How we love the sound of Robert Fripp’s Frippertronic recordings! They are incredibly beautiful work, but the spate of Frippertronic albums released tend to consist only of the foundational loops, which by their nature were always recorded. His solos over the loops were usually lost to the ether. You had to be there to hear it. The province of bootleg recordings at best, for the most part.
Many was the time I would read reviews of the Frippertronic albums that he recorded in what he called “The Drive To 1981” where the reviewer, who was a fan enough to have attended Frippertronic concerts, lamented that the actual solos were missing on the albums where only the loops were in evidence. Shaking their heads at the album and waxing eloquent on the concert it may have been taken from.
That’s set to change with the release of Fripp’s “Washington Square Church” album on April 29, 2022. There were recordings made immediately after the first May 1981 King Crimson shows during a week’s residency at the Washington Square Methodist Church in New York City with Fripp’s performance aiding a Soho theater group. In a rare circumstance, the solos were professionally recorded along with the loops that time around. Though the tapes were unlabelled, producer David Singleton was able to hear the loops as barely recorded by the guitar pickups on the solo tapes! Thus he was able to match and synch the loops with the appropriate solos, making perhaps the definitive Frippertronic release!
Robert Fripp: Washington Square Church – US – CD + DVD [4.1] / 2xLP 
- Washington Square I
- Washington Square II
- Washington Square III
- Washington Square IV
- Washington Square V
- Washington Square VI
- Washington Square VII
- Washington Square VIII
- Washington Square IX
- Washington Square X
- Washington Square XI
The set will be available in a 2xLP package as well as a CD+DVD package with the DVD having the program in 24/48 2.0 and DTS-HD Surround Sound [quad, 4.1]. I may have to bust out the old DVD player which was DTS compatible because the loops are said to be most appropriate for this treatment. The 200g LP is $39.00 and the CD/DVD is $24.00. US pre-sales are in the Burning Knot store with Burning Shed carrying the goods for the UK/EU market.
The DGM page for this invokes both “Frame By Frame” [and its literally breathtaking ostinatos] as well as “Scary Monsters” in describing the quality of the solos to be found here so with the recently discussed Fripp “Exposures” megabox being too massive a serving of music for this Monk, I think what’s being called the definitive Frippertronic release [all of it will also appear in the megabox, of course] is better suited to my more compact Fripp needs.
Oh HELL yes I’m ordering the CD version!
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As the huge box set is too much for me,I think I will be getting this.
I never had the chance to hear live Frippertronics (when he still used the tape system) but have witnessed many solo Fripp shows described as “soundscapes”,which were still really amazing and inspiring.A 7-hour show at the Union Chapel in London was a favourite.
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Gavin – I was a huge fan of this era but was graced with a Soundscape show some years back in town that the Glam Rock Nun and I were grateful to attend. Afterwards, The Headmaster offered a Q+A period that I had months to think of a good enough question for…and failed at that! Only meekly watching the carnage from our seats.
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