Magenta - Trojan E.P.

Year of Release: 2017
Label: Tigermoth Productions
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: DL
Total Time: 18:26:00

In April, UK progressive rock legends Magenta released their latest CD, We Are Legend. Ahead of that release came an EP, called Trojan E.P., that the band offered for free. Technically this taster for the album is an extended single, rather than an EP, as it contains a "mere" 3 tracks: an edited version of the album track "Trojan," hence the title along with a Chimpan-A mix of "Trojan" and "Look Around," a track also given a Chimpan-A mix. This latter track does not appear on the album, which also, by the way, consists of "only" three tracks (the longest is "Trojan" at 26-plus).

Having downloaded the EP a month ago today - coincidentally incidentally - I thought I would give it a quick review ahead of reviewing the full album (soon).

Now, when I say "Trojan" is an edited version, I would say "excerpt" is more apt, as it has a playing time of 5:43 (as noted, the album version 26-plus). The track begins with some swirly, atmospheric keyboards before the calm is pierced by screaming guitar ... well, honestly, I can't tell if it's keys or guitar. What is unmistakable are the clear and sweet vocals of Christina Booth. This segment becomes at times a churning rocker driven by the bass, at other times an exercise in smooth symphonic keys. Even as an excerpt it seems complete, and yet makes you wonder what the whole piece sounds like. I can tell you this much, I like it.

What differentiates the Chimpan-A mix? Well, this mix replaces the rock drive with the more languid speed of electronica. Programmed drums are replete throughout; computerized vocals are woven in with Booth's, all giving it the sonic equivilent of Tron. Or the soundtrack for a computer animated short circa the 1990s. I used to watch a lot of those animated shorts, which turned me on to some of the electronic music artists (and that lead along other paths to Steve Roach, Tangerine Dream, others). Oddly enough, this mix is longer at 8:39. It is compelling, even as it is much colder reading than the main single. And, according to the band's Facebook page, is another section of "Trojan" but given the Chimpan-A treatment.

Closing out the EP is "Look Around," which melds synthetic percussion with warm keys and Booth's delicate vocals. This starts out feeling more mainstream, a fit for the now passe adult contemporary genre. It is a very relaxed, and overall sparse piece, taking its time to unfold. The final half-minute brings in a full arrangement - lush keys; an effect that could be a theremin, could be Booth vocalizing; bell-like percussive accents, all pushed forward by the steady beat of the drums. It is warmer than the "Trojan" remix, but still cooler than the "Trojan" extract. It is also said to be a section of "Trojan," so... yeh, will be giving the album a listen or two (or more).

The E.P. is available at the band's Bandcamp page. Below is the video for "Trojan"

Trojan (5:43) / Trojan (Chimpan-A mix) (8:39) / Look Around (Chimpan-A mix) (4:04)

Christina Booth - vocals
Chris Fry - guitars
Jon "Jiffy" Griffiths - drums
Dan Nelson - bass
Rob Reed - keyboards, guitars

Revolutions (2001)
Seven (2004)
Broken (EP) (2004)
Another Time... Another Place (2004)
I'm Alive (EP) (2004)
Home (2006)
Night And Day (w/Annie Haslam) (2006)
New York Suite (2006)
The Singles (2007)
Metamorphosis (2008)
Live At The Point 2007 (2008)
Seven (ltd CD/DVD, remixed/remastered) (2009)
Live At Read World (2010)
The Gathering (2010)
Live: On OUr Way To Knows Where (2012)
Chameleon (2011)
The Lizard King E.P. (EP) (2013)
The Twenty Seven Club (2013)
Trojan E.P. (2017)
We Are Legend (2017)

The Gathering (DVD) (2005)
The Metamorphosis Collection (DVD) (2008)
Live At The Point 2007 (DVD) (2009)
Chaos From The Stage (DVD) (2016)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 29th 2017
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 3736
Language: english


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