Triosk - The Headlight Serenade
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The Headlight Serenade

Formed in Sydney Australia almost five years ago now, Triosk have been doing their darnedest to push jazz music forward into the digital age. They made their entry into the music world by teaming up with Jan Jelinek on the excellent collaborative album 1+3+1 and followed with their own full length debut almost a year later, revisiting many of the same themes of their collaboration and pushing forward into some slightly new territory.

The Headlight Serenade finds them continuing that motion in a large part, creating a heavily-chilled album that bursts forth in only a couple places to keep the listener on their toes. A digitally-touched take on the piano (and electric piano) jazz trio, Triosk unfortunately starts out the disc with what is easily one of the best songs on the entire release. I only tag the track as unfortunate because it keeps you hoping for something similarly invigorating as the album progresses. "Visions IV" starts slowly, with cascading piano melodies, some warm Rhodes, thick bass plucks and skittering cymbals before locking into a closing section that's downright sublime.

"Lost Broadcast" keeps the strong streak going with some more sustained rhythmic tension and some beautiful horn/piano melodies, but the album seems to get stuck in a bit of a rut in places after that. The nearly eleven minute "Lazyboat" is plenty nice to listen to texturally, but doesn't really progress much of anywhere, content to muddle in filtered drones and a short section of instrumental interplay.

Although "Not To Hurt You" brings in an actual rhythm section working together, it keeps the disc moving at a languid pace, and the group doesn't pick things up again until the completely-insane closing track "Fear Survivor," where pitch-bent drum hits blurt with heavy resonance while off-kilter bass and piano notes hit and try to keep up with the maelstrom before the song calms down into a quiet piano reprise. It's a bit much to end things, especially considering the largely slow fare that precedes it, but it's also a glimpse at what the group can do when they punch past the lazier ambient pieces that make up the majority of the album.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2006-08-17 20:54:02