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FRIPP & ENO (Buy CDs by this artist)
(No Pussyfooting) (Antilles) 1973 (EG) 1981
Evening Star (Antilles) 1975 (EG) 1981
I Advance Masked (A&M) 1982
Bewitched (A&M) 1984

The two early collaborations between King Crimson leader Robert Fripp and ex-Roxy Music muckraker Brian Eno are excursions into effete electronics, with Fripp simply playing his guitar through Eno's synthesizers/tape recorders. More surprising at the time than truly affecting, the resulting side-long montages of loosely structured sound on (No Pussyfooting) are pleasant and recall the work of Terry Riley. Evening Star breaks no new ground; it is more a re-exploration of similar terrain.

What did Fripp and Policeman Andy Summers do on their summer vacations? Using a wide harmonic palette, they recorded I Advance Masked, a duet LP whose primary mood is tranquility, although Fripp the soloist ultimately reveals himself in ecstatic flights of fancy.

As the sequel proved, however, Summers is no Eno. Given another brief reprieve from producing those lighter-than-air guitar textures for the Police, he thickens the mix with electronic muck, leaving little solo space for himself or Fripp, who co-wrote only half the material on Bewitched; the rest is Summers' alone. Maybe they were too busy toying with the synth-pop trappings that dominate the record to bother playing much guitar.

[John Walker/Mark Fleischmann]
   See also Robert Fripp, Andy Summers