Dearest readers, as some of you may know, it was two years ago this month that I began writing for Wave Maker Magazine and that my first significant work for said publication was the epic ‘King Crimson Week’ that the awesome founder/editor Charmaine Santos was kind enough to let me put together. Since I consider Replicant Ears a spiritual successor to WMM, I would like to honour that publication and one of my favourite bands by declaring the first week of August King Crimson Week at our publication!
Every publication day this week will featuring a different article dedicated to Robert Fripp and the mighty Crim! To kick things off, allow me to present to you a short preview of “Venturing Unto Joy Pt. I,” brand new music from the newly reformed King Crimson. This new line-up of course features the one mainstay, Robert Fripp on guitars, as well as a dream team that is sure to unleash the kind of brilliance we’ve come to expect from Crimso. Joining him are holdovers from the (sort of) last record are Jakko M. Jakszyk on vocals and guitar, Mel Collins on sax and flute, Tony Levin on bass, and Gavin Harrison on drums. With two additional drummers, Crimson alumnus Pat Mastelotto and new addition Bill Rieflin, King Crimson have actually managed to somehow one-up their ‘double trio’ line-up from 1995.
Although just a rehearsal recording and in no way a full-blown example of what any future record will sound like, “Venturing Unto Joy Pt. I” definitely sees the band livening up the sound from A Scarcity of Miracles, the last venturing bearing the Crimson brand. The music we can hear in the minute or so that the clip lasts resembles the work of the mid-seventies line-up who brought us Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red, while also sharing similarities with 1995’s THRAK, 2000’s The Construkction of Light, and 2003’s The Power To Believe. In that case, this Crimson was perfectly bred for energetic live shows.
Electing to replace longtime vocalist/guitarist Adrian Belew with Jakszyk and having Mel Collins in the line-up has screamed to me that this configuration of the band is very keen on capturing the feel of the first four records. Jakszyk was previously part of the 21st Century Schizoid Band, a tribute band made of former Crimson members that focuses on material from just those early record. As such, he can cover very well the vocals done by Greg Lake, Gordon Haskell, and Boz Burrell, whereas Belew, I felt, couldn’t really. Although “Venturing Unto Joy Pt. I” carries less of the classic Crimson sound that I was expecting, there is certainly a lot of it there regardless. Crimson has never been an outfit that is willing to cop their old sounds without some kind of new twist. What I can hear in this new track has definitely got me wound up and ready.
Let me tell you, it’s bloody good to be in Crim mode again!
RYAN SMITH spends a great deal of his time under troll bridges shaking his fist and hollering obscenities at the mainstream, but occasionally finds himself on the side of a pop act that the underground has disowned. A schizoid fan for the 21st century? Although he has a diverse musical taste that runs the gamut from black metal to country to most forms of jazz, Ryan’s first love will always be progressive music.