief compilation, Pie Jesu, features material from A Blessing of Tears and The Gates of Paradise; the CD acts as an appealing, accessible introduction to his contemporary Frippertronics, which Fripp appropriately terms "Soundscapes." The music, created entirely from guitar and effects, including loops, delay, and repetition, is easy to consume and digest -- a very comfortable, tranquil, flowing sound, somewhat different from his '70s Frippertronics excursions. While some critics have inappropriately termed/described his Soundscapes series as new age music, it is far from it. Fripp has been experimenting with these sounds through a variety of structures and presentations for more than 25 years. By labeling his music new age, critics are not only unjustly describing his music, but also doing a disservice to potential audiences, leading the uninitiated to a view worlds away from Fripp's textural intentions. New age music has never employed or incorporated the devices, colors and tones that Fripp has created for his unique sound. His "Soundscapes" term is musically apropos; through this music, Fripp creates sonic landscapes -- very textured, layered, multi-hued sounds, much more akin to Brian Eno's environmental/ambient projects than anything in the new age vein. Clearly, a more personal, passionate Fripp shines through in his '90s solo efforts. Fripp has always been viewed as a very intense and spiritual character, and his Soundscapes expressions seem to exhibit music that originates quite close to the heart.

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