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PRESENT

RIO/Avant-Prog • Belgium


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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 : : :

See also:

- Univers Zero




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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)

4.16 | 73 ratings
Triskaïdékaphobie
1980
4.02 | 81 ratings
Le Poisón Qui Rend Fou
1985
3.15 | 23 ratings
C.O.D. Performance
1993
3.49 | 42 ratings
Certitudes
1998
4.17 | 51 ratings
No 6
1999
3.80 | 47 ratings
High Infidelity
2001
4.15 | 95 ratings
Barbaro (Ma non troppo)
2009

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

3.77 | 13 ratings
Live!
1996
3.48 | 20 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)

4.11 | 38 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
3.15 | 23 ratings

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

Review by admireArt

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.

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 High Infidelity by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.80 | 47 ratings

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High Infidelity
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Triskaïdékaphobie by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 73 ratings

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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.

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 Le Poisón Qui Rend Fou by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.02 | 81 ratings

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Le Poisón 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.

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 Triskaïdékaphobie by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.16 | 73 ratings

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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.

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 Barbaro (Ma non troppo) by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.15 | 95 ratings

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Barbaro (Ma non troppo)
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I wasn't impressed by Present's comeback album Certitudes, which I thought fell far short of their first two great studio albums, but Barbaro has convinced me that I really need to take take another look at the albums that followed Certitudes, because there's some great stuff on here. Even if you set aside the fantastic DVD that comes with this set and is stuffed full of juicy live performances from the band, the CD comes with two great chamber rock spookfests as well as a fine performance of Jack the Ripper, one of Roger Trigaux' Univers Zero-era compositions which had pride of place on their classic Heresie. On the whole, because of the inclusion of this cover version I am inclined to consider this a DVD set which happens to have an EP attached, but the whole package is good enough to make me want to explore latter-day Present a bit more.

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 Certitudes by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.49 | 42 ratings

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Certitudes
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Present return with the first full-fledged band effort for over a decade on Certitudes, though to be honest I find it rather unconvincing. I'm inclined to agree with toroddfuglesteg that in moving somewhat away from the dark, horrific soundscapes of their first releases Present lose that distinctive atmosphere which made them so compelling, and they don't really find a cohesive and compelling tone to replace it with. The consequence is an album which, to my ears, seems to lack an emotional core - the musicians seem to be playing for the sake of playing but the compositions don't seem to evoke any particular mood or theme.

In addition to this, some of the tweaks to the present sound they present just don't seem to work. Whilst the quasi-operatic singing on Le Poison Qui Rend Fou was compelling, the zany singing of the Trigaux family and Daniel Denis this time around just doesn't work for me. On the whole, Certitudes kept the Present name alive but doesn't really add anything to the legend.

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 Le Poisón Qui Rend Fou by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.02 | 81 ratings

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Le Poisón Qui Rend Fou
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Creeping out five years after Present's debut and with Daniel Denis of Univers Zero guesting on drums, the second album of Roger Trigaux's horror chamber rock project is much the same as the first - to the point where I defy anyone who doesn't know the track listings of the respective albums well to listen to the (great value) Cuneiform two-for-one issue of this album with Triskadekaphobie and guess where the one album ends and the next begins. The album is notable for featuring a fine vocal performance Marie-Anne Pollaris on part 1 of the title track, but otherwise continues in much the same vein as its predecessor. Fans of Univers Zero will enjoy it even if they do know more or less what to expect.

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 Live! by PRESENT album cover Live, 1996
3.77 | 13 ratings

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Live!
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Live versions of their earlier material.

I am a fan of the first three Present albums. Material they have played live & recorded for this album.

Present's three first albums was very gloomy and horror movies influenced. Some of their music reminds me a lot about what the zeuhl band Shub Niggurath did.

Present live is a lot more minimalistic than they are in the studio. Where Promenade au Fond d'un Canal is big in studio, it has lost something in the translation to the scene. Mostly in intensity and gloom. The dissonant guitars is not that much dissonant live. Also sound wise, something is missing here.

Despite of the translation errors from studio to a live setting; this live album is still a very good live album. It very much gives a good picture of what Present was back in the mid 1990s. But I prefer their studio albums instead of this live album, I have to admit.

Still.......

3.5 stars

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 Barbaro (Ma non troppo) by PRESENT album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.15 | 95 ratings

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Barbaro (Ma non troppo)
Present RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ode to a dark alleyway....

After an eight year gap from their last 'burst' of activity the Belgian RIO royalty deliver the goods again.

The Good: I've always enjoyed Present's albums from the 1980s but found their overall effect to be diluted by weak production. In contrast this album provides all the brooding tension of their earlier works, but in a high fidelity package. I also love the variation found on this release, from the darkly atmospheric Vertiges, to the more upbeat, almost groovy A Last Drop.

The Bad: I prefer the opening two tracks to the Univers Zero cover, Jack the Ripper, although this is marginal and may just be because they're fresher.

The Verdict: Turn off the lights and turn up the volume.

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