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Present

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Formed out of the Rock in Opposition -- or RIO -- movement that began among a collective of progressive rock bands in the late '70s, Present are a dark-toned, avant-garde Belgian ensemble led by guitarist/composer Roger Trigaux, formerly of the chamber-prog band Univers Zero.
After issuing a pair of highly sought-after LPs in the early '80s which were later reissued by the Cuneiform label, Present disbanded for nearly a decade before being revived in 1993 by Trigaux and his son, Reginald Trigaux. Resuming their association with Cuneiform, the band followed a handful of live releases with 1998's Certitudes, as well as subsequent highlights like 2005's A Great Inhumane Adventure and 2009's Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo), the latter of which appeared via the Ad Hoc label. Present remained active in the 2010s performing throughout Europe.
Helping co-found Univers Zero in 1974 with drummer Daniel Denis, Trigaux eventually left the band in 1979 to form Present with pianist Alain Rochette. Denis, meanwhile, played in both Univers Zero and Present. Bassist Christian Genet played on the band's first LP, Triskaïdékaphobie (fear of the number 13), which was recorded and mixed between January and May 1980 and released later that year by the Atem label. Ferdinand Philippot played bass on their follow-up, Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (the poison that causes madness), which was recorded in late January and early February of 1983, but due to label and touring difficulties, that album did not see release until Cuneiform Records head Steve Feigenbaum heard a tape of it and decided to issue it on his imprint in 1985. By that point, the bandmembers had gone their separate ways, with Present existing only as a duo project featuring Trigaux and percussionist Pierre Narcisse; they recorded an unreleased demo in 1986.
After being dormant for years, Present was re-formed by Trigaux in the mid-'90s; subsequent lineups have included some of the band's original members as well as Reginald Trigaux on second guitar and ex-pat American drummer Dave Kerman of 5uu's, U Totem, and Thinking Plague. The music of Present has a dark feel similar to Univers Zero, but is often more relentlessly arpeggiated and rock-oriented, despite the post-millennial introduction of varied instrumentation including cello and saxophone into the band. Present's recorded output has been released mainly by Cuneiform and Carbon 7, although 2010's impressive two-disc set Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo), featuring a CD with newly recorded (and re-recorded) material and a DVD featuring live festival appearances and archival footage, was released by Ad Hoc Records. In 1989, Cuneiform reissued the first two Present albums, Triskaïdékaphobie and Le Poison Qui Rend Fou, on a single-disc compilation and in 2014, the label again reissued the albums, this time in separate expanded editions (including live bonus tracks), digitally restored and remastered by Udi Koomran and featuring vintage photographs and historical essays by Aymeric Leroy and Renato de Moraes. ~ Jim Dorsch & Dave Lynch, Rovi

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