robert fripp

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PETER HAEDER PROFILED: Portrait of the artist as musical itinerant

PETER HAEDER PROFILED: Portrait of the artist as musical itinerant

In a recent conversation this German-born Auckland-based guitarist mentioned an album of his I had forgotten about: it was Kling-Klang (on Ode) and at a guess came from some time in the early-to-mid 90s. His mention of it prompted me to get it out again because I had been very taken with it at the time. It was Haeder in a variety of...

Nigel Gavin: Thrum (Ode)

Nigel Gavin: Thrum (Ode)

Auckland-based guitarist Nigel Gavin has appeared previously on Elsewhere -- see tag -- so it would be remiss if not downright rude to overlook this reissue of his excellent '03 solo album, which went largely ignored at the time as it came out on the small, independent Rouge label. Now getting national distribution through Ode, Thrum...

Jacob Young: Sideways (ECM/Ode)

Jacob Young: Sideways (ECM/Ode)

With the same refined band as on his ECM debut of three years or so ago, this Norwegian-American guitarist has once again crafted an album of subtle shades, gentle lyricism and persuasive melodies. At times you may hear suggestions of Pat Metheny at his most quietly romantic, at other times Young steps aside to let trumper Matthias Eick or...

Travis & Fripp: Thread (Southbound)

Travis & Fripp: Thread (Southbound)

By coincidence this disc turned up as I was reading David Sheppard's fascinating (if fruitily written) biography of Brian Eno, On Some Faraway Beach.I was at the chapters about his work with avant-guitarist Robert Fripp on two of my favourite albums No Pussyfooting ('73) and Evening Star ('75) which seemed to define an art music within a rock...

Fripp and Eno: Beyond Even; 1992-2006 (Opal/Southbound)

Fripp and Eno: Beyond Even; 1992-2006 (Opal/Southbound)

As mentioned in the previous posting of the Travis and Fripp album, when guitarist Fripp got into the studio alongside musician-without-portfolio Brian Eno for the albums Evening Star and No Pussyfooting in the early 70s a particular magic was created. Not ambient music (that was to follow from Eno) but more like music as an emotional...

Nigel Gavin: A Job with the Circus (DVD by Costa Botes)

Nigel Gavin: A Job with the Circus (DVD by Costa Botes)

When I wrote the liner notes for Nigel Gavin's excellent Visitation album from late 06 I described him as "a musician without portfolio, a guitarist/composer whose work comfortably commands many different styles". Confirming that assessment were the list of people/bands he had worked with to that point: the Nairobi Trio, the Jews...

Fripp and Eno: No Pussyfooting (1973) and Evening Star (1975)

Fripp and Eno: No Pussyfooting (1973) and Evening Star (1975)

Context is everything -- or almost everything -- at Essential Elsewhere, these being albums you can return to repeatedly so probably stand outside of time, yet are always born of a specific place and time. Even if they owe nothing to it. And these two albums - the first "pair" of Essential Elsewhere albums -- seem to owe very...

ROBERT FRIPP INTERVIEWED (1990): The economic man at work

ROBERT FRIPP INTERVIEWED (1990): The economic man at work

The only sound in this small foyer is a huge fly buzzing monotonously and occasionally slapping itself into the windows. Peter, one of the guitarists studying at this retreat in Howick whispers “are you the journalist?” and our conversation is carried out in hushed voices so as not to disturb the 20 or so people in the room next...

KING CRIMSON IN RETROSPECT: A child's guide to early days in the kingdom

KING CRIMSON IN RETROSPECT: A child's guide to early days in the kingdom

A true story from the battleground of fun: a few fortyjust wags finishing last bottles when someone mentions an album title which reduces the gathering to choking laughter for a good two minutes. As someone observed later, “it’s some album when just the title breaks you up.” True – but the album in question...

Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (UNSPK)

As the band most likely to be cited when the discussion turned to "post-rock", this five-piece from Chicago have been critically acclaimed for their magpie tendencies (they lift from prog-rock, free jazz, punk, post-punk, electronica, Can and other equally unconstrained Krautrock bands) but largely haven't connected with an audience...

TERJE RYPDAL, ECM GUITARIST (2009): The career, and careering across the disc

TERJE RYPDAL, ECM GUITARIST (2009): The career, and careering across the disc

Like many artists on the ECM label, the Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal is largely faceless: you could have listened to his albums for decades as I have done and still pass him in the supermarket and not recognise him. By my count he’s done about 20 albums under his own name on ECM, and appeared on almost as many others as one of...

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

For the first two-thirds of this album featuring guitarist Abercrombie, violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron, the more vigorous emotions are kept in check: the tunes breeze by on Abercrombie's fluid and smooth, warm tone, Feldman offers the barests of suggestions of gypsy violin (and its attendant humours) -- and...

Pylon: Chomp More (DFA)

Pylon: Chomp More (DFA)

Anyone taken by the jerky and anxious sound of the Essential Elsewhere album by the Feelies, Crazy Rhythms, might find this one a similarly enticing proposition. Released in '83 by a four-piece out of Athens, Georgia fronted by Vanessa Briscoe's yelp'n'edgy vocals, this was the second album for Pylon who were much admired by the young REM....

David Sylvian: Gone to Earth (1986)

David Sylvian: Gone to Earth (1986)

You never know quite how people are going to turn out: they find bodies under the floorboards in the house of that polite boy next door, the rebel girl in school becomes a nun, and David Sylvian . . . .? When David Sylvian (born David Batt in Kent, 1958) first appeared on the music scene it was as a member of the glam rock band Japan and it...

Joe Robinson: Time Jumpin' (Universal)

Joe Robinson: Time Jumpin' (Universal)

Not being a great watcher of mainstream television means I happily get to miss things like Australia's Got Talent. (I didn't doubt it, the Easybeats, the Church and AC/DC are great.) But that also means people like me miss someone like 18-year old acoustic guitarist Robinson who won the "play-off" in 2008. Let it be said...

Jeff Beck: Emotion and Commotion (Atco)

Jeff Beck: Emotion and Commotion (Atco)

Jeff Beck's career has certainly seem some troughs -- usually by virtue of his absence from playing when the mood didn't take him -- but latterly he has enjoyed some great highs. His recent touring reminded again of what a colourful palette he commands -- from fusion rock to great delicacy, often within the same piece -- and that he does...

Devo: Something for Everybody (Warners)

Devo: Something for Everybody (Warners)

Although I don't get the point of Blondie or the Pretenders in the 21st century, there seems to me a place for Devo: after all, they were always looking to that devolved future when things got worse and worse (like having Blondie and Chrissie still out on the traps?) And of course here they clear the ground for themselves with the two...

Blood and Burger: Guitar Music (Derniere Bande)

Blood and Burger: Guitar Music (Derniere Bande)

The great jazz, post-Hendrix and entirely Elsewhere guitarist James Blood Ulmer delivered exceptional albums of post-Ornette Coleman harmolodic music such as Tales of Captain Black and Are You Glad To Be In America on John Snyder's short-lived but creditable Artist House label. But then he slowly evaporated from...

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

BRIAN ENO: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (2011) (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

Despite the title here being appropriated from David Bowie, this does seem a fair description of Brian Eno, the self-described "non-musician" who made his name in Roxy Music as the flamboyant synth-twiddler who brought an avant-garde sensibility to a band which might have otherwise simply sounded retro and poopy. Eno's sonic...

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

With the (almost) complete Pink Floyd catalogue being re-presented shortly, the Moody Blues arriving on our shores and bands like The Mars Volta, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree pushing the boundaries, there seems to be quite a lot of progressive rock, if not exactly old school prog-rock, out there. Of course it never really went away and...

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

Steven Wilson doesn't sound remotely angry, just weary, when he says a major British newspaper declined to review his new album Grace For Drowning. They said he was too under-the-radar and no one knew who he was.“Well, that's frustrating,” he sighs, “because most of the music they write about is completely unknown and...

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

Of all the albums in the early King Crimson catalogue -- those between their '69 debut In The Court of the Crimson King and Red in '74 -- Lizard is the one which has most divided critics and fans. Even KC founder and sole constant Robert Fripp has considered it largely unloved, and he doesn't strike anyone as being modest about his music....

CAN'S CLASSIC TAGO MAGO; 40 YEARS ON (2011): Pre-post-rock with a sonic sweep

CAN'S CLASSIC TAGO MAGO; 40 YEARS ON (2011): Pre-post-rock with a sonic sweep

If you applied cold logic, on paper most band line-ups wouldn't make much sense. With hindsight you can see the internal faultlines which would pull apart so many of them. None of that matters of course, as long as at some point they make great music. And Can out of Germany certainly did that, although on paper the line-up for their...

Brian Eno, Before And After Science (1977)

Brian Eno, Before And After Science (1977)

Of the many dozens of diverse albums by Brian Eno -- who flared onto the music scene for the first two glam-louche Roxy Music albums -- this is the best window into his remarkable career. As a producer he was pivotal in the work of David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads, U2 among many others. But he also created seminal albums of ambient music...

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene (1977)

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene (1977)

Sometimes in history there comes that rare conjunction of the artist, the time and the art. In the case of Jean Michel Jarre it seemed they were all out of alignment. He could not have chosen a more inhospitable climate into which release his work. Jarre's album Oxygene came out in France in 1976 but wasn't given release in...

Peter Haeder: Emerald/Singularity (Attar/Ode)

Peter Haeder: Emerald/Singularity (Attar/Ode)

Guitarist Haeder -- who sometimes records as phaeder -- has certainly spread his talents widely: he's played avant-garde improvised music; made music for film and television; done an album of almost life-threateningly fast techno (Lotus Beat of 2003); and, as a longtime Buddhist, has recorded haunting deevotional chants. On Emerald however he...

Nigel Gavin: Visitation (Thrum/Rhythmethod)

Nigel Gavin: Visitation (Thrum/Rhythmethod)

Guitarist Gavin is probably well known to more people than they realise: he has played with the Nairobi Trio, the Jews Brothers, created the guitar orchestra Gitbox Rebellion, and has been on albums by Wayne Gillespie, Ross Mullins and Whirimako Black. But it has always been his own albums -- limited edition and so under the radar for most...

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