KING CRIMSON — The ConstruKction Of Light

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KING CRIMSON - The ConstruKction Of Light cover
3.19 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Non-Metal
By KING CRIMSON

Tracklist

1. ProzaKc Blues (5:28)
2. The ConstruKction Of Light (5:49)
3. The ConstruKction Of Light (2:50)
4. Into The Frying Pan (6:54)
5. FraKctured (9:06)
6. The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum (6:24)
7. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part IV (3:41)
8. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part IV (2:50)
9. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part IV (2:36)
10. Coda: I Have A Dream (4:51)
11. Heaven And Earth (7:46)

Total Time 58:18

Line-up/Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitar, vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Trey Gunn / bass touch guitar, baritone guitar
- Pat Mastelotto / drumming

About this release

May 23, 2000
Virgin

Thanks to andyman1125, UMUR, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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KING CRIMSON THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"The ConstruKction of Light" is the twelfth full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act King Crimson. The album was released through Virgin Records in May 2000. It´s the successor to "Thrak" from 1995. The band at this point consisted of Adrian Belew on guitars and vocals, Robert Fripp on guitars, Trey Gunn on bass, touch guitars, and baritone guitars, and Pat Mastelotto on drums. Fripp was never satisfied with the way the album turned out, feeling the band had rushed into the studio without letting the compositions develop in a live environment before recording them in the studio. Therefore a remixed and remastered version of the album titled "The ReconstruKction Of Light" appeared in 2019. In addition to remixing and remastering the album Mastelotto also re-recorded his drum parts for the 2019 version of the album.

Stylistically the material on the album is experimental/progressive rock. Demanding as ever as the notes are often played in unusual succesion (chromatic runs and unconventional scales/choices of notes) and twisted in innovative ways. "The ConstruKction of Light" is unmistakably a King Crimson album. No one really sounds like them. The music is dark (which you would probably have guessed from looking at the bleak cover artwork) and at times pretty complex too. Tracks like the instrumental "The ConstruKction of Light (Part One)", "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part IV (Part One)", and the insanely complex "FraKctured" are arguably among the most challenging compositions King Crimson have ever produced. The latter should actually please fans of technical/progressive metal as parts of the song could be compared to the most technically focused acts in that genre. The heaviness and harshness of the track too.

The album features some great tracks with vocals too. "Into the Frying Pan" features some delightfully dark harmony vocals that remind me of some of the dark and twisted vocal parts on Alice In Chains eponymously titled third album from 1995. Bleak as hell and a real treat. "ProzaKc Blues" isn´t a personal favorite track (because of the silly low growling vocals) but it´s a solid composition, completely twisting the conventions of a blues. "The ConstruKction of Light (Part Two)" is one of the highlights of the album (of the tracks featuring vocals).

The production is thick, heavy, and dark (slightly less on the 2019 version). The way the bass sounds on the this album is heavier than heavy. What a treat. The drums feature such a powerful and meaty sound too. The sound production is overall of a great quality. "The ConstruKction of Light " is one of King Crimson´s heavier albums and maybe that´s why it often receives such harsh criticism from progressive rock fans. Coming from a background in metal this doesn´t bother me at all though and I find it to be an excellent and very focused album in King Crimson´s discography. It´s not their most groundbreaking release, but it´s solid and enjoyable. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Warthur
King Crimson have always done their absolute best work when they have both a stable lineup and a compelling musical vision to lend cohesiveness to the compositions. For their first phase (from In the Court... to Islands) they had the vision but not the stable lineup, so whilst the debut album was fabulous the next three were a little hit-and-miss - though thanks to the musical vision expressed they were always interesting.

Then you have the glorious mid-1970s phase, where the stable core of Wetton, Bruford and Fripp gave a bedrock of stability and the band pursued a new, raw musical direction which paid massive dividends. And, of course, after that you have the 1980s incarnation of the band, which held a rock-solid lineup for its three albums and once again had an intriguing musical direction to follow.

I guess this is why the post-THRAK reincarnation of the band has little interest for me, because it enjoys neither a stable lineup nor a particularly interesting or revolutionary musical direction. See, for instance, The ConstruKction of Light, recorded following the collapse of THRAK's double trio lineup. Songs like ProzaKc Blues and The World's My Oyster... seem to show a somewhat flippant approach to the album, almost as though the band themselves couldn't take the project seriously, and the tedious attempts at recycling old ideas from the band's heyday go nowhere.

At around this time Fripp was quite taken with the whole ProjeKct idea, which was an attempt to use the fluctuating and unstable lineups of Crimson as an advantage rather than a weakness, but to be honest I've never heard anything from the ProjeKcts that struck me as being more than a fun but unsatisfying diversion and it seems with ConstruKction the core band itself wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders either.

It's a real shame, because I had respected Fripp's habit of breaking up King Crimson when there was no reason for it to exist and only resurrecting it when he felt that there was a particular need to take a Crimsonian approach to an album. The ConstruKction of Light stands as proof that this approach, by 2000, was long-dead: it's King Crimson existing and plodding on simply for the sake of being King Crimson, without any consideration of whether there's any need for King Crimson right now.

EDIT: Since I wrote the above review the story of The ConstruKction of Light has taken a new turn, with the album being rereleased as The ReconstruKction of Light in a new version (also found on the Heaven & Earth boxed set).

Even Robert Fripp himself has been quite down on The ConstruKction of Light's original release, recorded as it was without the customary refinement of the material on the road. It's no surprise, then, that with this reissue of the album that he's been more interventionist than usual with the mix and mastering, perhaps trying to adjust the studio versions in light of subsequent lessons learned live.

On top of that, because some of the original session recordings were lost, Pat Mastelotto ended up rerecording the drum parts. Usually, I look askance when artists do this sort of thing, but this is a special case. For one thing, at least it's Pat rerecording Pat's parts, so it's not an act of disrespect towards the original performers on the level of, say, Ozzy Osbourne redoing the drum parts on some CD versions of his early solo albums with a different drummer. For another, it gives Pat a chance to rerecord the material using his customary hybrid acoustic/electronic drums, and with the experience of playing the pieces live.

In other words, short of the entire lineup from this era reuniting to rerecord the album all over again (or assembling an alternate take of the album from live recordings, as Fripp has apparently considered doing), The ReconstruKction of Light is about as close to a "do-over" of The ConstruKction of Light as we are likely to get. The end result is pretty good, with Pat behind the drumstool and Don Gunn behind the mixing desk performing a heroic rescue of the album. Let's say the ReconstruKction's worthy of three and a half stars, whilst the original ConstruKction was more of a 2-star number.

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  • Pekka
  • karolcia
  • Peacock Feather
  • LightningRider
  • GWLHM76
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