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Panegyric Recordings 2014
While Frippertronics sounds positively primitive (albeit in a still very appealing way) compared to what Fripp is now doing with racks of gear to create soundscapes recordings like Love Cannot Bear (DGM Live, 2005), what's been perhaps the most fruitful outcome of his ongoing "guitar as orchestra" exploration has been a now six-year relationship with woodwind and reed multi-instrumentalist Theo Travis. Beginning with Thread (Panegyric, 2008), the two have been slowly building a distinct personal language to their collective approach to composition, improvisation and interpretation as yet another "way of doing things."

Travis' early days may have been spent more decidedly in the jazz world-his 2011 anthology, All I Know (33 Jazz) as good a place to start as any to sample his recordings as a leader-in recent years he's become the go-to guy for progressive groups ranging from Gong and Soft Machine Legacy to The Tangent and, most recently, his participation in Porcupine Tree founder Steven Wilson's solo band, whose growing discography represents some of the best progressive rock in recent years, including studio recordings like The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) (Kscope, 2013) and live recordings including Get All You Deserve (Kscope, 2012).

But if Wilson provides his bandmates with plenty of breathing space to interpret his music, it's still very much predicated on generally complex form. Travis' ongoing duo with Fripp, while occasionally performing through-composed music-or music inspired by extant King Crimson material-is far more open-ended. What's been most impressive about Travis & Fripp has been the pair's ability to pull form form the ether, even if there is some structural road-mapping involved. No meandering music, this; instead, every Travis & Fripp album, from Thread through to Follow, has felt very much a considered form of spontaneous creation. Even when reinterpreting a song like "Moonchild," first heard on King Crimson's world-shaking 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King (DGM Live), the duo neither stays strictly to form nor turns it into something more amorphous; instead, as the duo on Live at Coventry Cathedral (Panegyric, 2010), "Moonchild" became a more cinematically rich piece for flute, guitar and electronics that mined the melody at the song's core and demonstrated just how far Fripp has come as an instinctive improvising partner in the ensuing, both in the context of this duo and beyond, has Travis.

The duo similarly reinvents Crimson material on Discretion-a two-disc package with a stereo mix on CD and high resolution stereo on DVD-A-using the melodic titular theme from the Mark VII edition's final studio recording, The Power to Believe (Sanctuary, 2003), as bookends to a suite of six pieces that constitute the main program, culled-as are the two additional bonus tracks-from gigs in Newlyn, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, all recorded in high resolution. The tracks are, however, resequenced so that rather than documenting the specific flow of any of these four shows, Discretion assumes, thanks to producer Travis, a narrative all its own. Beyond the two looks at "The Power to Believe," much of the main 48-minute suite is culled from Follow and Live at Coventry Cathedral, but two additional compositions make their debut here for the first time, including the more avant-tinged "Refract" and Ambitronic flute-introduced "A Careful Distance," which seems deceptively in character as it evolves over the course of eight minutes, though with Fripp bringing in everything from orchestral patches to the sounds of bells pattering across the landscape, there's clearly more here than first meets the ear.

The duo revisits Follow's "Rotary Symmetrical" but, despite only being a touch longer than the original, its more angular phrasing takes considerably more time get to what is here, rather than the original's lengthier aggressive excursion, simply a crunching coda from Fripp-its closer tonal allegiance to Crimson staples like "VROOM" than this duo's more typical atmospherics continuing to assert that this is, indeed, a pair of players looking to stretch beyond the anticipated into more surprising-shocking, even-terrain.

The set concludes with two bonus pieces after the main suite. "Forgotten Days" is a solo guitar piece built around Fripp's rapidly tremeloing notes and chords, evoking a gentle image of being deep underwater until the guitarist begins layering a silkily sustaining line-perhaps one of the few "minimal overdubs" (as identified in the credits) added in post-production-to bring it back to the surface. But perhaps the most wonderful surprise of Discretion is the closing "Rhapsody on the Theme from Starless," which takes one of King Crimson's most famous pieces-"Starless," from Red (DGM Live, 1974)-and turns it into a haunting exploration that demonstrates just how malleable a good idea can be. Travis and Fripp only utilize the opening theme to the song but, over the course of nine minutes that build from gossamer to more sonically dense, Travis shifts between soprano saxophone and alto flute, contributing as much as Fripp to the piece's orchestral landscape.

As dramatic a closer as "Starless" is to Red, "Rhapsody on the Theme from Starless" ends Discretion on a softer but nevertheless equally conclusive note by referencing a melody to which most Crimson fans will be able to relate. But more than simply recognizing the value of music long past, Discretion-like the recent Crimson tour-doesn't see drawing on this music from four decades ago as any kind of retro pursuit; instead, it sees it as the timeless music it truly is, using it as a context for music-making of a most modern kind.

Travis & Fripp could never have happened without Fripp & Eno, but by releasing recordings from both duos on the same day, Panegyric has made clear that what was once forward-looking and revolutionary has now become influential and inspirational; and that what is now absolutely current exists with clear perspective on things past, intentions unequivocally in the present...and minds thinking ahead toward what's yet to come.

John Kelman (All About Jazz) 4 Nov 2014


artist   -   title   -   label   -   year of release

Steven Wilson -  Hand cannot erase (Kscope) - 2015
Fish on Friday  - Godspeed (2015)
Anekdoten - Until the Ghosts are Gone Musea/Virta) - 2015
Jane Getter -  On  (Snapper) - 2015
Theo Travis’ Double Talk  - Transgression (Esoteric Antenna)  - 2015
Christina Booth  - The Light – 2015
The Tangent  - A Spark in the aether (Inside Out) - 2015
Dave Sturt -  Dreams and Absurdities (Esoteric Antenna) - 2015

Travis & Fripp - Discretion - (Panegyric/Tonefloat) - 2014
Echo Engine - Windjammer - 2014
Goldbug - Nacaal (IK) - 2014
Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories) - (KScope) - 2013
Steven Wilson - Drive Home EP - (Kscope) - 2013
Soft Machine Legacy - Burden of Proof - (Esoteric/ Moonjune) - 2013
The Tangent - Le Sacre du Travail - (Inside Out) - 2013

Travis & Fripp - Follow (Panegyric) - 2012
John Lester - Jazz ? (Ambit jazz) - 2012
Steven Wilson - Catalogue/Preserve/Amass CD/Vinyl (Headphone Dust) - 2012
Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve DVD/CD (KScope) - 2012
Bill Nelson - Classic Rock Legends 2CD/DVD (ITV) - 2012
Travis & Fripp - Discretion (High res Download only)- Bowers and Wilkins - 2012
Dalis Car - Ingladalonenes (MKCD4) - 2012

John Foxx and Theo Travis - Torn Sunset (Edsel) - 2011
Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning (KScope) - 2011
Bill Nelson - Classic Rock Legends DVD (ITV) - 2011
The Tangent - Going off on Two DVD (SCM) - 2011
The Tangent - Comm (Inside Out) - 2011
Theo Travis - All I know (33 Records) - 2011

Travis & Fripp - Live At Coventry Cathedral (Palvergyric) - 2010
Travis & Fripp - Live at Bishops Cleeve 12" Vinyl - (Tonefloat) - 2010
Travis & Fripp - Live at Broad Chalke 12" Vinyl - (Tonefloat) - 2010
Soft Machine Legacy - Live Adventures - (Moonjune) - 2010
Stefano Panuzzi - A Rose - (Emerald) - 2010
Goldbug - The Seven Dreams - (One k) - 2010
Tim Motzer and Markus Reuter - Descending - (One K) - 2010

Gong - 2032 (A Wave) - 2009
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes - 2CD (KScope) - 2009
Francis Dunnery - There's a Whole New World Out There - 2009
Theo Travis' Double Talk - Ascending- Live at the Pizza (Ethersounds) 2009 - limited edition 2CD set
Theo Travis and Fear Falls Burning - The Tonefloat Sessions - Vinyl (Tonefloat) - 2009
Travis & Fripp - Thread 2LP Deluxe Vinyl Edition (Tonefloat) - 2009
Travis & Fripp - Live at Broadchalke (DGMLive Download) - 2009
Travis & Fripp - Live at Bishop's Cleeve (DGMLive Download) - 2009
The Tangent - Down and out in Paris and London (Inside Out) - 2009

Sugizo - Cosmoscape (compilation)
Steven Wilson - Insurgentes (Headphone Dust/ Tonefloat) - 2008
Steve Jansen - The Occurence of Slope DVD (samahdisound)- 2008
Karmakanic - Who's the Boss at the Factory (Inside Out) - 2008
Philip Clemo - The Rooms (All colours arts) - 2008
Steve Jansen - 4 remixes from Slope (Samadhisound) - 2008
Jade Warrior - Now (Windweaver music) - 2008
No Man - Schoolyard Ghosts (Snapper) - 2008
Travis and Fripp - Thread (Panegyric) - 2008
The Tangent - Not as good as the book (Inside Out) - 2008
Bass Communion - Pacific Codex - (Equation) - 2008
Cary Grace Band - Where you go - (Door 13 Music) - 2008

Theo Travis - Double Talk (33 Records) - 2007
Theo Travis - Slow Life - 2 LP Deluxe vinyl edition featuring bonus tracks (Tonefloat) - 2007
Soft Machine Legacy - Steam (Moonjune) - 2007
The Tangent - Going off on one (Inside Out) - 2007
Steve Jansen - Slope (Samadhisound) - 2007

Cipher - Elemental Forces (Burning Shed) - 2006
Bass Communion - Ghosts on Magnetic Tape (Tonefloat) - 2006
No Man - returning Jesus (Complete Sessions) - 3LP Vinyl edition - 2006
Theo Travis - Eleven Bowls of Acidophilus Flute Salad (Tonefoat/C) - 2006
The Tangent - A Place in the Queue (Inside Out ) - 2006
John Lester - So Many Reasons (Midnite Cafe) - 2006
Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream (Special Edition 2 CD set) (Lava/Atlantic) - 2006

The Tangent - The World that we drive through (Inside Out) - 2005
Nine Horses (David Sylvian/Steve Jansen/Burnt Friedman) - Snow Bourne Sorrow - (SamadhiSound) - 2005
Bass Communion - Indicates Void (Tonefloat) - 2005

A Marble Calm - Surfacing (Burning Shed) - 2004
Steven Wilson - Unreleased Electronic Music Volume 1 (Headphone Dust) - 2004
Bass Communion - Ghosts on magnetic tape (Headphone Dust) - 2004
Tito Lopez Combo - Still Smokin' (Tito's Records) - 2004
Karen Lane - Taste - 2004

David Sinclair - Into the Sun - 2003
David Sinclair - Full Circle - 2003
Uri Geller - Meditations (Forkbender) - 2003
Uri Geller - Words of Courage and Inspiration (Forkbender) - 2003
Steve Lawson/Theo Travis - For the Love of Open Spaces (Pillow Mountain) - 2003
Darkroom - Remixes - 2003
Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways (Reissue) (Delerium)- 2003
House of Thandoy - House of Thandoy - 2003
Harbans Srih's Vybesmen - Harbans Srih's Vybesmen (Tito Records) - 2003
Bass Communion / Various- Bass Communion remixed (Headphone Dust) - 2003
Theo Travis - Slow Life (Ether Sounds) - 2003
No Man - All that you are (Hidden Art EP) - 2003

Aphratec - The Discerning Dancefloor - Volume One. "All Things" track on vinyl compilation album (Care in the Community Records).
Cipher - One Who Whispers (Gliss) - 2002
Theo Travis/Mark Hewins - Guerrilla Music (Burning Shed) - 2002
Burning Shed Sampler Two - Travis / Hewins track "Slow Life" (Burning Shed) - 2002
Gong - OK Friends (Gas) - 2002
Gong - From Here to Eternety (2CD reissue) (Snapper) - 2002
Gong - High above the Subterranea - live DVD (Snapper) - 2002
Inconnu - Les Pensees de Nos Reves (ep) (Over Records) - 2002

Akiko Kobayashi - Beloved (Warner Japan) - 2001
Anja Garbarek - Smiling and Waving (Virgin Norway) - 2001
Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK) - Playing in a room with people (Medium) - 2001 - (Live album)
Porcupine Tree - Recordings (K Scope/Snapper) - 2001
Bass Communion - Bass Communion 3 - (Burning Shed) - 2001
Recreator - Solar Sahara (FMR) - 2001
No-Man - Lost Songs ,Volume One (Burning Shed) - 2001
No Man - Returning Jesus (3rd Stone) - 2001
Rod Blake - Blake (Candid) - 2001
Tito Lopez Combo - Tito Rides In (Acid Jazz) - 2001

Gong - Zero to Infinity. (Snapper music) -2000
Gong - Live to Infinitea (Snapper music) - 2000
Bass Communion - Invisible Soundtracks Macro 3 compilation (Leaf)- 2000 ("Quantico" track )
Bass Communion - "Drugged" remix on Silver Apples Remix CD (3rd Stone) - 2000
Porcupine Tree - Stranger by the minute/Even Less(pt 2). single (K Scope) - 2000
Cipher - Hidden Art compilation (Hidden Art) - 2000 - (exclusive Cipher track "The Lodger pt 2")
Jansen Barbieri Karn - Medium sampler. (Medium) - 2000 - (live track "Life without buildings").
Pulse Remix CD - DJ Spooky and Steve Jansen tracks (Medium) - 2000

Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream (K scope) -1999
Porcupine Tree - Piano Lessons/ Ambulance Chasing (Kscope) - 1999 - single
Various - The Sky Goes All The Way Home. (Voiceprint) - 1999 (Cipher and No-Man tracks)
Bass Communion - Bass Communion 2 (Hidden Art) -1999
Yukihiro Takahashi/Steve Jansen - Pulse (Con - Sipio) - 1999

Jansen Barbieri Karn - _ism (Medium) - 1998
Masami Tsuchiya - Forest People (Polygram/ Cross) - 1998
Bass Communion - Bass Communion (3rd Stone Records) - 1998
Indigo Falls - Indigo Falls (Medium Productions) - 1998
Velvet - Smooth Moods 2 - (Jazz FM Records) 1998 - track on compilation
The Great Unknown - It's out there (Infinity records) - 1998

Theo Travis - Live at Ronnies (33Jazz Rceords) - 1997
Sugizo - Truth (Polygram/Cross)- 1997
Ute - Under The External (track - 'Three Breaths') Id/Mercury(Polygram) -1997

Theo Travis - Secret Island (33Jazz Records) - 1996
Dick Heckstall Smith - Celtic Steppes (33 Records) - 1996
Gaddy Zerbib - Gaddy Zerbib (Zerbib) -1996
Jive Nation - Under African Skies (Bridge Records) - 1996

The Other Side - Dangerous Days (Bridge Records) - 1994
Theo Travis - View From The Edge (33Jazz Records) - 1994

Jade Warrior - Distant Echoes (Red Hot) - 1993
Theo Travis - 2am (33Jazz Records) - 1993