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Trigon: Herzberg 2004

Jam bands. They've been around since the days of Hendrix, Zappa, the Allmans and the Grateful Dead - and so many others. But a whole new generation is embracing them now and promoting jam bands as a format or a genre unto themselves. Acts like Umphrey's McGee are leading that charge in the USA, and in Europe, one of the front-runners in the jam-band scene is Germany's Trigon.

Like their predecessors, Trigon's sound is about vibe and flow rather than song and structure. Their high standard of musicianship allows them to start with a riff or an idea, and build on the theme over long meandering sometimes playful blocks of music It is all instrumental and each track is driven by a strong rhythm section that provides a foundation for soft keyboard backdrops and long, long expressive guitar solos. The songs quickly settle into a psyche, acid-rock groove and the band is obviously having fun exploring interesting structures and crafty details, and will have you nodding your head and tapping your toe at the very progressive rate of 7 beats to the bar. According to Trigon's Stefan Lange (bass), the songs are often started in their rehearsal room or in studio, and on stage they take the ideas they liked from those sessions and improvise anything from 30% to 70% depending on the song. Many of their pieces have fixed sections, or structures, but even those enjoy a lot of on-stage improvisation.

The music borrows elements from 1970s classic rock to southern blues to fusion, all played through a veneer of hard rock. The band calls it "Heavy-Zen-Jazz", a description they obviously take seriously - in fact their web site address used to be "heavyzenjazz.de" (see the link below for their new web site). But there really isn't much evidence of jazz in this music besides the besides the long flügelhorn sections. (A flügelhorn is something like a cross between a bugle and a trumpet, and has been adopted my jazz musicians since the 1930s.) Most of the 14 songs are predominantly guitar-oriented, with occasional breaks offered by interesting, simple piano sections that add welcome texture.

Trigon has an interesting philosophy about the distribution of their music - and much of it can be had free from their web site. All they ask for is a voluntary donation. Their philosophy is: The Music Industry Tries to Kill Us, Therefore We Kill the Music Industry - and they achieve that by guerilla marketing, bypassing all the traditional distribution channels.

Herzberg 2004 is a live performance recorded at the Burg Herzberg Festival. The sound quality on this CD is reminiscent of bootlegs taped in the early '60s - yet that muddy recording and the interaction with the audience (all in German) gives you a strong impression of what it was like to be there. It will doubtlessly evoke good memories from those who attended the recent BajaProg 2005 festival where the band reportedly won many new fans.. Trigon's style seems to be built around live performances rather than studio albums. Sometimes you need that - sometimes you have to zone out of the world around you and trip your way down a nostalgic path into the acid-dripping '60s and '70s, and jam bands provide the ideal companion for that journey. This is a long 77 minutes of head-nodding zone-out jamming, and hey, you can't beat the price!

Track Listing:

  1. Trigonometrie
  2. Archaische Extasetechniken
  3. Ein kleines brachiales Machwerk
  4. Wenn wir Dich rauchen, schreien wir
  5. Peitscht das Kamel
  6. Coitus Trigonus Continuum
  7. Verbiegt die Kontrollen zum Herzen der Sonne
  8. Aural-Verkehr mit Frickelposition
  9. Wunder werden billigend in Kauf genommen
  10. TanZEN
  11. You do fräsend
  12. Tückischer Tonterror
  13. Blue Time
  14. Hummelflug

Added: April 7th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: Trigon's Web Site
Hits: 9704
Language: english

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