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, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Trey Gunn

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano / Out of Noise – Some thirty-five years ago Japanese rock music was still an unknown subject, the only exception being percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta. Then came the Yellow Magic Orchestra, which marked the beginning...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues