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Triosk: The Headlight Serenade (2006)

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Triosk: The Headlight Serenade How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The Headlight Serenade is Triosk's third CD release, the group's second on the Leaf Label. Doubtless both parties are getting a little tired of the ongoing comparisons between Triosk and the Necks. (Yes, it does sound too easy—both trios, both Sydney-based Australian, both improvisers, ho hum—maybe even lazy journalism.) But the repeated piano figure at the start of "Not to Hurt You bears clear and eloquent witness to the affinities between the two. One clear difference is that Triosk's pieces are premeditated, if not fully composed, whereas the Necks play spontaneously, creating instant compositions.

The reality does not feel like that, though; the most ardent Necks fan (I include myself) could mistake considerable chunks of this album for the Necks. That is definitely praise, not criticism, and no suggestion of imitation is intended.

Also, Triosk tends not to favour very long pieces, although the eleven-minute "Lazyboat is at the heart of this album; the piece is steadily driven along by Laurence Pike's clatteringly rhythmic percussion, which contrasts with the slowly evolving drones and piano chords. Time and again on the album, Pike reveals himself as the least predictable element in the trio. His busy, joyfully unpredictable percussion keeps everyone—especially the listener—on their toes. Oh, and if the inclusion of Rhodes and synths among Adrian Klumpes' keyboard credits makes you fearful of some overblown fusion horror, fear not: it is all done in the best possible taste, controlled virtuosity, very restrained.

Interestingly maybe, The Headlight Serenade now also exists as a newly released double CD, a Japanese-only release, the second CD documenting a live radio broadcast recorded "this winter (Australian winter, remember, so quite recent). On this evidence, it will be well worth checking that out. Triosk consistently produces the type of mesmeric, slowly evolving music that easily becomes habit-forming, leaving the listener craving more.

Track Listing: Visions Iv; Lost Broadcast; Lost Reprise; Intensives Leben; Lazyboat; Not To Hurt You; Headlights; One, Twenty-four; Vostok; Moment Returns; Fear Survivor.

Personnel: Adrian Klumpes: piano, Rhodes, synths, sampler; Laurence Pike: drums, percussion; Ben "Donny" Waples: acoustic and electric bass.

Record Label: The Leaf Label

Style: Modern Jazz


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