||Meltdown (Live in Mexico, 2017) (Oct. 19, 2018)
King Crimson — Meltdown (Live in Mexico, 2017) (Oct. 19, 2018)Format: Video
✹ Codec: MPEG~4 AVC
✹ Resolution: 1080p
✹ Music: DTS~HD Master Audio 5.1
✹ Music: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24~bit)
✹ Blu~ray Disc
✹ Four~disc set (1 BD, 3 CDs)
Playback: Region A
Album release: Oct. 19, 2018
Record Label: Panegyric Recordings
✹ Meltdown (Live in Mexico City), a new four~disc deluxe set next month that features over three and a half hours of material performed during the band’s five nights residency at Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City in July 2017.
✹ The audio is available across the three CDs but the blu~ray element features over two hours of multi~camera HD footage with an 24/48 LPCM hi~res stereo and 5.1 DTS HD~MA surround sound. This disc comes with a ‘picture off’ mode too, if those pesky visuals get in the way of a real lossless audio experience! The audio has been mixed by King Crimson member Bill Rieflin, from full multi track recordings.
✹ The four discs come in two mini~LP CD vinyl replica~style gatefold wallets which reside in an outer slipcase. A booklet includes photos by Tony Levin and new sleeve notes is included.
✹ Meltdown includes, for the first time with this line~up, audio recordings of Breathless, Discipline, Moonchild and Tony and Jeremy’s nightly Cadenza improvs.
✹ Mixed by Don Gunn, Mixes produced by King Crimson member Bill Rieflin from full multi~track recordings and presented in two mini~vinyl style gatefold packs with booklet — including photos by Tony Levin and sleeve notes — enclosed in an outer slipcase.
01 Walk On 3:46
02 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One 9:28
03 Neurotica 4:58
04 Cirkus 7:41
05 Dawn Song 2:20
06 Last Skirmish 6:11
07 Prince Rupert’s Lament 2:31
08 The Hell Hounds of Krim 3:43
09 Red 6:43
10 Fallen Angel 6:09
11 Islands 9:03
12 The Talking Drum 3:48
13 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two 7:02
01 Walk On 2 0:39
02 Indiscipline 7:59
03 The ConstruKction of Light 6:05
04 Epitaph 8:33
05 Banshee Legs Bell Hassle 1:40
06 Easy Money 9:57
07 Interlude 2:47
08 The Letters 6:13
09 The Sailor’s Tale 6:24
10 CatalytiKc No. 9 1:13
11 Meltdown 4:23
12 Radical Action II 2:28
13 Level Five 7:08
14 Starless 12:47
01 Walk On 3 0:44
02 Peace — An End 1:57
03 Pictures of a City 8:22
04 Devil Dogs Of Tessellation Row 3:10
05 Fracture 11:03
06 The Court of the Crimson King 7:03
07 Heroes 4:42
08 21st Century Schizoid Man 13:13
09 Discipline 5:29
10 Moonchild 2:28
11 Tony’s Cadenza 1:20
12 Jeremy’s Cadenza 1:06
13 Breathless 5:00
14 Cool Jam 2:32
Blu’Ray ((Audio/Video, 24/48 LPCM Stereo & 5.1 DTS HD~MA surround sound):
02 Pictures of a City
04 Dawn Song
05 Last Skirmish
06 Prince Rupert’s Lament
08 Devil Dogs
12 Peace — An End
13 Easy Money
15 The Letters
16 The Sailors Tale
17 Catalytic No 9
18 Fallen Angel
19 The Talking Drum
20 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part 2
22 The Hell Hounds of Krim
21st Century Schizoid Man
℗ 2018 Robert Fripp on behalf of King Crimson
✹ Mel Collins: Saxes & flute
✹ Robert Fripp: Guitar & keyboards
✹ Gavin Harrison: Drums,
✹ Jakko Jakszyk: Guitar & voice
✹ Tony Levin: Basses & stick
✹ Pat Mastelotto: Drums,
✹ Bill Rieflin: Keyboards
✹ Jeremy Stacey: Drums & keyboards
✹ Mixed by Don Gunn, Mixes produced by King Crimson member Bill Rieflin.
By JOHN KELMAN, October 13, 2018 (excerpt)
✹ It might be possible to assess these as just particularly good performances during an especially strong series of five shows defined, as much by the group’s excellence as they are by the Mexico City audience’s notable enthusiasm, which Fripp also writes about, from a number of perspectives:
✹ „The audience, the most enthusiastic we have seen, even wild at places; but mostly exceptionally courteous.“
✹ „...many young women dancing, singing along. Quite remarkable and very moving to see how KC music has touched so many.“
✹ „This beginning~again KC can be seen as Formation 8.3. But, for me, the beginning again~again KC is properly Formation Nine, appearing at the Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City on the evening of Friday, 14th. July 2017. The wonderful audience made the transition possible. In a sense, this audience was the midwife to Formation Nine.“
✹ Meltdown can, in some ways, be seen as the 2018 cousin of 2016’s Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind) (Panegyric). Both are the only live documents of Crimson 8/9 to feature both audio and video content. Both, too, sum up the repertoire of that Crimson’s lineup, though Radical Action included performances of every song the lineup performed during the 2015 tour, while there are some notable absences („The Errors,“ „Exiles,“ „VROOM“) of songs played during the Mexico City run. And while Radical Action included some material for the very first time on a Crimson 8.x live release, the only previously unheard piece included in the Mexico City set is „CatalytiKc No. 9,“ a percussion feature barely breaking the one~minute mark. The inclusion , however, of six bonus tracks, described as 2018 Official Bootleg in their being soundboard recordings rather than the superb Rieflin~produced/Don Gunn mixes from the Mexico City performances, are certainly welcome as they bring Meltdown’s set list almost to the present. Almost.
✹ But it really is in assessing just what happened in Mexico City, during five performances beginning a mere sixteen days after Chicago (and with only six live shows between them) that really makes Meltdown such an essential document in the ongoing evolution of King Crimson 8/9.
✹ Fripp’s comment that „In this incarnation there is no member/s who believes themself to be special, or their contribution privileged in some way“ mirrors a similar sentiment from a famous jazz guitarist (who will remain unnamed, as this was an off~the~record, private comment) that he was enjoying his then~current band so much because „There’s no melodrama. Every night each member of the band comes to the gig with no other purpose than to play their very best.“
✹ For those experiencing this lineup for the first time on Meltdown, it bears repeating that Fripp is clearly enjoying playing with an incarnation of King Crimson that, it would seem for the first time, is about the collective, with egos checked at the door and no purpose other than to deliver the best performance possible on any given night, with the assumption that as consistently superb as they are, some nights — some specific performances of particular compositions — are better than others. As has been written about shows seen in San Francisco, Montréal and Toronto between 2014 and ’17, this is the first Crimson in decades: where Fripp is as well~lit as the rest of the band; where the guitarist can be seen engaging in frequent eye contact with his band mates, his slight grin a clear encouragement and response to what’s happening around him; and where he can also be seen looking out at the audience.
✹ But for all that, this is, indeed, a Crimson where nobody is featured yet everyone shines. Ok, not entirely true, as everyone in the band has moments where the spotlight would be on them...if there actually was a spotlight. But this version of King Crimson has eschewed anything visual beyond the massive import of its lineup and the eye~grabbing performances of everyone in the group...sometimes, so many taking place concurrently that it’s difficult to know where to look.
✹ And that is where the video content of Meltdown really helps elucidate everything, but most notably who is playing what. Radical Action’s video portion utilized fixed webcams, and so it was up to the editor to move between cameras and utilize cross~fades, split screens and more to create the sense of motion that was absent from using this type of technology. With Meltdown, better cameras are used, though still none getting in the way of the group’s performances as is so often the case, with camera operators climbing all around the stage to get angles and shots. Here, David Taylor’s cameras are judiciously arranged so that it’s possible to get a full~on look at the band, as if sitting in a great central seat. There are also cameras that focus, from various angles, on each member of the band, along with side and back views that provide perspectives no ticket holder can get. And, just as importantly, video director Matt Skerritt avoids the rapid cuts that make so many contemporaneous music performance videos just plain irritating.
✹ Instead, Skerritt allows plenty of time with each shot, in order to absorb what is going on, also utilizing split screens (from two and three to, at one point, all eight) to demonstrate when members of the group are playing key parts either alone or together with others. It makes for an enlightening watch (even for those who’ve seen the group multiple times since it began touring in 2014), as it’s finally possible to see, for example, which keyboardist is doing what during the three~keyboard segments of „Cirkus,“ or how the three drummers’ parts are sometimes constructed like a thundering yet still fragile house of cards: remove any one part from the equation and the entire rhythmic whole would collapse. But, of course, it never does.
✹ There are so many highlights that it would be impossible to list them all, but suffice to say that the biggest walkaway from Meltdown is how each band member has really grown so much into his own skin with this group over the past half decade. Comparing material that’s been in Crimson’s set lists since 2014 to Meltdown and it’s hard to deny just how much better everyone is getting, both individually and collectively. While confined, to some extent, by some monumentally complex arrangements, the freedom that has been one of Crimson 8/9’s cornerstones since its inception has only become greater, broader, deeper.
✹ And, as is absolutely true here, if music is as essential to the lives of even some of its fans, something without which life would simply not be as rich, rewarding and enlightening an experience, then perhaps music — which certainly brings people together in an all~too~often (and increasingly) divided world — really can change the world. (https://www.allaboutjazz.com/)
||Meltdown (Live in Mexico, 2017) (Oct. 19, 2018)