Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

PRESENT

RIO/Avant-Prog • Belgium


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Present picture
Present biography
Founded in Belgium in 1979 - Disbanded in 1985 - Reformed in 1993- Still active as of 2017

This came as a side project from Belgian avant-gardism group UNIVERS ZERO. As guitarist Roger Trigaux left that band, he got help from drummer Daniel Denis, A-M Polaris on vocals and Rochette on bass. Their music is incredibly somber (sinister is also appropriate) as it was on U Z but here the music is electrified, more energetic and more constructed, as there is "normal song construction" if that ever meant anything to those musicians. After two albums came a period were no albums came out for ten years, the band resuming activity in 95 with a live album. In the meantime Roger had released under that name a record where he duets with his son, and he would place in the group after along with the collaboration of Dave Kerman (5UU'S). The albums have been coming out at a regular pace the music gradually evolving towards an acoustic sound on the last album. PRESENT's music is really hard to categorize and to give names of bands to tell you the sound would be misleading you.

PRESENT is recommended to progheads that are not afraid of musical adventures out of the ordinary with a gloomy twist.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

PRESENT forum topics / tours, shows & news


PRESENT forum topics Create a topic now
PRESENT tours, shows & news Post an entries now

PRESENT Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all PRESENT videos (3) | Search and add more videos to PRESENT

Buy PRESENT Music



More places to buy PRESENT music online

PRESENT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PRESENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.29 | 130 ratings
Triskaïdékaphobie
1980
4.21 | 129 ratings
Le poison qui rend fou
1985
3.23 | 44 ratings
C.O.D. Performance
1993
3.61 | 65 ratings
Certitudes
1998
4.35 | 101 ratings
Nº 6
1999
4.01 | 73 ratings
High Infidelity
2001
4.25 | 147 ratings
Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo)
2009

PRESENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 21 ratings
Live!
1996
3.57 | 33 ratings
A Great Inhumane Adventure
2005

PRESENT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PRESENT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.41 | 42 ratings
Triskaidekaphobie / Le poison qui rend fou
1989

PRESENT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PRESENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 C.O.D. Performance by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.23 | 44 ratings

BUY
C.O.D. Performance
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DangHeck

3 stars Hyper-Minimal Quasi-Psychedelic Avant-Prog Somewhat Satisfactory

At a 'quick and easy' three tracks, I knew I could get this one reviewed by the end of the beginning of the morning. I jest, of course. I suppose the biggest joke is that this was going to be, in all likelihood, some very dense Avant-prog... I guess it's hard to believe, generally speaking, to have an R.I.O. release with only guitar, vocals and percussion (this amounting to no more than light clicks and kickdrum), but here we are. Super minimalistic. But they certainly make it work.

"Love Scorn" starts off low and slow, comparable to the darkest that '60s Psychedelia had had to offer then. And dark indeed. And such a unique use of guitar itself! I assume (possibly only then) they tuned one of them down extremely low to accomplish this weird, alien 'cello'. It's in the latter half that guitar soloing jumps out of the minimal expanse of guitar and simple clicks (at times what sounds like just the simple hit of a closed hi-hat). It may remind of FRIPP. And following this first sketch of electric guitar is an intense battle, fierce and eerie.

The tracks get exponentially longer, from 9 and a half minutes to just under 15 all the way to 25 minutes. And with that, "Alone - Part One" heads off in beautiful, again not unlike KC (though latter days Crimson via the aid of BELEW), overlapping guitar melody. Around the midway point, this falls away to something heavier. The heaviest percussion they had introduced to us up to this point (as with said 'battle' on "Love Scorn") is merely intense, reverb'd out kickdrum. "Part One" was well performed, but so minimal, I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

"Alone - Part Two" kicks off with something a little more intriguing. The rhythm is slightly off-kilter and the guitar just goes. They once again, I assume, because it seems clearer here using octave pedal, have the dark, muddy 'bass guitar'. Like I suggest, much more satisfactory than the first part. Unsurprisingly still moody and gloomy. Minimal or not, actually quite a lot happens within the first 3 minutes! Vocals are finally introduced around minute 11. Sort of classical and creepy, reminiscent to me of Sophisti-Pop lounge lizards? Again falling away, minute 18 introduces a queer, creeping section. Worth a listen if you have the time.

Overall, well performed, at times genuinely very interesting, but not to appeal to even your average RIO fan half the time. I nearly gave it a 2.

 Triskaïdékaphobie by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.29 | 130 ratings

BUY
Triskaïdékaphobie
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars One of the earliest examples of the unique hybrid of 20th century classical music, chamber music and avant-prog, Univers Zero stunned the world with its darkened delivery of these composites with its first two albums "1313 (originally released self-titled)" and "Heresie" which took the world of avant-prog into more sinister grounds and the basis of scary horror soundtrack music that wasn't from the Italian group Goblin for decades to come. Despite the eerie perfection that was laid out on those two classic epic album, composer/guitarist/pianist Roger Trigaux decided to jump ship and create a new band where he presumably had a bit more control. The result was the band PRESENT which signified a split between the world of Univers Zero and PRESENT where he stole bassist Christian Genet from the first UZ album as well as drummer Daniel Denis who would moonlight in both bands for many years.

With the exit stage left of Trigaux, Univers Zero was shown to have lost the darkest member of the crew as the third UZ album sans Trigaux shifted gears completely in terms of darkness by offering a "lighter" approach to what had been established on the first two albums. On the other hand PRESENT took the dark side of avant-prog / chamber rock / modern classic music to even more extremes. For PRESENT's debut TRISKAÏDÉKAPHOBIE which is the French word for triskaidekaphobia and means fear of the number 13, the darkness was a more concentrated form which unleashed a more frenetic version of what UZ had done only with a stronger guitar presence and a knack for crafting a larger than life sound with as a mere quartet. TRISKAÏDÉKAPHOBIE could possibly qualify as the scariest and most forbidding album of the year 1980 unleashing sonic demons and forever making you wonder if the number 13 is really Satan in disguise!

TRISKAÏDÉKAPHOBIE originally featured a mere three tracks with two monstrously long nail-biters followed by a shorter come down piece. Considered one of the unabashed masterpieces of avant-prog, PRESENT admirably picked up the torch where the first two Univers Zero albums had suddenly left off. The opening "Promenade Au Fond D'un Canal" featured a claustrophobic 19 minute plus run beginning as eerily dark chamber rock before breaking into martial guitar and bass groove much like the world of zeuhl with Christian Genet's stellar bass gymnastics reminding of Jannick Top in Magma's classic Kobaian output. While the music retains the UZ darkened chamber rock vibe, the combo effect of the zeuhl rhythmic drive, frenetic keyboard runs and perpetual cyclical loops bringing Philip Glass's minimalistic approach to the table, all conspire to create a bizarre surreal soundscape that took the world of avant-prog to more energetic realms beyond anything Henry Cow or Univers Zero had explored thus far. The track slowly transmogrifies into a more rock induced hypnosis culminated in some wickedly wild guitar workouts before finally ceding to the next equally frenetic offering.

The second track "Quatre-Vingt Douze" misses the 16-minute mark but is every bit as effective at keeping the album's mood dialed to creepsville. Fortified with more melodic classical piano rolls, the alternation of sensual slow moving parts and fidgety angularities of the electric piano finger breakers offearas another startling taste of PRESENT's bleak musical palette. This track integrates more variations of styles, tones, timbres and motifs thus making it less hypnotic than track #1 but even more frightening. The original album closed with the 3 1/2 minute "Repulsion" which provided a creepy ambient come down period with a repetitive tone, gongs and a blackened atmospheric drone sounding more like the post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or other similar minded posties than what came before. The 2014 CD release on the Cuneiform label features an additional 20 minutes of live bonus tracks featuring the Univers Zero tracks "Dense" and "Vous Le Saurez En Temps Voulu" which was allowed since Denis was playing in both bands simultaneously.

PRESENT released a total of six studio albums before Trigaux's untimely passing in 2021 but of all the albums he crafted under the band name PRESENT, it's this debut TRISKAÏDÉKAPHOBIE that provides the most haunting musical experience you could ever hope for in the days before scary music started creeping into various musical genres. While a direct descendent of the first two UZ albums, PRESENT crafted a masterful mix of the most frenetic and hypnotic styles of music that existed at the time and in the process evoking the otherworldliness of Magma, the minimalism of modern 20th century classical artists as well as the angular jagged workouts afforded by the whacked out world of avant-prog. With tightly delivered instrumental workouts that featured four excellent musicians making stunning hairpin turns in unison, TRISKAÏDÉKAPHOBIE is an absolutely essential avant-prog album that remains timeless in its bizarro mondo freakery and a worthy continuation of what UZ had crafted with Trigaux. M-m-m-masterpiece of progressive rock!

 Nº 6 by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.35 | 101 ratings

BUY
Nº 6
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Present offer up the first fruits from their legendary 1999 sessions in Israel (the remainder of which formed the nucleus of High Infidelity) on No. 6, which offers a furiously energetic take on the Present-Univers Zero style of spooky RIO. Previously, the most frenetic example of this house style I could point to would probably have been the opening track on Univers Zero's Ceux du Dehors, but Roger Trigaux and company make that cut seem positively tepid with the furious playing they offer up here. A major artistic breakthrough, with Present finally coming into its own distinctive identity and definitively emerging from the shadow of Univers Zero.
 Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo) by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.25 | 147 ratings

BUY
Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo)
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Impeccably performed and recorded compositions that are both intricate and complex in a way that is more similar to modern classical music than progressive rock music (like Änglagård, Kotebel, All Traps on Earth, Yugen, and, of course, Univers Zero) the music contained here is remarkably engaging despite the angular rhythms and chromatic scales used. Still, there is enough of a lack of "grooves" and melodic "hooks" that I would have trouble recommending this for casual listening (less so for "A Last Drop" as there are some basic elements of groove and melodic hook throughout this one). I understand that "casual listening" has never been a signature of progressive rock, so perhaps I should lighten up my judgment, I just don't find myself interested in returning to this music (whereas I am so inclined with the works of the above-mentioned bands). Thus my lower than average rating for this album: it's based on accessibility and popularity over longevity

1. "Vertiges" (16:38) filled with a lot of nuanced and fast changing motifs, this is truly a masterpiece of composition and performance without being memorable or very likable; I appreciate it's brilliance without ever wanting to return to it. (26/30)

2. "A Last Drop" (11:26) the most engaging composition on the album due to its "groove" and melodic "hooks." And yet, it is long... (18/20)

3. "Jack The Ripper" (16:41) One of the more captivating musical renderings of the legend of and mood created by the White Hall murderer (especially the "slasher" work of the viola and electric guitar). But, is musical representationalism enough to merit high marks? Is this "perfection" of songwriting? (27/30)

Can an album be a masterpiece of modern Avant garde/RIO music without being a masterpiece of progressive rock? If it's possible, this is one of the albums one would use to make your case.

 Live! by PRESENT album cover Live, 1996
3.82 | 21 ratings

BUY
Live!
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars One of my favorite RIO live albums... Not one of the best but definetively one that I really appreciate because it stands like the end of Present first era and inside the four long tracks of this album you can find the most "classic" Present sound from hard and raw sections leaded by Roger and Réginald Trigaux guitars on "Laundry Blues" and "Alone" to the most intricate and complex musical sequences on "Promenade au Fond d'un Canal"...

Vocals are really scary most of the time but even floating and harmonic. Bruno Bernas bass sounds like a magnificient thunder during several minutes before turns into a melodic and slight ambient element on "Contre" and "Alone". All of this surronded by 5 UU'S Dave Kerman's complex drums filling the structures of Roger Trigaux mind blowing compositions.

Not less than 4* for this great piece of live album. It's a very partial opinion but I had to honor the insane effects that Roger Trigaux and Present music had on me...

 C.O.D. Performance by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.23 | 44 ratings

BUY
C.O.D. Performance
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Psychedelic Rock in Opposition, "raw" as "raw" can be.

At last, I have aquired this PRESENT "C.O.D. Performance", 1993 record, or simply Roger Trigaux plus his son playing on what could almost be called an all electric guitar album, Trigaux's style of course . A guitar album, that is intimate, experimental, daring, and at times, also self-indulgent. A surprising visit to Mr, Trigaux's concept of the "Psychedelic 60's", in his own compositional and performance language, transformed to be played by electric guitar duets, triplets and solos (including bass guitar, of course). Some additional, but scarce percussions, and some very "Doorsy" vocals and lyrics, here and there.

This is the kind of record guitar players should enjoy listening to. More than anything else, due to the fact, that the electric guitar was kind of demeaned by the RiO crowd. It seems it was too "symbolic", and too close to the Rock they "opposed". Mr Triguax kind of even things up, more or less.

Of course there are some astounding highlights, as far as music writing goes. The performance, although impeccable, kind of weakens itself by repetition of ideas. To round things up, "C.OD. Performance" is uneven. The great music sections, are trapped, more than once, between quiet unimpressive or less inspired compositional sections.

***3 "Fun, but not essential" PA stars.

 High Infidelity by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.01 | 73 ratings

BUY
High Infidelity
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This mostly instrumental album is challenging, to say the least. It is very much a jazz album, with the ten man line-up including brass (a flugelhorn!) and cellos. The music cascades and sweeps, and while often strident and harsh is never anything less than powerful.

This is not easy listening, but rather music that has to be worked at to be enjoyed. It may not be an album to listen to often, even for those who enjoy jazz more than I do, but there is something in it that is strangely compelling. Themes move, disappear, and then come back again later. There are only three tracks, but the shortest is more than nine minutes in length while the longest is more than twenty-seven. A friend I have lent it to is enjoying playing this at very loud volume, and is a big fan of the horns, but for many this will be an acquired taste. Not for the fainthearted, find out more at www.netbeat. com/carbon7.

Originally appeared in Feedback #66, Feb 02

 Triskaïdékaphobie by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.29 | 130 ratings

BUY
Triskaïdékaphobie
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Present's debut is such a well rounded album. Granted it has only two songs and an outro, the songs themselves are intense from start to finish, leaving very little to complain about. I find myself shifting between this album and Univers Zero's Heresie depending on my mood, but at the moment I'll take Present's debut simply because Trigaux' guitar make this a rockier affair (and I mean 'rockier' in that it sounds more like a band than just an ensemble, as oppose to U.Z.'s first three albums.) Genet's bass is unrelenting too; it's as pummeling as anything found on Magma's discography.

Fans of those aforementioned bands should check these guys out.

 Le poison qui rend fou by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.21 | 129 ratings

BUY
Le poison qui rend fou
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If Present's debut album was a fresh spin on an already established band, LE POISON is almost the exact same statement five years later. So fans of the first can easily jump into the second with all of the intensity, macabre, darkness, etc. they love. There is the (horrible) inclusion of operatic vocals in the first part of the title epic, but it doesn't change the fact that LE POISON is still very piano/drum-driven RIO. Somehow the excitement from TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIE vanished here, almost as if LE POISON acts as a ''business as usual'' kind of album.

It would be very interesting to hear LE POISON if there was some horns floating over the music a la Univers Zero. But I'm not going to try to sour grapes for much longer. It's quite good RIO music, but a bit redundant if you've heard the debut.

 Triskaïdékaphobie by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.29 | 130 ratings

BUY
Triskaïdékaphobie
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIE is the birth of a band called Present that sounds a lot like (and shares members with) RIO legends Univers Zero. Yet, it is fairly obvious that Present has its own sound that distinguishes it from UZ. An interesting paradox, yet it's so hard to explain exactly why the two bands differ. You almost have to have heard both groups to get the idea in your head, and it's still hard to explain.

Whatever dark, macabre horrorifics that UZ employed (speaking from their debut, they got more electric later on), Present sound much less acoustic. The main strengths of the band are the pianos, the drums (Daniel Denis; no surprises there) and just the intensity of the music. Both big epics have that last quality in spades; if you're a fan of avant-prog, that hair-tickling feeling of the sharpness of the music will rub off on you in the best way. That's how best to really describe why Present and TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIE work within the avant-prog scene. It's well worth putting an ear to if you can find it.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.