Exposé Online banner

King Crimson — Thrakattak
(Discipline DGM9604, 1996, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1997-02-01

Thrakattak Cover art

What more can be said about King Crimson that hasn't already been said? Not much that I can think of. They have continued to define and redefine the parameters of Progressive Rock (at least in its most popular manifestation) for the last zillion years, and nothing seems to get in their way. Thrakattak is exactly what I was hoping B'Boom would be — all music that hasn't been released yet. And what a treat it is. This is Crimson at its most extreme, creating a hell of a racket. If you loved some of the amorphous industrial-strength ramblings on the Vrooom CD, then this is just for you, an entire album of improvised music. One would have to go back to side two of the Three of a Perfect Pair album — the songs "Industry" and "No Warning" — to find other references for this type of Crimson work: loosely structured soundscapes and atmospheres, played with an acute sense of abandon. There is no jamming; no soloing over chord changes. And it's great to hear them shed some of the nagging limitations they imposed on themselves in the 80s, like Fripp's darn cymbal phobia. They seem more willing to allow elements of the 70s (although it still seems we need not bother hoping for songs other than "Larks' Tongues II" and "Red") to creep in, and that is something to which I cry , "More, More!" I just wish they would go lighter on all the technical gadgetry. It's no fun hearing a guitar play a piano sound, or an electric drum play a xylophone sound. I'd rather hear the real thing, or not hear it at all. In the final analysis, Crimson must be the only major rock band on the planet with the guts to release so uncompromising a work as Thrakattak. They are the last of their breed. And for that they have my undying respect.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford / Earthworks, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Trey Gunn

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Puissance 13+2 – This exceptional live set was taken from a series of live performances at Le Parc du Chateau d'Herouville. Again, it must be remembered that this album is a cross-section of French rock at the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues