‘Expect even more mellotron’: Inspired by King Crimson, Steven Wilson purchases classic instrument

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Fans will remember that Steven Wilson borrowed a critical piece of old-school equipment from King Crimson’s Robert Fripp while recording a well-received solo album recently. Wilson liked that MkII mellotron so much, he’s ordered his own.

The keyboard played a memorable role in “Luminol,” the hard-charging 12-minute opening cut from Wilson’s The Raven That Refused to Sing and Other Stories. The same MkII was used during the recording of Crimson’s seminal prog classic In the Court of Crimson King back in 1969.

“Well, I loved the sound of the real thing so much that I immediately ordered a brand new one from Streetly Electronics,” Wilson says, adding that they “only make a few of them every year, such is the precision and work that goes into every one. Well, this beautiful piece of British engineering finally arrived to take pride of place in my studio, and it sounds incredible! Expect a lot — well, even more — mellotron on the next album.”

Wilson got an up-close initial listen to the instrument while overseeing a series of 5.1 mixes of the King Crimson back catalog, the most recent of which was 2013’s The Road to ‘Red.’ He also worked on Discipline and Lizard, among others.

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