Trioscapes – Digital Dream Sequence

Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence

A masterpiece in obscurity and unfathomable complexity, Trioscapes marry the bewildering, often savage meanderings of jazz with the rugged and equally as ambitious and unrelenting sensibilities of progressive metal; it takes a mere few seconds to fall in love with this band. Comprising of Between The Buried And Me’s Dan Briggs on bass, tenor saxophonist and flutist Walter Fancourt (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and drummer and percussionist Matt Lynch (Eyris), Digital Dream Sequence is the lovechild of a longing to compose musically challenging prog/jazz fusion without hindering its innate sense of fun. While it may be musically astounding and of an excellently perturbing, algebraic nature, it never takes itself too seriously; you listen to this grinning like Lewis Carrol’s playfully sinister Cheshire Cat.

This is a project which has been under development as far back as 2011, although their early intentions were to merely play a one-off show. The success of that show however, coupled with their enjoyment in playing songs of such expansive and effervescent technicality spurred them on to turn the band into something more substantial. While their commitments and time constraints to their main bands have slowed the creative process down, Digital Dream Sequence is well worth the wait.

From the off, title track Digital Dream Sequence is complete and utter lunacy; gargling, whirlpool bass, jolting jazz drumming and screeching saxophone hit you with an almighty wall of sound. Despite this though, there is still a lot of room for the song to breathe, it’s peppered with frequent interludes where one instrument takes the forefront: From Lynch’s stampeding drum fills to Briggs’ distinctive bass wallop and Fancourt’s soul-wrenching, beautifully discordant sax playing.

Biggs’ bass tone is the vivid centrepiece to the record. Dark, grinding and demonic, it adds a really viscous, veneering quality to the songs.  While Fancourt casts off into another realm entirely with a King Crimson flavoured saxophone solo on Stab Wounds, Briggs and Lynch lock into a shadowy, atmospheric and ubiquitous groove that strides boldly through both mind-boggling progressive rock and instantly accessible musical territories.

As every good prog album should do, Digital Dream Sequence has you on your toes at all times, it always leaves you guessing. You never know, like on Hysteria, when the song is going to burst from fast-paced, winding, time signature transcending saxophone-centric runs to the closest thing they have to a break down. It changes in an instant, grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and pulling you along for a ride you are only too happy to be a part of. Progressive music is, by nature, an art form that strives to break down boundaries and form new paths between musical predictability and genre limitations. Trioscapes then, seem to know no bounds. Their ability to construct the most elaborate song arrangements stop the tracks from becoming anally-retentive in any way shape or form. This really is music as an art form, it isn’t pretentious; it is purposeful and tactile.

Just listen to album closer The Jungle. Clocking in at over 15 minutes it has a sting in its tail at every conceivable moment, an unexpected sub plot that keeps the song fresh and enjoyable throughout. From its subtle, tabla led beginnings, to the slithering bass lines, hypnotic sax playing, crossfire drumming, dynamic pitfalls and emphatically built crescendos that fester in its foliage throughout, it is nothing short of mesmeric.

That sense of fun, both to listen to and for the personnel involved to unleash on the listener is omnipresent. It could have been so easy for the book-smart theoretical knowledge to overshadow the light-hearted sense of simple enjoyment upon which this band were founded, but that, thankfully never happens.

As a result, Digital Dream Sequence is one of the most vastly complex and diverse records that 2014 has to offer. It is hugely rewarding. Through this overwhelming 42 minute journey, that Cheshire Cat smile never leaves your face.

Tracklist:

01. Digital Dream Sequence
02. Stab Wounds
03. From the Earth to the Moon
04. Hysteria
05. The Jungle

Line-up:

Dan Briggs – bass
Walter Fancourt – tenor saxophone, flute
Matt Lynch – drums, electronics

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: