Travis & Fripp: Discretion

King Crimson guitarist and saxophonist’s ambient project.

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Robert Fripp has always enjoyed the musical dialogue of a duo – Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno have been past participants – but more recently, he’s preferred the company of flautist and saxophonist Theo Travis.

The results of this latest collaboration never manage to rise above the stiflingly pleasant. The processed sounds of The Power To Believe/Pastorale ebb and flow luxuriantly, creating an air of mild disquiet akin to some old ITV murder drama in which the vintage car pulls up on the gravel outside the house of the prime suspect.

And so it continues, like a scented bath – initially relaxing but with the water becoming increasingly lukewarm, then finally stone cold, despite occasional warm injections such as Forgotten Days, with its distinctive, ringing tuning. Having helped conceive the modern genre, Fripp of all people must know that ambient can be a great deal more than this./o:p

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.