Roger TRIGAUX: guitars, vocals
Reginald TRIGAUX: guitars, vocals
Dave KERMAN: drums, vocals
Pierre CHEVALIER: piano
Keith MACKSOUD: bass
David DAVISTER: drums
PRESENT is a Belgian band, formed and led by guitarist/Composer Roger TRIGAUX. Roger TRIGAUX is one of the more influential musicians in Belgium 's contemporary music scene.
In 1974, he and drummer Daniel DENIS co-founded UNIVERS ZERO, one of Europe's most respected new music bands.
TRIGAUX performed with the legendary band for five years, touring with them throughout Europe. The two Univers Zero releases featuring Roger's guitar work and compositions - " 1313 " (1977) and " HERESIE "(1979) - were unqualified critical and popular successes.
In 1979, seeking a change of musical direction towards a more rock-based, non acoustic sound, Roger left Univers Zero and formed PRESENT with Alain ROCHETTE, a pianist and two Univers Zero members, bassist Christian GENET and drummer Daniel DENIS.
PRESENT recorded two albums with this basic lineup in the early 1980's , TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIE and LE POISON QUI REND FOU, the latter of which SOUND CHOICE called "a classic within its genre. This is strong, wonderful stuff, representing a complex interface between Rock and classical influences.
When CUNEIFORM rcds later reissued both albums on one CD (Cuneiform Rune 17), BACKGROUND called PRESENT's music "a blend between KING CRIMSON and UNIVERS ZERO. Conclusion: splendid horror with incredible depth and power ! Highly recommended" !
In the early 1990's, TRIGAUX formed PRESENT COD Performance, a guitar duo with his son Reginald TRIGAUX The streamlined and easily-mobile band performed regulary in small clubs in Europe. In 1993, they released a self titled CD on Lowlands Rds-Belgium.
In 1994, PRESENT (full- sized band) is back and performed live in numerous clubs, sometimes with Daniel DENIS.
At the end of 1995, PRESENT went on a 2 months tour of Europe. A live CD was recorded while on that tour. It features the dual guitar work of Roger and Reginald TRIGAUX, bass by Bruno BERNAS and drums by Dave KERMAN (also of U-Totem, 5 uu's, Thinking Plague and Blast).
|1. COD Performance|
Nearly ten minutes into " Alone 1 ", a bass drum pounds out a slow beat and a guitar begins to wail as on the marvelous section on " Promenade au fond d'un Canal " from Triskaidekaphobie. The tension builds well, seemingly about to culminate in some moment of release. But no. A rallentando and then a nice theme at double speed which again promises a point of climax, but never reaches it.
ALONE 1 - 24:50
ALONE 2 - 14:28
LOVE SCORN - 9:22
A dead stop before the start of " Alone 2 ". This starts very well with some percussive rhythm guitar and a handsome fast picked melody. There is a constant need here to maintain a pace and to lead a paced melody somewhere, I feel. So far, this has not happened. Early in this third track, a certain feel is generated by a striking repeated pattern on one guitar, whilst the other plays with harmony using clusters of identical notes. Again, a violent stabbing enters that promises to lead somewhere but does not.
2/3 TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIE & LE POISON QUI REND FOU
The opening guitar to " Le Poison qui rend fou " sharply waylays the attention until the strangely dancing vocals of Marie-Anne Polaris take the stage. I have heard people complain about this vocal intrusion but I find it excellent and only wish it could have featured further than the brief snippet we are afforded. The guitar finds a home well in the upper registers and stays there, delivering clinical reports. A puzzle of brief themes slides by until a rather jazzy piano interlude prompts a sinister buzz from the other instruments and a ramp to ambiguous close.
" Ersatz " is a model study in modern guitar, a compact andd intriguing melody and possibly the finest on the album. Quite marvelous. Part two of the title track opens with a surreal march with lovely guitar wailing. Absolutely inspired. Moving finally into an insistent beat with jazz bass andd ringing unison guitar, another flawless and unique track closes with aresurgence of the grumbling from the first part.
1. LE POISON QUI REND FOU
part 1: RAM RAM VA FAIRE "PIF PAF"- 15:25
2. ERSATZ- 5:07
3. LE POISON QUI REND FOU
part 2: DIDI, DANS TA CHAMBRE ! - 9:42
4. PROMENADE AU FOND D'UN CANAL (19:16)
5. QUATRE-VINGT DOUZE - 15:34
- REPULSION - 3:21
An anticipated release to say the least. Present are back in action. allegedly in the wake of a Univers Zero reformation. The format is promising. Four tracks, three long ones and a miniature. Present's strong point (as with UZ) is the building and layering of tracks, culminating in wonderful complex polyrythmic lines.Well, I am delighted. Present have come back with a fine piece of work.
1. DELUSIONS 14:48
2. MAY DAY 10:00
3. THE SENSE OF LIFE 11:08
4. EX-TANGO 3:46
The angular piano is very prominent, the guitar is as raw as ever and the rhytms are eminently undanceable. There are some sparse vocals (unfortunately none of the lovely Marie-Anne Polaris variety briefly featured previously) but they are much less annoying than on C.O.D. Performance and the more recent live album.
1. LAUNDRY BLUES - 11:36
Live, they make the most of it, interposing a quiet section with strange effects beforehand. Trigaux wails nicely to a screeching close. Not a truly magnificent album, but very solid indeed and one which should be on the list of everv Univers Zero and Present admirer.
2. CONTRE - 7:26
3. ALONE - 11:30
4. PROMENADE AU FOND D'UN CANAL - 22:08
N°6 is certainly one of the more interesting releases of 1999. It features dark, menacing atmospheres which provide the backdrop for some truly intense guitar and piano bursts. The tension builds throughout most of the tracks as complex layers are added over top of sometimes changing, sometimes repeating foundations. Dissonance is abundant throughout; a feature which is a must for fans, but may sound a bit harsh to the uninitiated.
Many of the primary themes are repetitive, but the depth of the listening experience comes from breaking down the layers. At any given time, one instrument or another is going in a different direction than the moment before. All but one of the 13 tracks on N°6 are instrumental, proving that Present discovered that their vocal tracks can be more of a distraction than anything. The music speaks for itself with plenty of dark aggression.
1. THE LIMPING LITTLE GIRL - 16:53
2. LE RÔDEUR - 01:58
3. CEUX D'EN BAS (suite) - 19:30
4. SWORLF - 08:31
|7. High Infidelity |
The album was (apparently) mixed in studios 'round Europe & the Middle East, & they used the Internet to assist with production & mixing. This album won't be for everyone, certainly, but those who want music that digs deeper into the psyche & the terrors of today will agree with me when I declare it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I enjoyed this & would welcome their next release for review. VERY interesting!