Trioscapes - Digital Dream Sequence

It’s difficult to talk about Trioscapes without first at least acknowledging bass player Dan Briggs’s other band, Between the Buried and Me. I happen to really like BTBAM, but there exists a sizeable number of progressive metal fans who should love them—especially their recent Parallax albums, which are excellent—but can’t see past their –core beginnings. As a result, I’m guessing that a lot of these same people haven’t given Trioscapes even a cursory listen because of Briggs’s involvement. This is a mistake, because there aren’t any traces of BTBAM’s sound in Trioscapes.

How best to describe Trioscapes? A good reference point might be “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down,” but without the electric piano and a much heavier bass tone. The trio, which is rounded out by tenor saxman/flautist Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch, are first and foremost a jazz combo, and they lean more toward the Miles Davis end of the spectrum than the Mahavishnu Orchestra end. Album opener “Digital Dream Sequence” and “Hysteria” both have some really nice hard bop moments interspersed with some seriously heavy fuzz bass. “From Earth to Moon” brings to mind Rashaan Roland Kirk with its flute and what sounds like a marimba sections. The highlight of the album, though, is the 15+ minute closing track “The Jungle,” which builds from gentle electronic percussion and an intricately tapped bass line into a full-on free/fusion freak-out and then back out again, with a particularly nice bass solo roughly halfway through the song.

So whatever your preconceived notions of Trioscapes are, I strongly suggest checking them at the door and giving Digital Dream Sequence a listen. If you like your prog with a healthy dose of jazz, you’re going to find a lot to like here.