TRIAC - Days [Line - 2014]Here’s a cd from the Line label, presented to its usual, very recognisable, standards and design. The front cover is a hazy wash of turquoise, which, after careful inspection, reveals itself not to be the flat, uniform spread of colour it first appeared. It would be cute to grab that as a metaphor for the album, but actually ‘Days’ - perhaps unusually for Line - is rather open and ‘uncomplicated’; there’s no sense of the (verging on academic) allusion to ideas, that many other Line releases have.
So, we have, very simply, a trio making drifting, sensuous drones. I really could leave it there. The album contains seven tracks, named ‘Day One’, ‘Day Two’, ‘Day Three’, and so on; ranging from the four minute mark, to a more expansive twelve. The pieces are all very organic, very flowing - I’d guess that they were improvisations from the trio. Although there are moments and passages that threaten some darkness (in fairness, ‘Day Six’ is overwhelmingly moody and funereal), the tracks are unashamedly warm and melodic - the term ‘ambient’ would sit here very happily. Despite this, the pieces are often busy and detailed - complicated in their simplicity; with layers emerging and circling throughout. It’s a release that wouldn’t look out of place in the Kranky discography - a more introspective Stars Of The Lid, a Labradford with any cold or roughness removed…
If there is any cleverness in ‘Days’, its rather obvious and upfront: the trio’s instrumentation. TRIAC are Rossano Polidoro on laptop, Marco Seracini on piano and synth, and Augusto Tatone on electric bass - the cleverness being the fact that nothing on the album sounds remotely like a piano or bass. This is weak cleverness at best, but I’m making no criticism here of the group at all: ‘Days’ doesn’t trade on this processing or make any fuss of it. In fact, its most likely barely noticeable, to the average, modern listener; versed, as we all are, in the magic of effects and loop pedals. The cleverness is no longer perceived as ‘clever’: its just three musicians making sound together.
To conclude, this is a very solid, very assured album; as you’d expect from Line. The tangent is, perhaps, that its also unashamedly devoid of ‘baggage’ - which stands it apart from other releases I’ve seen from the label. When I say ‘baggage’, I am referring to the more cerebral, austere investigations or themes that I’ve seen explored and explicitly cited on albums: ‘Days’ is simply, to repeat myself, three people making beautiful sound. You could be more crass and call it Line’s ‘rock record’. (Indeed, the breathy shimmers and waves could easily gather attention from the fringes of shoegaze.) This gives it a ‘no frills’ flavouring - though this linguistic hardness is at odds with the soft, sometimes fragile, nature of the sounds themselves. Very simply: an album of consummate, melodic driftworks.Martin P