Fripp & Eno – Live in Paris 28/5/75 – (Robert Fripp & Brian Eno, guitar, tapes & electronics) – Opal Ltd./DGM

by | Sep 25, 2014 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews

Fripp & Eno – Live in Paris 28/5/75 – (Robert Fripp & Brian Eno, guitar, tapes & electronics) – Opal Ltd./DGM3101 [9/13/14] **:

In case this is new to you, Robert Fripp was guitarist for the rock band King Crimson, is reviving that music, and has more than 700 recordings in his discography. He has been influenced by classical and folk traditions and his works often involve electronics and unusual time signatures and tunings. Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist (“77 Million Paintings”), who was one of the main innovators of ambient music. He was also once a member of the rock group Roxy Music. Early on he discovered that he could make music using tape recorders and other electronic devices even though he wasn’t a musician to begin with. He has become one of the most influential artists in pop music, partly thru his idea of using the studio as a compositional tool. He refers to himself as an “Evangelical Atheist,” and has been active in Palestinian rights and the UK Human Rights Charity.

This set of three CDs consists of sounds created by Frip & Eno live in Paris 39 years ago. It preserves an evening of shared sensibility by these two musicians who went onstage with limited preparation and supposedly just went where the music seemed to lead them. The tracks have interesting names which seem to have little relationship to the sounds produced. There is a series of “Water on Water,” “Wind on Wind,” and “Wind on Water.”  The third CD consists of seven “Loops Only,” plus the track “Later On.” As if the sustaining, little changing, ambient sounds of the first two discs weren’t enough, the loops are even more sparse, with just long lower-frequency sounds that go on and on. I gather the idea is these are the Eno-supplied sounds from various tapes and synths over which Fripp’s guitar sounds are heard on the first two CDs. Remember this is 39 years ago.

What is most annoying about the set are the sounds of the audience talking, yelling, and sounding greatly impressed by various junctions in the music—such as a change in key after a long-continued section of sounds in the same key. It’s on nearly every track. Because this was recorded live, with all the audience sounds here part of the sonic event. If you’re fan of this sort of thing and you don’t mind that, then more power to you.

—John Henry

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