The Headlight Serenade by Triosk
Formats: CD (BAY 49CD) Digital (BAY 49E)
Release Date: 10 July 2006
As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer.
An apparently harmless phrase can hide something altogether darker. That quote neatly sums up Triosk’s second album The Headlight Serenade. Brilliantly recorded by the young Australian trio, the album’s crystal clarity makes it sound like it’s floating on air.
The quote comes from A Clockwork Orange of course, which gives things a whole different slant, and there’s a looming undertow to the album that threatens to pull you under if you dare to let it.
Such a balance of light and darkness is key to The Headlight Serenade’s heady attractions. The title (and the album’s artwork) is derived from “the transitory way that headlights pass across objects, creating split second moments and alternate spaces in time” says the group’s Laurence Pike. “I find that really fascinating.” Each piece on the album is the soundtrack to a passing glimpse of a particular moment, memory or feeling, be it a past-life romance or the sensation of lying in a boat, looking at the stars. “Light can bring many different things into focus, creating a microcosm of detail and perspective that you never knew existed.”
On Triosk’s last album, Moment Returns (2004), much of the material followed the compositional style of their previous collaboration with Jan Jelinek, 1+3+1 (improvised over pre-recorded loops). This time the band had the luxury of working through ideas more fully, often basing pieces on recordings of their own improvised live performances, picked apart and honed to perfection, morphing musical forms usually associated with jazz and presenting them in entirely new ways.
“We spent a lot longer in the studio for The Headlight Serenade,” says Pike, “and certainly our intent was to enhance the recorded sound of the band and explore other ways for electronics to be a part of the music rather than just static layers.”
Using Moment Returns as a blueprint, tracks like 'One, Twenty-Four', 'Lost Broadcast' and the album’s epic 11-minute centrepiece, 'Lazyboat', have a similarly open-ended, non-linear feel to them that was established on the previous album. But this time out, pieces like ‘Visions IV’, ‘Not To Hurt You’ and ‘Headlights’ took on a more conclusive linear 'song' structure: something new for the band.
“Sometimes I think we left things undone or unsaid on Moment Returns, which I guess gives it its charm,” says pianist Adrian Klumpes, “But I think this new one has a well-rounded, full and more complex aesthetic.”
Triosk’s inventiveness and enthusiasm to rethink musical boundaries makes The Headlight Serenade a striking, living work. Rarely is such cerebral music so engaging.
Formed five years ago in Sydney, Triosk are Laurence Pike (drums), Adrian Klumpes (piano/keyboards) and Ben Waples (double/electric bass). A member of Flanger alongside Burnt Friedman and Atom Heart, Pike is also a founding member of Pivot, and recently released a lengthy solo percussion piece (as Laurenz Pike) on the German Monika imprint. Klumpes has just finished a remarkable solo album, which will be released later this year. The band will tour Australia this July, and plan to return to Europe in the autumn for a full tour.
Clear? As an unmuddied lake, Sir.