Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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Melody Maker MAY 5, 1979 - by Richard Williams

ROBERT FRIPP: PIZZA EXPRESS, NOTTING HILL GATE

The word hadn't spread far enough to make this much more than an elite occasion attended by members of the music business, but Robert Fripp's Music For Restaurants still provided a pleasing aid to the digestion of pseudo-Italian snacks.

Basing the evening's improvisations firmly in the mould created by Brian Eno for No Pussyfooting, their original collaboration, Fripp concentrated on layering short guitar figures through the delay effect provided by a Revox to build ann attractive ebb and flow of sound.

He kept the volume at a median level, thus allowing the customers to make whatever use they chose of the music: loud enough to analyse, it was also quiet enough to accomodate conversation.

This placed some people accustomed to concentrating on live music, in a quandary: should one feel bad about ordering an American Hot with mozzarella salad and a flask of Chianti while a famous rock star is performing? Fripp's discretion provided a firm assurance that any response was the right one.

Although Fripp claims that this is currently his favourite form of music-making, its very solitariness seems to place limitations on its potential. While the guitarist's obsessive neatness makes him the ideal candidate for a music which depends on almost geometrically logical responses, it may be that Fripp the improviser would respond more interestingly to the stimulus of a foreign agent.

No matter, really. This was a gentle, civilised evening, which very properly made no demands upon the audience. It brought a rare breath of the spirit of adventure to be found in the much-maligned New York loft scene - whence, doubtless, Fripp received the inspiration - and should act as a model for others with the same wish to escape conventional avenues.


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