Present - High Infidelity

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Carbon 7 Records
Catalog Number: C7 058
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:01:00

Present - High Infidelity: An Analysis in Three Parts

A) Souls for Sale

After exposing the subject to the smothering main motif of this lengthy piece for extended periods of time, a need to cower in the corners of the laboratory room and frantically look about with bloodshot eyes became apparent. Continued exposure led him to jump from his psychological refuge and begin performing what could, scientific inadequacy notwithstanding, be described as an agitated kind of primitive ritual. Even further exposure led the subject to despaired fits of rage and agitated paranoia. What is unquestionably relevant to the study, however, is how the subject sat down trembling and biting his fingernails (when the violent shaking of his head stopped for a moment) while muttering unintelligible and extremely quick phrases when track five was played for him. The subject's reactions at that point were a mixture between fear and disgust bordering on hatred. The hostility was somewhat eased when the experiment was nearing its end, but nevertheless replaced with the two types of behaviors described initially, until the subject finally collapsed in exhaustion.

Following are the subject's comments after waking up:

"The fear was frightened itself, I saw its eyes. It came to me in a blinding swirl of its dark cloak and pounded and pounded and pounded on the floor, mad that I was witness to its crushing rage. Madness...torture...those stringed instruments and their sudden intrusion, sharp and cutting, maddening, alluring, then mocking my fear as the voice spoke. The voice, angry and distant, screaming hoarsely under the web of frightening mockery and dark deception surrounding me. There was hatred in its words, so much that fear itself clung to me. But then it was back, the voice was gone, and the claustrophobia came back, smothering, massive, under the disguise of percussion conquest and that endless number of grinding variations, instruments pursuing each other under different definitions while plodding forward, unstoppable, unbreakable. Huge, massive, and still confining me to angst and anguish. Anger, belligerence, threat, the insides of a dark abandoned sanitarium, all clasping me slowly or beating me with relentless force, getting closer and closer and closer...until...until...the sword..."

At this point the subject passed out again.

B) Strychnine for Christmas

December 24, 2001

It has been months since the experiment, and still I can't seem to leave it behind. Isolation tests, smoking habits, pain thresholds, what would another one possibly do to me, especially one analyzing reactions to a record? I thought it was just another test, another way to keep earning a living. I thought wrong.

The "Strychnine For Christmas" part. That's the one that really got to me, the one that attached itself to my head and wouldn't let go, the one that made me go and buy the damn record. And since then it's been there, taunting me and forcing me to play it and stay here, forsake everything else, I don't even have any money anymore. The people that conducted the experiment won't pay for therapy; something about a damn contract, I can't even think straight anymore!

That first part, with the demented voice surging in clever and conscious craziness and then sinking back down to normality. Oh yes, it starts perfectly innocent, the cello dirge-like sound...but then the recursive drum pattern, and the instrument syncopation that walks in, the way in which everything keeps piling up on top and remains starkly sparse. Then that bass line, it sounds like something I once heard...a Stick it was called? Never mind, that's when it becomes hypnotic, absorbing, almost rhythmically dancing in mockery of the previous harshness. But spirits fly, and Santa Claus, oh, you fat lovely man, if we had only known...

December 25, 2001

God, haha, strychnine for Christmas. And the man is a father of none now! Oh, what does it matter now? Anything matters...or nothing matters...matters of madness, oh yes, how well I know you now. You tempting bass, closing in grooving lock, hahaha, but you are only temporary, minimal when compared to the craziness that... lalalalalala... lalalalalala... chromatic piano run, silence, oh, yes, the strings were really nice although not normal... anything is better than the PIAAAAANOOOOO. It drives me mad, tararererersrrersrratak, who the hell is speaking? Get out! OUT I SAY! Oh bass, there you are, thanks for coming back for me, but I'm afraid you're not going to last long... see, the strings are there to remind me that they're going to take me away and hear the voice. The voiiiiieeeeiiiiiieeeeiiiiiiieeeeiiiiiiiice. Hahahahaha. Nice trick, make me think everything's just groovy, but the voiiice, I feel it. I feel it. It's there... THERE!

C) Rêve de Fer

Hi Dave,

If you're reading this it's because you went to my funeral. How nice of you to have come! I'll put in a good word for you at the Pearly Gates, because, you see, Santa wouldn't be able to! (Long story.) Anyway, I just want you to know that I have let bygones be bygones and I'm really not mad at all because you married Liz, that's in the past now, as well as the money that I accidentally thought you owed me. In fact, because I don't want you to hold any grudges after my death, I hope to seal this promise by giving you my most precious possession; a record called High Infidelity.

Now, now, I know that it doesn't seem much, but then again, I didn't really have much to leave behind. This is something special, really special, and I don't want anyone else to have it. It's just for you.

There's a nice instrumental piece on it called "Rêve de Fer." I've been told that it's reminiscent of two bands in an awkward way: Univers Zéro and Henry Cow. But this goes further, it's almost bordering on evil sometimes, and then it just seems innocently harsh in an avant-garde pastiche of sound effects and music themes. Really not very usual, but I'm sure you'll love it. I DID. It has a jamming vibe sometimes, but in general it's the mood that matters, and it's a very intense and riveting mood. You probably shouldn't play it in front of Liz or the kids, and I beg you not to do so.

You're really going to love the ending. The theme is very disciplined and well arranged; not threatening like the rest of the record but still intense, and it is surrounded by the craziest saxophone sounds you'll ever hear! It sounds just like an animal sometimes, and I can't help but say that it makes for a very interesting contrast with the repetitive background theme.

The beginning is pretty special, too, though. It's kind of mysterious and the instruments are used in a way that Benny Goodman would have used, but then things get so starkly powerful that you're immediately absorbed...anyway, I better stop spoiling the fun for you. Just make sure you give it a good's really worth it.

Oh yeah, say hello to Santa for me! I'm sure you'll see him soon.

Similar artists: Univers Z?ro, Dave Kerman/5uu?s

Souls For Sale (27:31) / Strychnine For Christmas (10:52) / Rêve De Fer (9:24)

Roger Trigaux - guitars, vocals
Reginald Trigaux - guitars, vocals
Pierre Chevalier - piano, keyboards, organ, mellotron, vocals
Dave Kerman - drums, percussion, vocals
Keith Macksoud - bass
Matthieu Safatly - cello, vocals
Fred Becker - alto and tenor saxophone
Dominic Ntoumos - trumpet, flugelhorn
Udi Koomran - sound

Guest musicians:

Yuval Mesner - cello
Meidad Zaharia - accordion

Triskaidekaphobie/Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (1989)
C.O.D. Performance (1999)
Present 'Live' (1996)
Certitudes (1998)
No. 6 (1999)
High Infidelity (2001)
A Great Inhumane Adventure (2005)
Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo) (2009)

Genre: RIO

Origin BE

Added: June 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 557
Language: english


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