Skip to main content

Trion, Netherlands




Trion - Tortoise. 2003 Cyclops (UK); 2013 Oskar (Poland)
Trion - Pilgrim. 2007 Cyclops (UK); 2007 Belle Antique (Japan)
Trion - Funfair Fantasy. 2013 Oskar (Poland)

At this point, it appears the band has no web presence whatsoever. You can find samples, but they don't look authorized. I hope they haven't called it a day, though I could certainly understand if they did.

--- Tortoise

I don’t tend to scour the Cyclops catalog in search of my next purchase, but Trion proves once again the label does have surprises up their sleeve (like Henry Fool for example). Basically this is a guitar, mellotron (all sampled), drums trio playing symphonic instrumental progressive rock. For a non-Reconstructed prog head like me, this fits the bill entirely. It’s like discovering a new burger joint with a great tasting meal. Yea, it’s not new, but darn if a good double meat with cheese doesn’t hit the spot! Trion is very much of the Dutch variety of progressive rock. Generally that means the music tends to be mid-paced, highly melodic, and somewhat rhythmically uninteresting. So it always gets down to the execution of melodies and the change of tone and color (check out the obscure  Mirror and Lethe some time to see what I'm referencing). And here is where Trion excels mightily. Plenty of nice electric leads are contrasted with acoustic guitar strumming. The mellotron (with many different tape samples – not just the usual suspects) provide the color and tone. The group that comes most to mind is Lady Lake. Other references are Camel (of course) and Focus "3", and maybe even the Swedish group Dice in their slower moments.

--- Pilgrim

Trion is a made-up word that combines trilogy and mellotron, which gives a pretty good idea where these lads are going musically. The group is made up by members of the veteran Dutch progressive rock bands of Odyssice and Flamborough Head. Their charter, as it were, is to play instrumental rock music utilizing only analog instruments and 70s era recording techniques. While Tortoise is an impressive debut, Pilgrim is even better as they add more diversity in the keyboards (not just mellotron samples). As well, more acoustic guitar is deployed than prior, adding some much needed contrast.

--- Funfair Fantasy

I had held off purchasing Funfair Fantasy, as the initial ratings and reviews seemed to demonstrate a downturn in quality. But no, that's not the case at all. If you liked the first two, then Funfair Fantasy will be certain to delight. Trion is a conservative bunch, and there are few surprises to be found. I picked up a bit of a jazz undertone this time, which I consider a major plus. Still, no denying this is fastball-down-the-middle instrumental symphonic progressive. The "nothing new here" crowd will want to steer well clear of this act. Sometimes I'm not looking for new, but perhaps a new recipe on an old favorite. And that's what Trion excels at.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Elephant9, Norway

News: Elephant9 are set to release their 5th album (on Feb 16) entitled Greatest Show on Earth (who remembers that fine early 70s UK band?). Label says: "On this, their fifth studio album, they are back to the core trio of their two first albums, with Ståle Storløkken (keyboards), Nikolai Hængsle (bass) and Torstein Lofthus (drums). "The Greatest Show On Earth" displays some truly astonishing playing and is a more dynamic, structured and focused album with all tracks clocking in between five and seven minutes." Hmmm, not liking that guitarist Fiske is not around anymore, but OK, let's see what they come up with.

Facebook Samples
Location: Oslo

Overview: If you like overdriven Hammond organ and Rhodes piano - completely fuzzed out to the maximum - all immersed within interesting instrumental compositions, then Elephant9 are for you. Their last 2 albums feature former Landberk / current Dungen's guitarist Reine Fiske, and have started to move into a 1970 era …

Hills, Sweden

Samples
Facebook
Website

Originally published on July 17, 2011 and updated on February 3, 2012. Moving post forward to highlight their new album Frid.

Hills are among the finest of the neo Krautrock bands one can hear today. They are still active as of August, 2016..

Hills - s/t. 2009 Intergalactic Tactic Records (LP); 2010 Sulatron (Austria CD)
Hills - Master Sleeps. 2011 Intergalactic Tactics Records (LP); 2011 Transubstans (CD); 2013 Rocket Recordings (UK CD; LP)
Hills - Live (EP). 2013 Cardinal Fuzz (UK LP)
Hills - Frid. 2015 Rocket Recordings (UK CD; LP)
Hills - Live At Daemonens Port. 2015 Kommun 2 / Svensk Psych Aften (2 LP)

Regarding the debut, this is one of those cases where I bought the LP (the pink vinyl edition no less), since I didn't figure it would be issued on CD. I probably would have waited otherwise, but what the hey, the LP is pretty cool looking. But owning it on CD with the bonus tracks was necessary too. I may one day part with the vinyl, but not in a hur…

El Circulo de Willis, Spain

News: El Circulo de Willis are active and playing live shows in their native Spain. No word on a new album. I've only heard the latest from 2015 called Retales, but I was mightily impressed with the music and will certainly explore their back catalog as opportunity affords.

Facebook Samples Website
Location: Madrid

Overview: El Circulo de Willis play an exciting instrumental progressive music driven by flute and guitar, with some sax, synthesizer, and metal touches. Like a blend of Ozric Tentacles, Naikaku, and Dream Machine with a bit of Kong thrown in.

Homunculus Res, Italy

News: New album out February 15th (was slightly delayed and is now available as of March 8). Title is Della Stessa Sostanza dei Sogna.

Facebook Samples
Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res are a tremendous new Canterbury styled band from Italy that have perfectly captured the spirit of another era. Brilliantly mixing melody and complexity, with a jazzy undertone.

UMR notes

Necronomicon, Germany

News: Well, forget what I said. There is a new album (see cover above)! It's noted as such in the comments but I missed the meaning. Oh my goodness, this band is something else...
Website Facebook
Location: Aachen

Overview: Necronomicon released one famous album (in the underground that is) in 1972, and only reappeared with some archival releases in 1990s. Then completely out of nowhere they released an album in 2012 that was even better than their original release!

UMR notes

Space Debris, Germany

News: Space Debris have just released their 8th(?) studio album Behind the Gate now available as a 2 LP or 2 CD set.

Website Samples Facebook
Location: Stuttgart

Overview: I would consider Space Debris a Jam Band first and Krautrock band second. Their approach to music is based on the long form improvisational jam centered around the soloists for guitar and organ.

Reviews (click on album covers)

Tusmorke, Norway

News: And yet another new album from Tusmorke! Quite prolific I'd say.

Facebook Samples
Location: Oslo

Overview: Tusmørke started their career as a band very much influenced by Jethro Tull. Today they are far more native ,and recall some of the great 70s Norwegian bands like Host and Hades.

UMR notes

The Cosmic Dead, Scotland

News: The Cosmic Dead are a very active band, playing live shows throughout 2016 and 2017. They also have numerous albums, their latest being Psych Is Dead from April of this year. I've only heard The Exalted King (2013) to date.

Facebook Website Samples
Location: Glasgow

Overview: The Cosmic Dead are a Scottish quarter whose raison d'etre is improvised space rock

UMR notes

The Worm Ouroboros, Belarus

Website This site is similar to Facebook, but most of the posts for the band are in Cyrillic
Samples Same site - go to Audio Files section

The Worm Ouroboros - Of Things That Never Were. 2013 Fading (Italy)

The Worm Ouroboros is a new band from Belarus, a country that up until now has yet to make an appearance into my collection. No doubt they came as a reference from Rational Diet, a popular Belarusian chamber rock group, also settled in the AltRock canon.

The Worm Ouroboros are clearly informed by the classic Canterbury scene, and it's most apparent with regards to the fuzzy keyboard tones, copious use of flute, complex meters, kinetic electric guitar, and a melodic disposition.  All of which automatically elevates the album to top tier status in UTR's world. Certainly other classic early 70s progressive influences come to the fore where one can easily spot Steve Hackett, Pink Floyd, Camel, Genesis, Jethro Tull, and even Magma! Some of the acoustic guitar and flute duo's …

Wobbler, Norway

News: Wobbler have announced their latest album From Silence to Somewhere which is due out by Oct 20th.

Facebook Samples
Location: Hønefoss (NW of Oslo)

Overview: Wobbler are a retro prog band from Norway who initially followed in the footsteps of Anglagard and Sinkadus, and have since moved onto the sounds of early Yes. Wobbler are as good as it gets for the style. Superb band.

UMR Notes