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Symphonic Prog • Germany

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Try biography
Try was a short lived German collaboration that produced one gem of an album in the summer of 1980. Amadeus Reineck and Michael Lapp were living in Berlin and met as young guys around 1976. Along with Heiko Vogler they formed a folk-rock band called Marzipan which eventually dissolved.

In the summer of 1980 Reineck and Lapp made the album Just a Try, an attempt at a soft progressive rock fusion of acoustic and electronic elements. Prog writers Steve and Alan Freeman mentioned Anthony Phillips, Ashra, and Cluster while talking about their sound. In my view their album is a beautiful piece of work, an obscure gem with a dreamy pastoral vibe, mostly on the softer side but with some moments of nice electric lead guitar as well. It crosses genres and features some elements of Symphonic, Folk, and Electronic. Both men also have extensive skills in sound engineering and studio work resulting in an album that sounds quite good even today.

Sadly it would be their only album together. But while Try was and will always be an obscure little project, it was a memorable and lovely moment. Thankfully it was remastered from the original masters and preserved in CD form by the esoteric German label Garden of Delights.

-Finnforest (May 2016)

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SmashBash Records 2012

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3.43 | 6 ratings
Just A Try

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Just A Try by TRY album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.43 | 6 ratings

Just A Try
Try Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Once again, the praiseworthy Garden of Delights label has unearthed a release lost in and buried by time, benefiting somewhat from the cachet of the very obscurity that exiled it for decades. While this mellow blend of acoustic and electric guitars and mostly synthesized keyboards might have been somewhat dated in 1980, contemporary reference points are not hard to find. In addition to the already noted similarity to MIKE OLDFIELD and ANTHONY PHILLIPS, "Just a Try" owes something to FUHRS & FROHLING, 2/3 of the seminal German mellotron rockers SCHICKE FUHRS & FROHLING, particularly their "Ammerland" album; early NOVALIS, the more pastoral expressions of TANGERINE DREAM, as well as to the FOGELBERG AND WEISBERG 1978 success, sans the flute. It also presages the solo guitar Windham Hill works of WILL ACKERMAN and others of his ilk who would become quite popular in the mid 1980s.

As I've hinted, this release simultaneously merits both "nothing special" and "something special" qualifiers. It works best as an escape from daily drudgery, as its arrangements weave a pastoral collage, occasionally firing up an energetic arrangement such as "Wreck on the Wire", By and large, "Just a Try" is more hypnotic and seductive than assertive, and is recommended to prog folk fans and others who might have forgotten to specify "decaf" with their order.

 Just A Try by TRY album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.43 | 6 ratings

Just A Try
Try Symphonic Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A bit of Ant Phillips, a bit of Middle Earth

I'm so happy to see the obscure German band "Try" finally added to the Archives. This Berlin duo recorded their lone minor opus in the summer of 1980, hardly a time frame celebrated by progressive rock fans. But this is one lost gem that can and should proudly adorn the shelves of fans of softer, bucolic, pastoral progressive rock.

"Just a Try" is a wonderful album, a blend of electronic sound and acoustic instrumentation with very little percussion and almost no vocals. It has elements of symphonic and folk and electronic music. While the segments are tracked in relatively short 2-6 minutes pieces, the album for me is one long piece of music. Ranging from purely acoustic guitar shorts to piano/keyboard scenes to occasional soaring electric guitar leads, the album feels like Ant Phillips met Oldfield and talked him into making a Tolkien soundtrack. There are also ambient sounds used for effect: waves, birds, etc. The music feels much more Shire than Mordor. It's an uplifting piece of music that will give you relaxing moments and inspiring ones. While it may not break new ground the compositions and sound quality are very good, the latter likely because both men have pretty extensive experience in studio work and sound engineering.

The best track is the longest in "Wreck on the Wire" which makes one wonder what Try could have accomplished had they pushed the whole album in a harder rocking direction. This track employs lovely vocals from Carolyn McCombs (the album's only vocal) and the most aggressive electric guitar parts, which still are quite mellow and melodic. While this is the most "prog rock" track it still has a different feel because of the choice to not use a drummer. In my opinion it doesn't suffer at all from it. The album has a different feel (different is good!) than many bands because of the lighter touch, the contemplative writing, and the great melodies. The album also boasts an aura that is very difficult to describe, somewhat mysterious, perhaps even spiritual. It also sounds like it could have come out a decade earlier and been right at home in 1970. By 1980 it certainly breaks no new ground and may be too mellow for many classic prog rock fans, but if you are an Ant Phillips fan, do take a chance on hearing it.

The very cool "Garden of Delights" label remastered and released this album on CD with a very nice booklet containing photos and bio. It is still available as of this writing, check Syn-phonic Music or the Garden website for vendors.

Thanks to finnforest for the artist addition.

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