Australia - Full Moon 121 - 08/09/06
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, 26.7.06
Touring Australia in support of their new album The Headlight Serenade, Triosk are a dazzlingly skilled trio of jazz musicians forging forward with aplomb, incorporating electronic elements expertly into their piano, bass and drums set-up. Drummer Laurence Pike and keyboard player Adrian Klumpes are also
in the excellent Pivot, and bassist Ben Waples takes care of the lower frequencies on upright and electric bass.
First off, I don't think I've seen a more exciting drummer than Laurence Pike. His playing with Pivot is great, adding crisp, punchy rhythms to their simple yet colourful songs. However, with Triosk he demonstrates how versatile a drummer he truly is. Opening track "Intensives Leben" saw Pike tapping out an impossibly
fast and intricate pattern on every metallic surface of his drum kit, including cymbals resting on his snare and toms. Atop this insane clockwork din, Klumpes pounded out resonant piano chords in a blur of notes, while Waples kept the whole swarm of sound earthbound with a simple yet effective bassline. Imagine that for about ten minutes and you've got a disorientating and gripping start to a great evening of music.
Clearly impatient with simply reproducing existing pieces, Triosk played a handful of new works in progress, including the jaw-dropping "Great Cities". Although The Headlight Serenade is a good album, these new songs demonstrate that Triosk are heading off in even more exciting directions. However, given
the energy and skill of their playing, older songs such as 'I am a beautiful and unique snowflake' were injected with more life than their recorded counterparts. Meanwhile, songs off the new album, such as "Lazyboat" and "Headlights", were also much more exciting live than on record. Pike confessed that they recorded the album and subsequently learnt how to play the music, suggesting that their current incarnations are much more evolved, with fresh interpretations of existing structures. "Lazyboat" in particular proved oddly ferocious in live form.
Ultimately, Triosk are one of the best live bands I've seen. This partly lies in their commitment to making the performance exciting for them, and this creates a truly thrilling spectacle for the audience. The nearest comparison I can muster is if Four Tet was transformed from one guy behind a laptop to three guys expertly playing instruments. And even then you're only halfway there.
Copyright © 2006 Tim Clarke