Various subdivisions [read: ProjeKcts] within the mid-'90s double-trio incarnation of King Crimson became the next functioning reality of the band following the dissolution of the larger unit in the spring of 1997. This 17th installment in the King Crimson Collector's Club features ProjeKct Two -- consisting of: Robert Fripp (guitar), Adrian Belew (V-drums), and Trey Gunn (touch guitar/talker) -- live in Northampton, MA, at the Pearl Street club on July 1, 1998. This instrumental trio is fuelled by some of the most chilling soundscape techniques and patterns Fripp has incorporated into any of his band recordings. The various "Vector Shift"s act as bridges as well as textural indicators of things to come. With Belew relegated to a decidedly more percussive role in this particular ProjeKct, Fripp's unmistakably pungent solo guitar lines weave hypnotically throughout the intricately funky double- and triple-time signatures of "X-chayn-jiZ." Belew's use of the electronic or "virtual" drums is often more akin to the Synclavier compositions and performances of Frank Zappa than an over-clocked Casio keyboard. Using a pastiche of sound effects and sampled percussive beats, Belew's unrelenting electro-rhythms propel Fripp and Gunn into startling sonic topography during both the preamble, "Light ConstruKction," and the denser and more viscous "Heavy ConstruKction." Another key performance from this release is "The Deception of the Thrush." These pieces would continue to coalesce in performance and would eventually inform the direction and spirit of King Crimson in 2000 when they re-formed as a quartet -- adding percussionist Pat Mastelotto. True to the nature of the Discipline Global Mobile Collector's Club, Live in Northampton, MA provides a unique glimpse of the perpetual evolution of King Crimson. This entry should be of particular note to enthusiasts eager to hear "working versions" of materials circa the ConstruKction of Light, as well as the subsequent Level Five EP and tour.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer