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Present: Triskadekaphobie (remastered/expanded)

Listening to this with 2014 ears, it is not hard to understand exactly how amazing this was. And is, for that matter. This came out of nowhere, blew everyone's mind, and 30 years later still sounds completely new. Cuneiform has reissued the first two records of Present, remastered by Israeli master engineer Udi Koomran. Hearing these again has been a revelation. The jagged angularity of the songs remain in place, but the dynamics of the interplay between musicians has been strengthened. The precision of the musicianship is beyond compare; these compositions are complicated and complex, yet have astonishing forward movement. And all of this, as it has always been is suffused with such a sense of dread. This is heavy in the extreme.

This takes the initial musical direction of Univers Zero and moves it forward into the outer realms. Beginning with the epic "Promenade Au Fond d'un Canal,' a 19-minute composition that moves suite-like in start and fits, the band strings together myriad influences, but mostly that of Bartok, chamber music and industrial composition. "Quatre-Vingt Douze" is more rocklike but still dark. Its energy is unmistakable. "Repulsion" is a brief, slow and dark piece, which brings the original release to its close. However, Cuneiform has provided 2 more songs, live. One is the classic "Dense," which has all the hallmarks of Present- energy, complexity, and swing. "Vous le Saurez…" is darker, slower and gloomier, but builds up intensity.

This is an essential piece of progressive music.


Track Listings
1) Promenade au Fond d'un Canal
2) Quatre-Vingt Douze
3) Repulsion
4) Dense (Univers Zero cover-recorded live 2/28/81)
5) Vous Les Saurez En Temps Voulu (Univers Zero cover-recorded live 2/28/81)

Added: February 4th 2014
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2016
Language: english

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