ProjeKct Four

West Coast Live

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ProjeKct Four, the final "fractalization" (but, enigmatically, the third to be performed publicly) of King Crimson, is mainstay Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, Pat Mastelotto, and Tony Levin. Where ProjeKct One (subtract Mastelotto, add Bill Bruford on drums) ventured deep into space-jazz territory, and ProjeKct Three (again, subtract Mastelotto from the ensemble, but this time add no one) explored the improvisatory possibilities of the power trio; ProjeKct Four is a full-out stomping, raging beast of a band. The bulk of the album is one long track, "Ghost," split into eight distinct sections, four of each acting as bookends of the album. Obviously improvised, the collective falter occasionally, but for the most part skip across genres with nimble acuity. Gunn and Fripp trade solos, Mastelotto creates percussion loops on the fly with one hand while playing around a beat with the other, and Levin holds everything together with one of the fattest bass tones he's ever recorded. "Deception of the Thrush" appears as well, and it's a fantastic rendition, easily outstripping Crimson's version on the "Level Five" EP. Fripp's solo on this track, which is beautiful on other renditions of the song, is truly breath-taking here. Add Levin's groovy bass and Mastelotto's slow pounding to the mix, and this easily becomes of the best tracks produced by any of the Projekcts. While the accusation of "noodling" could be leveled at any of the Projekcts (One, especially), ProjeKct Four is probably the least noodly of them all. For Crimson fans, this is an essential purchase, for everyone else, you could do a lot worse. This is excellent stuff.

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