Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Potemkine - 1977 - Triton


01. Asyle (7:30)
02. Crepuscula (5:01)
03. Loolit II (8:33)
04. Liberserim Urb Et Chant De Viamor (4:03)
05. Eiram (13:38)

Bonus tracks:
06. Loolitt (3:09)
07. Zed (5:20)
08. Rictus (4:49)
09. Mystere (5:48)

- Charles Goubin / guitars, piano, vocals
- Philippe Goubin / drums, percussions, piano (1 - 7)
- Doudou Dubuisson / bass guitar (1 - 7)
- Michel Goubin / piano, vocals (4, 6 - 9)
- Xavier Vidal / violon (6 - 9)
- Gilles Goubin / bass guitar (8, 9)
- Maurice Bataille / drums (8, 9)

Releases information
CD Triton (Soleil Zeuhl 04)
Tracks 5,6 are from the album Foetus
Tracks 8,9 are the two songs featured on the single from 1974, Mystere

"Triton" was the second Potemkine release, the one in which the band's ideology found its definitive expression. Despite the diabolic implications of the album's title, the sound and style delivered in it is not diabolical at all: if any, it is creepy and dark in many places, but in a controlled manner, as if putting emphasis on the mystery instead of the sinister. I'm not totally convinced about Potemkine being an essentially zheul act: I perceive them as a jazz-prog band with strong zheul and RIO components, and as such I enjoy and analyze their albums. Anyway, it is clear that the band has paid more attention to the influence from avant-prog so it is very present in much of he writing process and arrangements for the albums' repertoire. At times you can tell hat there's a noticeable family resemblance connecting what Potemkine are up to and what Univers Zero achieved in their debut album that same year. So here we've got an ensemble on top of their game, moving beyond the sonorities of their debut album and offering a greater deal of energy than on heir follow-up and final release "Nicolas II". 'Asyle' kicks off the album with a constrained yet amazing fire, gracefully sustained on the piano colorful washes and the powerful bass interventions (most of the time overshadowing the texturial guitar phrases). The motif shifts that occur from minute 3 onwards generate that sort of tension that the prog connoisseur can easily relate to the Francophone school of camber-rock. The track ends with a reprise of the initial motif. 'Crepuscula' is more deeply solemn, with an overwhelming mystery that emerges from the silent spaces between the piano chords. Once the whole ensemble settles in comes a beautiful Weather Report-inspired motif pertinently closed down by piano dewdrops. Building melancholic mystery in such an effective manner is a Potemkine forte, no doubt about it. 'Loolit II' partially follows this trend, aiming at foggy atmospheres but with a major dose of density and an enhanced avant-garde attitude. There's a particularly excellent moment in which Charles Goubin brings a tortured guitar solo, very Frith-like (such a pity that it is too short.!). For the last 2 ½ minutes things turn out increasingly extroverted until reaching an incendiary climax. 'Liberserim Urb et Chant de Viamor' rounds like a hybrid of "5"-era Soft Machine and eh first Univers Zero: agile and plethoric of bizarre melodic developments, his piece serves as a preserver of the magic portrayed in the previous track. 'Eiram' closes down the original repertoire of "Triton" on an epic tone: its abundantly jazzy colors, half Weatheresque, half Canterburian, are properly wrapped in a chamber-rock guise that allows the band to explore its most adventurous facet without losing an inch of groove. The CD edition includes no less than four bonus tracks. The first two come from the "Foetus" album, plain jazz-rock with extra avant-garde inspired complexity, either on an playful vein ('Loolit') or in a grayish mood ('Zed'). The last two bonuses come from he band's debut recording, a single that showed Potemkine quite close to heir veteran compatriots of Moving Gelatine Plates with ounces of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Potemkine is an excellent item from the glorious age of jazz-prog: those who appreciate their legacy can only have words of praise for his album, which I regard as their master opus.

1 comment:

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