Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Let the Power Fall
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock
The man machine
loteq | Regensburg | 06/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"During his frighteningly productive late-`70s/early-`80s period, King Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp has worn many different creative hats. In the midst of his highly regarded collaborations with other artists, including prog-rock icons Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel, and the preparation of King Crimson's comeback in 1981, he somehow found the time to perfect the Frippertronics system he once had used on such ambient landmarks as "No pussyfooting" and "Evening star" along with Brian Eno. Using a delay system based on two Revox tape machines, the "Frippertronics" approach allows Fripp to play riffs and chords which are permanently transferred from one tape machine to the other until they either become a continuous loop of guitar sounds or fade into tape hiss and nothingness (in a footnote, Fripp ditched this equipment for his `90s "Soundscapes" albums in favor of four digital delay systems which came up with a maximum delay of 64 seconds. This means that the time span between the first note being played on the guitar and its first repetition in the system can be more than one minute). However, it should be said that "LTPF" is pretty difficult to classify; it's too loud, rigid, and immediate to be described as pure ambient music and too electronic sounding to fit into the classic prog-rock genre. In contrast to the slicker sound design of King Crimson's `80s output and the lush ambient textures of Fripp's work with Eno, "LTPF" has more hard edges than any other of his solo albums and marks an intriguing venture into abstract, chilling, and compelling sonic worlds where it's all about sound, texture and rhythm, not about songs and melody. Although describing the individual tracks is something of a pointless exercise as they all follow the basic idea of growth and decay, I'll try and do my best. The bulk of this release is taken up by three long instrumentals ("1984", "1985", "1989"), roughly 11 minutes each, with the pick of the bunch undoubtedly being the album-opening "1984": A simple, high-pitched electronic line is gradually joined by several others and fades into an appealing bed of hard-hitting guitar riffs and mathematically precise structures before psychedelic, interweaving layers of sound carry the piece for several more enchanting minutes. "1985", "1987", and "1988" are a little calmer and vaguely more neo-classical in comparison; various shimmering layers, swooshes, and keyboard-like chords created by Fripp's guitar are allowed to build the pieces before they quietly dissolve like a vapor trail. Perhaps a little less experimental in its execution, "1986" features several silent spots mixed with harsh electronic undercurrents, but the combination of quiet, echoing textures and gentle pulses which emerges near the end is impressive. "1989" is the final offering, picking up where the somewhat aggressive "1984" left off: Growing from a prominent guitar riff, the piece soon becomes a little more melodic and brings to mind the more restrained and melodic nature of Fripp's latter-day solo work. In conclusion, "LTPF" is surely one of Fripp's most carefully composed and performed albums and although sometimes a little repetitive and robotic, is mostly fascinating listening. As well as providing a missing link between Fripp's well-known work in the `70s and his Soundscapes efforts, "LTPF" can also be seen as a partial blueprint for guitar abusers like Seefeel, Main, and Fennesz. Anyone who enjoys cold, experimental guitar soundscapes should not overlook this one."
joshuamsellers | West Monroe, LA United States | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent & spare example of Fripp's "frippertronics" which he picked up from his earlier work with Brian Eno. The album is Fripp feeding two tape machines with brief one to two note phrases, gradually adding on new phrases. As the recorded phrases are looped, they gradually fade, being replaced with newer phrases. As a result, each piece evolves slowly into something new. The influence of Steve Reich & Brian Eno are present, but with a new unique element: the music is improvised. Reich's early music focused on "phase loops" which led to ever-shifting patterns. Eno's "ambient music" also used tape loops of varying lengths which created a kind of "dynamic statis." But both for both Reich & Eno, the music is already set-up, "programmed"-- what is left is the exploration for the listener to see what happens (and lot does happen!). But with Fripp, the performer actually INTERACTS with the "system," gently pushing it in new directions (a kind of postmodern Taoist music?). Like Eno, Reich, Pauline Oliveros & John Cage, there are a great many philosophical, political & ecological implications that may be discovered in this music. But this is all after the fact of listening. The most important part is to LISTEN to this music & philosophize later. This is a delightful disc!"
Frippertronics In Its Full Glory!!
Louie Bourland | Garden Grove CA | 12/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Let The Power Fall" is an experimental piece of work from King Crimson guitarist and founder Robert Fripp. The album is essentially a collection of six live improvised pieces performed solo on guitar using a method called "Frippertronics". Basically, Frippertronics is a delay system utilizing two tape machines in which the guitar's input signal is looped indefinitely creating repeated masses of sound. On no other Robert Fripp album is this method displayed at its fullest potential (his collaboration with Brian Eno "No Pussyfooting" comes close though).
Each piece begins with a series of staccato notes which build and loop onto each other until it becomes rich with sound and color. The end result is quite stunning and beautiful. The entire album basically can been heard as one piece because there is little change throughout its 52-minute total running time. The principle behind each piece is the same only with different notes and variations.
Granted, "Let The Power Fall" may be boring to some. However, the album still is great piece of work from one of rock music's all-time great eccentrics.
Robert Fripp would later expand on his Frippertronic ideas with Soundscapes using the same looping principles but utilizing MIDI-technology, digital delays and guitar-synthesizers instead of analog tape machines. Soundscapes are still an intregal part of Robert's guitar playing today.
"Let the Power Fall" is an album of surreal beauty and innovation. It's an essential title for Fripp and King Crimson afficianados, a curious and satisfying listen for everyone else."