King Crimson has a life and mystique all its own. Despite having been home to some of the great Rock musicians of our time (Greg Lake, John Wetton, Adrian Belew, Boz Burrell, Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, and a host of others), it’s largely Robert Fripp that makes up the heart and soul of the band. He’s also the first name that comes to mind when King Crimson is mentioned. But it’s King Crimson – the band – that everyone knows (or have heard of without the ability to name member names).
King Crimson has released a wide variety of eclectic album sets. There are the timeless legends of In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), In the Wake Of Poseidon (1970), Lark’s Tongue In Aspic (1973), Red (1974), as well as the great Belew-fronted trilogy of Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), and Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984).
But the mystique of King Crimson is woefully discounted if we do not mention the post-hiatus release, THRAK. THRAK is a classic set that featured not only Fripp, Belew, Levin, Gunn, Bruford, and Mastellotto, but that also delivered in its promise of a great King Crimson set. With its fifteen songs, THRAK easily resides as a ‘must own’ album in the King Crimson canon.
From this point forward, it is essential that you be a hard-core King Crimson fan as well as a lover of THRAK, which was officially released in 1995. That’s more than a full decade since Three Of A Perfect Pair.
On October 16, DGM Records will unleash a 16-disc Deluxe Box set of THRAK that will be as definitive as it can get. This loaded Box will contain twelve CDs, two Blu-ray discs (one BD-Audio, the other a BD), and two DVD discs (one a DVD-Audio, the other a DVD). This Limited Edition set will contain a wealth of previously unreleased studio and live pieces in addition to the original material. For this set, Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp have remixed the album for a bonus re-imagining. Also included is the out-of-print mini-album, VROOOM from the same period. Most of THRAK is being presented in new 2015 remixes in Stereo and Surround Sound 5.1.
The following is a cut ‘n’ paste of the fullness of the box (it does much better justice in the recounting of content than I could):
* Blu-Ray 1: The most comprehensive Hi-Res audio only disc yet assembled features three complete albums with 5.1 Surround Sound mixes: THRAK, ATTAKcATHRAK and Kcensington THRAK. These three albums also appear in Hi-Res stereo – THRAK in both its original and new stereo mixes – plus a further three complete albums are included in Hi-Res stereo, JurassiKc THRAK, THRAKaTTAKand& the official live bootleg of the double trio in Argentina: B’Boom.
* Blu-Ray II features an audio/visual feast: A complete concert filmed live at The Warfield Theatre, San Francisco from 1995 – previously unreleased – with all footage newly transferred from the original tapes, mastered for high definition and 5.1 Surround Sound.
* The live footage from the 1995 Live in Japan performance – all footage newly transferred from the original tapes, mastered for High Definition with the original 5.1 Surround Sound remastered.
* Tony’s Road Movies – The band on the road as filmed by Tony Levin – all footage newly mastered for High Definition and featuring a soundtrack of previously unreleased material drawn from the band’s earliest rehearsals in 1994 up-mixed to Surround Sound
* The EPK of the making of the THRAK album at Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld Studios with newly mixed Surround Sound audio.
* Additionally, this disc is being built to include a further unique feature whereby, with a press of a button, the disc will function as a pure audio disc for all audio material featured in the audio/video section.
* Both blu-ray discs set new standards for what can be done with this format.
* DVD-A 1: features THRAK in 5.1 surround & 24/96 High resolution stereo mixes of the 2015 mix by Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp & the 2002 master of the original stereo mix.
* DVD 1: Features the Warfield Concert & Tony’s Road Movies films
* CD 1 JurassiKc THRAK – an assemblage of material from the recording sessions for the album – placing the listener in the studio with the band as the material was composed and recorded including seven pieces that didn’t make it onto the final album.
* CD2: Max VROOOM – features the long-unavailable mini-album VROOOM, augmented with tracks and edits from the KC Club release: The VROOOM Sessions. All material re-compiled & remastered at DGM.
* CD3: THRAK – is the 2002 remaster of the original album
* CD4: ATTAKcATHRAK (The Vicar’s THRAK) is a sort of sequel to THRaKaTTaK insofar as it’s assembled from live improvs, but is also very different. One of David Singleton’s best pieces of production, the editing process for the new improv album provides more form and function to the material without compromising the spirit of the original improvs. Unlike THRaKaTTaK, which was based on stereo board recordings, this album is newly mixed, in both stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound, from multi-track tapes.
* CD5: THRAK – is the transformative 2015 Jakko Jakszyk/Robert Fripp remix of the original album, described by Robert Fripp as a “Re-imagining of stereo in the early 21st century.”
* CD6: Byte Size THRAK – is a compilation of singles edits, live tracks from promos, a 12″ mix edit – some of which are making their debut appearance on commercially available disc and extracts from writing sessions from the final Nashville rehearsals in 1997.
* CDs7/8: Kcensington THRAK -is a newly mixed release of the band’s London concerts in 1995. Mixed from multi-track tapes by Jakko Jakszyk, and mastered by David Singleton and Robert Fripp (“To make it rock even harder”). Other than video releases, it is also the first live show from this band available in surround sound.
* CDs 9/10: New YorKc THRAK – features a complete setlist from the 1995 run of shows in the city, some material previously released on VROOOM VROOOM (now deleted) and the KC Club release On Broadway. Drawn from multi-track tapes, mixed by Adrian Belew & Ken Latchney. All newly remastered at DGM.
* CDs 11/12: AzteKc THRAK – features a complete setlist from the Mexico City concerts in 1996 – released, in part, on VROOOM VROOOM – mixed from the original multi-tracks by Robert Fripp, R Chris Murphy and David Singleton, and recently remastered at DGM.
* Album-sized booklet with rare/unseen photos, new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, technical notes on the recordings by David Singleton, plus memorabilia.
* Limited to a single pressing run.
This pricey ($159.98) Box ties everything together! But, if you don’t want the whole thing, there will be a CD/DVD-Audio set with just the basics.