Box set celebrates 20th anniversary of THRAK album
By David Sands
August 11, 2015
The mid-1990s were a pretty righteous time to be a King Crimson fan.
Those were the years of the prog band’s much talked about double trio incarnation, featuring Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew on guitars, Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto on drums, Tony Levin on bass and Chapman Stick and Trey Gunn on strings and Warr guitar. It was an era where the band explored ambient electronic sound and jazz-influenced arrangements and went a little wild with touch-style tap instrumentation.
It’s now been about two decades since those heady times, and King Crimson’s record label, DGM, is in the mood to celebrate. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the group’s inventively unconventional THRAK album, the company is releasing a special 16-disc box set called THRAK BOX.
What that actually boils down to is 12 CDs, two DVDs and two Blu-Ray discs packed with audio and visual goodies. The offerings stretch from the lineup’s earliest band rehearsals to their final get together in Nashville in 1997, and a lot of what’s in the box set will be appearing as new 5.1 Surround and Hi-Resolution stereo mixes. THRAK BOX will appear in a 12 inch square box and come with a full-size booklet.
Listeners can look forward to a wealth of material, including alternate takes and unreleased songs from the THRAK recording sessions, a 2002 remaster of the album, a 2015 remix that Robert Fripp describes as “transformative,” live recordings from shows in London, New York and Mexico City, an augmented version of the long-unavailable mini-album VROOOM, and a “sequel” to Crimson’s avant-garde live album THRaKaTTaK called ATTAKcATHRAK.
The video is rather impressive too, featuring a complete 1995 concert at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, live footage from the 1995 Live in Japan performance, an Electronic Press Kit video of the making of the THRAK album at Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld Studios, and, perhaps best of all clips from bassist Tony Levin’s road movies.
According to DGM’s website, the footage filmed by Levin has been newly mastered for High Definition and includes a “a soundtrack of previously unreleased material drawn from the band’s earliest rehearsals in 1994 – the first time that Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Bill Bruford met together (at Bill’s own studio).”
The target date for the THRAK BOX release is October 16. Pre-orders online and at stores are expected to begin during the middle of this month. Fans who want to get a hold of the new stereo and 5.1 mixes will also be able to purchase a CD/DVD release on the same day.
As for the current lineup of the band—Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jakko Jakszyk and Bill Rieflin—they’re currently gearing up for a U.K. tour that begins later this month.
Tony Levin spoke of rehearsing for the group’s upcoming shows in a recent post on his website.
“Rehearsing with Crimson is always challenging… we’ve got material old and new to try to master, and new ideas are welcome,” he said. “I’m experimenting with attaching two or three picks together, to have the option for a double and triple attack.”
The U.K. tour kicks off Aug. 31 in Aylesbury, England. After King Crimson wraps up in merry old England, they’re slated to play shows in Europe, Canada and Japan.
Title: THRAK BOX
Artist: King Crimson
Release Date: October 16, 2015
THRAK BOX contents:
CD 1: JurassiKc THRAK, alternate takes and unrealeased tracks from THRAK.
CD 2: Max VROOOM, the long-unavailable mini-album VROOOM, augmented with tracks & edits from the KC Club release: The VROOOM Sessions
CD 3: THRAK 2002 remaster
CD 4: ATTAKcATHRAK (The Vicar’s THRAK)
CD 5: 2015 Jakko Jakszyk/Robert Fripp THRAK remix
CD 6: Byte Size THRAK, compilation of singles edits, live tracks from promos, a 12″ mix edit
CDs 7/8: Kcensington THRAK, new mix of London 1995 concerts
CDs 9/10: New YorKc THRAK, complete setlist from the 1995 NYC shows
CDs 11/12: AzteKc THRAK, complete setlist from 1996 Mexico City concerts
Blu-Ray 1: Hi-res audio-only disc, featuring Surround Sound (and Hi-Res stereo) mixes of THRAK, ATTAKcATHRAK & Kcensington THRAK and Hi-Res stereo versions of JurassiKc THRAK, THRAKaTTAK and the official live Argentina bootleg B’Boom.
Blu-Ray 2: 1995 San Francisco concert at The Warfield Theatre (Hi Definition and 5.1 Surround Sound), Tony Levin’s Road Movies (Hi Definition and Surround Sound), Making of THRAK EPK video (Surround Sound)
DVD-A 1: THRAK (5.1 Surround Sound and Hi Res stereo mixes of 2015 Jakszyk/Fripp remix), 2002 master of the original stereo mix.
DVD 1: 1995 San Francisco concert at The Warfield Theatre Concert, Tony Levin’s Road Movies
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