When curating the perfect collection for your island escape, one album that demands inclusion is King Crimson's "Discipline." Released in 1981, this groundbreaking album offers a fusion of progressive rock, new wave, and technocratic playing that surely will invigorate the solitude of a desert island experience.
Representing a significant evolution in King Crimson's sonic trajectory, Discipline marked a departure from their earlier somewhat avant-garde leaning progressive rock sound, incorporating driving rhythms and experimental tonalities. This resulting unique blend of complex rhythms, intricate guitar work, and captivating vocals that led to the group releasing three albums with the same line up of musicians, a first and only time for the group.
The album's opener, "Elephant Talk," is a rhythmic and percussive marvel, featuring Adrian Belew's distinctive guitar work and the band's signature intricate interplay. Listeners should feel the layers of sound envelop them, especially on the immersive mixes completed some 30+ years later in 5.1 surround sound, building a sonic tapestry that enhances the warmth of your island surroundings.
"Matte Kudasai" presents a gentle contrast to the album's more complex compositions. With its acoustic simplicity and heartfelt vocals, this track offers a moment of introspection, allowing one to connect with their inner thoughts while gazing out at the vast expanse of the ocean, wondering when or if rescue is nearby.
On the other hand, "Indiscipline" showcases the band's ability to meld unconventional rhythms and structures. Its energetic and enigmatic nature injects a burst of dynamism into the album, mirroring the unpredictable nature of island life.
The layers of sound and intricate melodies of "Discipline" take listeners on a journey of its own. The album's seamless fusion of genres creates a sonic landscape that resonates with the essence of exploration and solitude, themes that are intimately familiar to a desert island dweller. From introspection to exuberance, the album aligns perfectly with the spectrum of experiences one might encounter while marooned on a desert island. Make sure this is in your treasure chest.
For many, the earliest works of King Crimson are highly regarded, and there is no question that their debut album “In the Court of the Crimson King” is a must have, along with subsequent releases. Over time the band improved on sound quality, and Discipline stands out at all levels of sound quality, composition, and musicianship.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.