21st Century Fripp

Financial Times has a short but good interview with the inimitable Robert Fripp. The most recent music I had heard from him was A Blessing of Tears and 1999 (more soundscapes were made later on, in the early-00’s as well… need to find those). From the tone of the article, Fripp does appear to have semi-retired, however:

“My life as a professional musician […] is a joyless exercise in futility.”

With Fripp at 66, the FT article’s more interested in the looking-back of a grizzled old prog-rock icon than in talking about contemporary music, which is a shame. I know he did some work with the early Orb back in the day. I would have liked to have heard his opinion on current idm/e-music (if he had any). Instead, the usual Fripp interview about the absurdity of the music industry in its business aspects. (I have an old issue of Guitar Player from the mid-1980s around here somewhere, where he gives an interview saying much the same thing). That said, Universal has (allegedly) been unkind to him in its handling of distribution and download rights.

Whenever I look back on music I liked, or music I tried to ‘borrow from’, or music I didn’t necessarily like but at least understood What Was Being Attempted, it often ends up traced back to Fripp or Eno…. either their work, directly, or once or twice removed. Eno coined the old joke about the Velvet Underground: That hardly anyone bought any of their albums at the time, but those who did all seem to have started bands. Fripp and Eno, in much the same way, tend to fall into the Subset of Darlings for most bedroom-and-basement e-musicans, pro or otherwise. I’m even old enough to remember when those names were a kind of ‘litmus test’, to be used to identify the like-minded. Mention one name or the other, see the reaction. Maybe have a conversation.

Sweet youth… and long-gone days, of course. Long-gone enough that I can’t find much of the stuff online (I just spent much of the morning looking). And while Amazon has some of the CD’s of the Soundscape stuff, they appear to be out of print and somewhat expensive because of this. Guess I’ll be hanging on to what I have.

Fripp’s company/collective, Discipline Global Mobile has a good website with lots of assorted, relevant links & goodies: Here. There’s a King Crimson fan site/wiki, as well.

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