And the art of "HeavyZenJazz"

It's funny that I discovered these via a second-hand CD sold-in at the shop, only to learn that Trigon had already been recommended to me, and there were promo's waiting in the office for me to check-out!

An instrumental psychedelic rock trio based around the Lange brothers: Rainer Lange (guitars) and Stefan Lange (bass), Trigon history goes way back to 1990, but only more recently did they make it onto the German festival scene. They've gone through numerous drummers, and currently one Tihomir Lozanovski is at the stool, and he's quite remarkable.

It would seem that our first encounter was not at all typical, as the 2004 Trigon saw an expanded version of the band playing live. HERZBERG 2004 (Kamasutra Bunker Records 26) involves a gradual transition of style, initially focused on the trio (guitar, bass, drums) format, but with the addition of keyboards that gradually become more dominant. This instrumental concoction reminds of so many 1970's German bands, with hints of Grobschnitt (guitar and space-grooves) and SFF (Mellotron sounds), along with their own Zappa like groove with ever soloing guitar. On two tracks they're joined by a flugelhorn player for a jazzier twist on their freaky psychedelic sound.

The more recent EMERGENT is strangely devoid of any label name or catalogue number, which will certainly make it difficult to order!

A lot of this basically sits somewhere between jamming instrumental Man and Guru Guru, with thirteen more condensed tracks that act as vehicles for solo upon solo, and lots of intensely infectious rhythmic grooves. Again there's a guest keyboard player on a few tracks, giving it a more prog sound on occasions, reminding me of some American acts like Djam Karet or Escapade.

Trigon are undoubtedly one of the finest bands in Germany. Yet we all wonder where the "Heavy Zen Jazz" comes in? "Heavy Retro Freak Out" more like!

Alan Freeman
Audion #51 (April 2006)