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King Crimson is a progressive rock band. Originally founded in London in 1968 by a group of musicians from western England (but featuring a transatlantic lineup from 1981 onwards), the band is widely recognised as a foundational progressive rock group despite the band's own resistance to the label. The band has incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during its history. The band's line-up has persistently altered throughout their existence, with eighteen musicians and two lyricists passing through the ranks. The only musician to appear in every line-up of the band has been founding guitarist Robert Fripp, although drummer Bill Bruford was a member from 1972 to 1997 and guitarist Adrian Belew has been a consistent member since 1981. Due to the number of musicians involved in King Crimson over the years (and the band's stringent emphasis on creativity and on recruiting high-level players) the band is at the hub of a network of other bands and projects, and has been influential to many contemporary musical artists. The band has a large following, despite garnering little radio or music video airplay. "Everything you've heard about King Crimson is true; it's an absolutely terrifying place. " – Bill Bruford The debut line-up of the band was influential but short-lived, lasting for just over one year. During 1970 and 1971, King Crimson were an unstable band, with many personnel changes and disjunctions between studio and live sound as they explored elements of jazz, funk and classical chamber music. By 1972 the band had a more stable line-up and developed an improvisational sound mingling hard rock, contemporary classical music, free jazz and jazz fusion before breaking up in 1974. They re-formed with a new line-up in 1981 for three years (this time influenced by new wave and gamelan music) before breaking up again for around a decade. Since reforming for the second time (in 1994), King Crimson have blended aspects of their 1980s and 1970s sound with influences from more recent musical genres such as industrial rock, grunge and loop music. The band's efforts to blend additional elements into their music have continued into the 21st century, with more recent developments including drum and bass-styled rhythm loops and extensive use of MIDI and guitar synthesis. King Crimson's existence has been characterised by regular periods of hiatus (each of which have been initiated and concluded solely by Robert Fripp, generally considered to be the band's leader and motive force). Since 2009, the band has been inactive. Although no formal breakup has been announced, Fripp's own formal retirement from the music industry in August 2012 suggests that King Crimson (as with Fripp's other musical projects) has finished. Since 1997 until the present day, various subdivisions of King Crimson have continued to pursue aspects of the band's work and approaches via a series of related bands collectively referred to as "ProjeKCts".
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