Title - 'Meltdown: Live In Mexico City 2017'
Artist - King Crimson
For those not in the know, King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968.
In fact, King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists.
Indeed, the band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history of which 21 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin.
Nowadays, Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force and with the band having earned a large cult following, they were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
The just-released Meltdown: Live in Mexico City 2017 is a wondrous deluxe 3CD + Blu-Ray set, presented in two mini-vinyl style gatefold packs with booklet including photos by Tony Levin and new sleeve notes enclosed in an outer slipcase.
Mixed by King Crimson member Bill Rieflin from full multi track recordings the three CDs feature over three and a half hours of material performed during the band's five nights residency at Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City in July 2017 + audio extras.
The highly impressive Blu-ray features over two hours of multi camera HD recorded footage from Mexico City and comes complete with an audio soundtrack in 24/48 LPCM Hi-res stereo and 5.1 DTS HD-MA; with "picture off" mode allowing the music to be heard independently in pristine, lossless audio.
1. 'Walk On'
2. 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part One'
5. 'Dawn Song'
6. 'Last Skirmish'
7. 'Prince Rupert's Lament'
8. 'The Hell Hounds of Krim'
10. 'Fallen Angel'
12. 'The Talking Drum'
13. 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two'
2. 'The Construkction of Light'
4. 'Banshee Legs Bell Hassle'
5. 'Easy Money'
7. 'The Letters'
8. 'The Sailor's Tale'
9. 'Catalytikc No. 9'
11. 'Radical Action II'
12. 'Level Five'
1. 'Peace - An End'
2. 'Pictures of a City'
3. 'Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row'
5. 'The Court of the Crimson King'
7. '21st Century Schizoid Man'
10. 'Tony's Cadenza'
11. 'Jeremy's Cadenza'
+ Blu-ray (Audio/Video)
1. 'Walk On'
3. 'Pictures of a City'
5. 'Dawn Song'
6. 'Last Skirmish'
7. 'Prince Rupert’s Lament'
9. 'Devil Dogs'
12. 'Intermission - Indiscipline'
13. 'Peace – An End'
14. 'Easy Money'
16. 'The Letters'
17. 'The Sailors Tale'
18. 'CatalytiKc No. 9'
19. 'Fallen Angel'
20. 'The Talking Drum'
21. 'Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part 2'
23. 'The Hell Hounds of Krim'
24. '21st Century Schizoid Man'
As I'm sure all KC fans are aware, King Crimson has continued to evolve over the years and in doing so, their improvisational perspective has widened, I think I'd be safe in saying.
Ergo, Crimson's evolution in band members along the way, and also in the past few years, has meant that the core - Fripp - has himself become far more organic to each and every project (live or otherwise).
And so, live in Mexico City in 2017, Crimson's five night stand produced some of their best work to date. Refreshed and revitalized material from (almost) across the band's entire history sprung forth and one can only put that down to the "newer" personnel being welcomed to interpret studio material - that had originally included far more layers and instrumentation than any of Crimson's previous quartet configurations - in their own ways.
"In this incarnation there is no member/s who believes themself to be special, or their contribution privileged in some way," Fripp said about the band that played those gigs. "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."
And play their best they most certainly did, for not only does the audio side of things play magnificently, track by track, but viewing Meltdown on the Blu-ray we see that some glorious qualities of camera's have been used (unlike previous live recorded encounters with the band).
Thankfully, not one gets in the way of the group's performances - as is so often the case with Prog bands - and given that each band member seemingly has their own dedicated camera focused on them; from various angles, well, the fact there are also numerous side and back views, and this truly is a rather complete viewing experience.
In closing, sure, of course, there are so many highlights here on Meltdown that it's just impossible to begin to list them all. Suffice to say that the more well known KC cuts are the loudest appreciated, whereas those dark horse numbers are the more gainfully welcomed.
Mel Collins: Saxes & flute
Robert Fripp: Guitar & keyboards
Gavin Harrison: Drums
Jakko Jakszyk: Guitar & voice
Tony Levin: Basses & stick
Pat Mastelotto: Drum
Bill Rieflin: Keyboards
Jeremy Stacey: Drums & keyboards
'Meltdown: Live in Mexico City 2017' - 3CD + Blu-ray Purchase Link
King Crimson @ Facebook!