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4/3 De Trio - Ersatz CD (album) cover


4/3 De Trio


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 51 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Conceived and developed while the band still existed but initially left unfinished, 4/3 de Trio eventually finalized the recording and release of their second and last album "Ersatz" as a tribute to the memory of drummer Didier Pérgeron, who had recently passed away from a fatal car crash. And what an excellent musical tribute this is! The solidness of the musician's interplaying and the integrity of the various ideas in the repertoire makes it hard to believe that the album's material was written and firstly recording during a period of inner tensions. But yes, "Ersatz" is an amazing catalogue of clever mixture of psychedelic prog, jazz-rock (with an accent on the rock thing), complex almost metallic hard rock, RIO and somber symphonic prog in Scandinavian fashion. Just for reference, I'll mention similarities with their compatriots of Xaal and Taal, as well as Lizard and the most Crimsonian Djam Karet. Anyway, an album that gets started with a majestic track as 'Solmhinarm' can sure grab the listener's attention for a while, say, one full album listen. The mellotron layers and the fierce guitar phrases reinforce the track's overall dynamics. Then comes the namesake number, which fluidly combines the special magic of jazz-rock and the neurotic darkness of KC, not unlike Xaal (another French young band that got finished too soon) - a special mention goes to the incendiary organ solo near the amazing climax. 'Bleu Cerise' kicks off with disturbing concrete music sounds left to the chance of absolute freedom, before the Present- influenced main motif arrives and gets settled. The last 40 seconds are filled by a calm, mysterious finale. 'Ayahusca' kind of follows a similar path of the previous track, albeit with a less oppressive mood and less intrepid tempo: all in all, the guitar leads continue to be disturbing and ballsy. Things get meditative when 'Oceane' gets in: it is a beautiful classical guitar duet a-la Villa-Lobos, very spiritual and providing a subtle exotic vibe to the atmosphere. 'Kossmokardak' is the 16 minute long tour-de-force that finds the band exploring the many faces of their most energetic side. You will find here a collection of succesive motifs wll integrated in a flow of eerie jazz-rock, hard prog rock, tight counterpoints, clever contrasts, Emerson-meets-Ratledge organ soloing, electrifying duelling between guitar and synthesizer, and last, a red hot synthesizer solo at the explosive climax. As much as it may seem ill conceived theoretically, the jazzy, frivolous number 'Le Blonde' manages to bring a breath of fresh air after the previous not-for- the-faint-hearted storm. Guest vocalist Elsa Klajnberg makes a convincing diva impersonation in her singing input. The album's bonus tracks are two solo Pérgeron tracks: he played the drums plus the guitar parts for two prog metal numbers, very much in the technical vein of the genre. My general balance: "Ersatz" is an excellent contemproary prog masterpiece for any good prog collection. 4/3 de Trio will forever be missed by prog fans worldwide.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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