Exposé Online banner

Present — High Infidelity
(Carbon 7 C7-058, 2001, CD)

by Henry Schneider, 2003-02-01:

High Infidelity Cover art

High Infidelity is Present’s seventh release of intelligent music that extends the tradition laid down in Trigaux’s previous releases. This new CD contains three songs: "Souls for Sale," "Strychnine for Christmas," and "Rêve de Fer." "Souls for Sale" opens the disc and is immediately in your face with Frippish guitar riffs, dissonant chords, and interesting themes. "Strychnine for Christmas" is a dark brooding piece about a father who poisons his children, not an uplifting story, but the music is excellent with some cool Mellotron phrases thrown in the mix. The CD closes with "Rêve de Fer," the shortest song, but no slacker at 9:24. Heavy beats, dual guitar lines, and a laid back approach present another facet of this excellent band. If you like King Crimson, Univers Zero, Magma, Heldon, Pinhas, etc., then this latest release from Present is for you. Highly recommended.


by Mike McLatchey, 2001-12-01:

Have Present evolved from Univers Zero to Art Zoyd? Well, not quite, although Dominic Ntoumos' trumpet strongly reminds me of Gerard Hourbette's approach on Art Zoyd's early albums such as Génération sans Futur. However, the rhythmic combination of Dave Kerman and Keith Macksoud leaves no doubt that it is Present who have returned. Featuring an expanded line-up of eight musicians (nine if you count soundman Udi Koomran), this is certainly the group's most ambitious project to date. High Infidelity features three long pieces dominated by the six-part "Souls for Sale." The usual dark, brooding sound is back, although the addition of sax, cello, and trumpet to the mix expands the sound of the group to far more stridently menacing proportions. As the band locks in on an insistent, frightening dirge, the horns cry dissonantly, furthering the feeling of impending doom as the basic riff undergoes long developmental phases. These tend to be complex, variant lines over the same forward march with occasional volume drops to the vocal sections. The overall effect is intensely disturbing, undoubtedly a bullseye for the group. The final two pieces clock in not far from either side of ten minutes. Pierre Chevalier's "Strychnine for Christmas," unsurprisingly, is keyboard inundated with Mellotron strings and piano, a two-parter with typically Present-like lyrical imagery (sorrow, lack of hope, etc.) "Rêve de Fer" is, perhaps, the album's most complex piece, with a ton of interlocking instrumental lines that evolve into what could be Present's version of the Peter Gunn theme. Overall, I felt malaise, discomfort, and uneasiness, which, undoubtedly, is the whole point of High Infidelity, a bigger Present, yes, but one no less foreboding.


by Jeff Melton, 2001-12-01:

The bleak occasion of Roger Trigaux's seventh nightmarish vision is filled with extreme trauma. This time out, the composer has seen fit to fill an orchestral gap by adding sax, trumpet, and cello to the arrangements and what a drastic change it has made for the group. The core elements of the band remain the same for the third time, with the ensemble finding solid footing in these three new pieces. Roger's son Reginald does his utmost handling the lead guitar chores. He is especially ominous on the 27-minute epic "Souls for Sale" as the six passages magnificently spiral down into a seriously desolate mood. Part five even has a flute Mellotron that serves as a grim transition theme to the reprise finale. Keyboardist Pierre Chevalier's contribution to the album, "Strychnine for Christmas," provides a murderous point of view as the piece opens with a cello offset by a diagonal guitar part and an industrial syncopated bass and drum unison. Again at the formidable skins is 5uu's Dave Kerman, who must be soaking in the dread like a sponge as his own band's contributions can be easily linked here. Closing the disc is Trigaux's second major piece, "Rêve de Fer," which starts subtly with a Henry Cow-ish tone with anguished free-jazz blasts by saxophonist Fred Becker. Still on the brink of modern musical Mecca, Present has many appreciators to confront in a marketplace full of confused Tool fans ripe for an alternative black path.


by Mike Grimes, 2001-12-01:

For their latest release, Present pays tribute to REO Speedwagon's classic 1980 album. Their remake of "Keep on Loving You" just rocks!! Oh wait... that's just a terrible nightmare. Present returns with the same core line-up from 1999's No. 6, including founder Roger Trigaux on guitar and vocals, son Reginald Trigaux on guitar and vocals, Dave Kerman on drums, Pierre Chevalier on keys, and Keith Macksoud on bass. Several guest musicians contribute horns, cello, and accordion to the tunes. The horns and cello are actually prevalent throughout the CD and give this album more of a chamber rock music sound than previous Present material. Overall, the trademark Roger Trigaux somber and dark mood permeates the compositions and is evident even in the sections where he personally isn't playing. David Kerman provides his usual mastery behind the drum kit. That guy is simply an awesome player. Check out the drumming in Part 4 of "Souls for Sale" for example. He also shreds in the alternating 8 / 9 time signature parts of "Strychnine for Christmas." Both Trigauxs contribute tasteful guitar parts, but while intense in select spots, the guitar seems understated compared to earlier efforts. There are some sparse lyrics scattered amongst the album's three songs, but most of the release is instrumental. Chevalier's keyboards are featured a lot on the album, and his crazy distorted organ solo in "Rêve de Fer" rules! If you're a fan of Present, you'll surely enjoy this release. If you're not familiar with them... Well, fix that by going out and buying this CD!


Filed under: New releases , Issue 23 , 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Dave Kerman, Present

More info

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Thousand Days of Yesterdays - A Tribute to Captain Beyond – For most of us, Captain Beyond is a sort of footnote in the history of progressive rock, having achieved little apparent success or recognition for the three records they released between 1971 and...  (2001) » Read more

Motis - L'homme-loup & Live Crescendo – Motis is a talented French group who create what might be called medieval progressive rock. They are deeply influenced by the literature and myths of the Knights of the Round Table, the Song of...  (2008) » Read more

Robert Fripp - At the End of Time: Churchscapes Live in England & Estonia, 2006 – There is a great volume of music that we can work to comprehend, and there is a more elusive body within the body of music that it is best to apprehend. The first, of course, is a conscious...  (2008) » Read more

Roine Stolt - Wall Street Voodoo – Roine Stolt has certainly been a prolific musician the last several years. The Kaipa, Flower Kings, and Transatlantic guitarist / vocalist has released what seems like a couple of albums per year...  (2006) » Read more

Earcandy - Sound Is Just the Way You Ear It – Quite a grab bag of psychedelia, this. We covered Earcandy's first two releases (Space Is Just a Place and Time Is Just a State of Mind), both released on LP only, back in #7. This is their third,...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues