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Potemkine Triton album cover
3.58 | 48 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Asyle (7:30)
2. Crepuscula (5:01)
3. Loolit II (8:33)
4. Liberserim Urb Et Chant De Viamor (4:03)
5. Eiram (13:38)

Bonus tracks:
6. Loolitt (3:09)
7. Zed (5:20)
8. Rictus (4:49)
9. Mystere (5:48)

Total Time: 57:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles Goubin / guitars, piano, vocals
- Philippe Goubin / drums, percussions, piano (1 - 7)
- Doudou Dubuisson / bass guitar (1 - 7)
- Michel Goubin / piano, vocals (4, 6 - 9)
- Xavier Vidal / violon (6 - 9)
- Gilles Goubin / bass guitar (8, 9)
- Maurice Bataille / drums (8, 9)

Releases information

CD Triton (Soleil Zeuhl 04)
Tracks 5,6 are from the album Foetus
Tracks 8,9 are the two songs featured on the single from 1974, Mystere

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to avestin for the last updates
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POTEMKINE Triton ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

POTEMKINE Triton reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Potemkine's second album is an odd but enjoyable affair. They had slimmed down to a trio of Charles and Philippe Goubin on guitar and drums plus bassist Dominic Dubuisson, both Goubin brothers doubling on piano and Charles also adding some wordless vocals, and Michel Goubin guetst on keyboards on one track.

The music has something of a Zeuhl feel, but has a lot in common with the Canterbury jazz rock of Hatfield and the North and post- Wyatt Soft Machine as well, although the general ambience is considerably darker than most Canterbury bands. The rhythm section dominates things a lot of the time, with sinuous bass and drums embellished by washes of guitar or piano, although when they take the lead the guitar and keyboards become a lot more prominent. The bass in particular is very well recorded, with a very warm and round tone, and there's some very tasteful interplay with Phlippe Goubin's drumming. The contrasting dynamics work well, but the downside is that the arrangements are a bit sparse, and the piano parts (mostly overdubbed) don't gel all that well with the rhythm section. The best tracks are Loolit II, which is played as a trio with minimal (if any) overdubbing, and Liberserium Urb et Chant de Victor, which features Michel Goubin on keyboards. The CD reissue has 4 additional tracks, 2 from the debut album Foetus and both sides of Potemkine's one and only single. These, especially the 2 pieces from Foetus, have a fuller and more rounded sound and the presence of electric violin recalls Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Triton is a solid piece of left field jazz fusion from the 70s, but nothing to get too excited about. Add an extra half star for the CD reissue with the bonus tracks, but newcomers would be better advised to start with Nicholas II.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The title of this album comes from the musical chord of the same name which in the Middle Ages was considered as the musical work of the Devil. The chord was only reintroduced in Western music at the beginning of the 20th century, in particular by Stravinsky and Bartok. By the way this info was written in the liner notes. There are actually four brothers who have all been involved in this band.Their influences were MAGMA, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and WEATHER REPORT among others. There are four bonus tracks two of which were songs from their first studio album called "Foetus" which is great because this has proven to be a difficult album to get a hold of. And the other two songs are the "a" and "b" sides of a single released in 1974.

"Asyle" features jazzy drumming,throbbing bass and slowly picked guitar. A feast of tasty sounds including piano. A change comes in after 2 1/2 minutes as it's not as "busy" now and very jazzy. The last minute and a half is a great sounding passage. "Crepuscula" is darker and quite atmospheric with no real melody. The piano and drums come in and out of the soundscape quickly. The male vocal melodies are faint. The song comes alive 2 minutes in as we get more of a melody but everything is still slowed down. I really like the guitar melody before 4 minutes. "Loolit II" opens with the drums beating steadily as the bass and guitar play. Everything is so precise and intricate. Great interplay as well in this another song that allows the instruments to breathe as they have lots of space. The guitar takes off on a tangent after 3 minutes and the rest follow. The song continues to unfold as earlier themes return.

"Liberserim Urb Et Chant De Viamor" is brighter with more energy but that's not saying a lot in either case. Haha. Female vocal melodies come and go. "Eiram" is the final and longest track on the album. More guitar, piano and vocal melodies until we get some dissonant sounds before 4 minutes. I know they don't list any horns on this album, but what is that after 6 minutes ? Bass, piano and drum leisurely come and go until we get a terrific guitar solo with a nice tone to it. The drums are great as are the vocal melodies that follow.

I thoroughly enjoyed this record and it's a must have for Zeuhl fans out there. These guys opened for MAGMA several times in their careers. Highly recommended.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Triton" was the second Potemkine release, the one in which the band's ideology found its definitive expression. Despite the diabolic implications of the album's title, the sound and style delivered in it is not diabolical at all: if any, it is creepy and dark in many places, but in a controlled manner, as if putting emphasis on the mystery instead of the sinister. I'm not totally convinced about Potemkine being an essentially zheul act: I perceive them as a jazz-prog band with strong zheul and RIO components, and as such I enjoy and analyze their albums. Anyway, it is clear that the band has paid more attention to the influence from avant-prog so it is very present in much of he writing process and arrangements for the albums' repertoire. At times you can tell hat there's a noticeable family resemblance connecting what Potemkine are up to and what Univers Zero achieved in their debut album that same year. So here we've got an ensemble on top of their game, moving beyond the sonorities of their debut album and offering a greater deal of energy than on heir follow-up and final release "Nicolas II". 'Asyle' kicks off the album with a constrained yet amazing fire, gracefully sustained on the piano colorful washes and the powerful bass interventions (most of the time overshadowing the texturial guitar phrases). The motif shifts that occur from minute 3 onwards generate that sort of tension that the prog connoisseur can easily relate to the Francophone school of camber-rock. The track ends with a reprise of the initial motif. 'Crepuscula' is more deeply solemn, with an overwhelming mystery that emerges from the silent spaces between the piano chords. Once the whole ensemble settles in comes a beautiful Weather Report-inspired motif pertinently closed down by piano dewdrops. Building melancholic mystery in such an effective manner is a Potemkine forte, no doubt about it. 'Loolit II' partially follows this trend, aiming at foggy atmospheres but with a major dose of density and an enhanced avant-garde attitude. There's a particularly excellent moment in which Charles Goubin brings a tortured guitar solo, very Frith-like (such a pity that it is too short.!). For the last 2 minutes things turn out increasingly extroverted until reaching an incendiary climax. 'Liberserim Urb et Chant de Viamor' rounds like a hybrid of "5"-era Soft Machine and eh first Univers Zero: agile and plethoric of bizarre melodic developments, his piece serves as a preserver of the magic portrayed in the previous track. 'Eiram' closes down the original repertoire of "Triton" on an epic tone: its abundantly jazzy colors, half Weatheresque, half Canterburian, are properly wrapped in a chamber-rock guise that allows the band to explore its most adventurous facet without losing an inch of groove. The CD edition includes no less than four bonus tracks. The first two come from the "Foetus" album, plain jazz-rock with extra avant-garde inspired complexity, either on an playful vein ('Loolit') or in a grayish mood ('Zed'). The last two bonuses come from he band's debut recording, a single that showed Potemkine quite close to heir veteran compatriots of Moving Gelatine Plates with ounces of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Potemkine is an excellent item from the glorious age of jazz-prog: those who appreciate their legacy can only have words of praise for his album, which I regard as their master opus.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Reduced to a trio, Triton is a very different affair, when compared to its predecessor Foetus. First of all the one-time septet that included a prog-best four brothers Goubin (thus beating GG's three Shulman, but not the Jackson 5 in the non-prog category), is now only a trio, with only two brothers Charles & Philippe (both on piano, but guitar and voices for the former and drums and percs for the latter) and bassist Dubuisson on bass. As you can imagine, these personnel cuts have drastically modified the group's sound, as we move away from the Mahavishnu Orchestra sound (and to a lesser extent Weather Report and RTF) of their debut Foetus and advance well into mostly-instrumental Zeuhlian/Canterbury soundscapes (which were already present but much more discreet), somewhere between Hatfield, Univers Zero, Magma and Vortex. Much of the sonic changes are of course due to the absence of Vidal's violin, but the Zeuhl elements in their music on Foetus have slipped from the joyous Zao to the solemn Magma and the depressive UZ on Triton.

Named on the famously "church-forbidden devil-induced chord", it's easy to see why Potemkine sound became all a sudden much more severe and somber (and sober, but that due to the group's trimming to a trio), as they chose to delve into Varese and Bartok, while keeping the jazz influence alive. The opening track Asyle is definitely UZ-inspired (although the Belgians were just releasing their first album the same year, but they'd been around since 73) and Goubin hasn't much that D Denis would lack or envy. The vocals are sufficiently rare, but in the high register. With the ultra-slow and gloomy Crepuscula (this is sounding like the future Shub-Niggurath), then the most distinctive (and fave of mine) and intricate Loolit II, which a rework of the Foetus track of the same name.

After the GG-esque Chant de Viamor opening the flipside, comes the album's highlight, the 13-mins+ Eiram (Marie in reverse) with tons of interesting passages, including some percussion-only, but the gradual crescendo with the pulsating bass around the fifth and seventh minutes is quite impressive. The second part of the track is much more on Magma's Milky Way, but can remind me of early Eskaton as well.

The first two bonus tracks are taken from the first album Foetus and can be useful to point out the progress between the two works, but most of you will be on the look out for that first (and a bit elusive) album. You'll plainly see/hear the Stravinsky-laden jazz-rock of Mahavishnu Orchestra being one of their huge influences on their debut album. The next two tracks are of even much greater interest, since they're from their debut single recorded three years prior to this album and already hinting at the general Zeuhl/Canterburian musical direction.

Hard to say which of the three Potemkine is the best as they've all got their pros and cons, but in face of the difficulty of finding the debut Foetus (it's always nice to discover a band's oeuvre chronologically), Triton will be also a more likely good start as it features part of that debut album and the very first recordings of the group which much more accessible. Some would also pretend that Potemkine's third album is the better intro, because of the stronger rhythms and more conventional chord structures.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Somewhere between Canterbury and Kobaia lies the world of Potemkine... That crossover is demonstrated perfectly by the first track Asyle, which sounds very Canterbury-like but with the slightly totalitarian Zeuhl feel of early Magma (those piano chords!) Crepuscula is incredibly slow and dar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2574155) | Posted by bartymj | Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The second album from this band who really never managed to carry it off. The music on this album is somewhere between Hatfield & The North, Magma and Mahavishnu Orchestra. The two tracks from Foetus they have carried over to this CD (which also includes the two songs from their only single) ... (read more)

Report this review (#297630) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, September 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think this album is brilliant in some point, sometimes it sounds repetitive (I know this is the principal character of Zeuhl music, but repeating a bad riff it's not so good). I think Mystere and Asyle are wonderful songs, especially Mystere, which is one of my favourite songs... This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#75730) | Posted by | Friday, April 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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