Friday, December 2, 2011

Robert Fripp - Let The Power Fall (An Album Of Frippertronics) (Editions EG - EGED 10)

Robert Fripp is a name which you can bump into a lot if you are listening Brian Eno. The contributions of these two names to the world of music and to each other have been enormous. Moreover, the fruitfulness of both names have created such works that are totally breathtaking. Unfortunately even though I have almost all works of both artists, I have been quite lazy in reviewing any of them. Another reason was that I've listened those records long before I came up with the idea of writing this blog and since I'm still trying to catch up with the records that I've bought and have not yet listened, it will probably take some while as well.

Anyway, coming back to Fripp, there is one thing I've got to mention before I move on to the album. Fripp is a well established guitarist. Even though I don't believe in the poorly prepared lists of magazines like Rolling Stones' All Time Best Guitarists etc, even a wrong clock shows the right time twice a day. Mr. Fripp himself is among the best guitarists list with a well earned place.

Let The Power Fall is an album which was prepared along the 5 month worldwide tour of Fripp for the roadshow of Frippertronics. As you can guess from the name, this is a technique devised by Fripp himself which is itself a tape looping technique. Brian Eno was a frequent follower of this technique as can be heard from his works.

The titles on this album are named after years which are designated by the composer based on where he thinks the world will be driving to. Change is the main theme of the album and structural change can be labelled as the main sub-theme. Fripp believes that structural change is needed and this can only be achieved through behavioral change. He explains that he has observed this during the tour of Frippertronics in 1979 while visiting various cities, watching people, sitting in restaurants, cafes etc.

The music can be briefly identified as atmospheric electronic music with filtered guitar sounds acommpanying. It has a more futuristic sound which is not very surprising given the year the titles were composed. You can take A Space Odyssey, Star Wars as a starting point and other futuristic movements were following. However, Fripp directly attached a philosophical foundation to his works and moved on from there.

The album as being a Frippertronics album, is sometimes feeling like a giant loop with smaller loops in it. The main sound structure of the album doesn't change very much from track to track. However, nuances are there for a more careful listener and these small changes can be interpreted as steps for a bigger change to come. Actually when we talk about change, our main idea is a drastic development of events or behavior in our environment. On the other hand if we take nature as a basis point, change is a continuous process moving slowly, but without any break. Change takes time to be fully effective and sudden alterations are never really there to stay.

After this much chit chat, it is evident that Fripp has a picture in his mind while composing these works. Moreover, this picture is somewhat very close to what we have seen and what we are to see in the near future. Some of the changes he has pointed out have been noticed, yet some changes I believe are still going unnoticed during our fast moving and consuming lives where we are not taking a break to evaluate our surroundings. Sometimes it is better to stop and watch. Nothing is running away.

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