RUNE 517

Despite it’s title, This is NOT the end, is, indeed, the final release by the legendary Rock In Opposition band Present, as founder and composer Roger Trigaux died during its recording.

Present's music is a striking blend of heavy rock with classical and zeuhl influences. The compositions, all penned by Trigaux, utilize repetition, complex counterpoint, intricate interplay between the instruments, rapidly shifting time signatures, and a strong instrumental attack. The final result is blindingly precise works of syncopated instruments, all seemingly coming from different angles but ultimately working together as a cohesive whole.

Trigaux admits that “I use lengthy repetition and polyrhythmics to push not only the listener but myself to a paroxysm on the intensity.” In this sense, Trigaux’s music can be compared to that of the late Nigerian rock musician Fela Kuti, who gradually built his lengthy songs through repetition and rhythm to generate a visceral experience, and whose live performances were legendary. Also like Fela, Trigaux’ music has an intellectual, thematic subtext, hidden beneath the music’s physical sound.

Trigaux’s long time friend and manager, Michel Besset’s recollections of the making of this release:

Summer 2018. During the summer, my wife Rosine and I decided to head north to visit Jean-Pierre Soares (trumpeter for Art Zoyd) and the Trigaux family in Brussels, Belgium. Indeed, with PRESENT not being scheduled to perform at the 11th Rock in Opposition Festival (which I headed), and having no recent news from Roger Trigaux, I wanted to find out what he envisioned for the continuation of the group, which seemed to have dissolved. If that was the case, it would obviously need to be relaunched. I couldn't bring myself to allow PRESENT to no longer exist, as much because of the long history that linked me to the musicians as because of my close friendship with Roger.

In Brussels, we stayed with Martine de Bruyn (Roger's ex-partner and primary support), because with Roger’s ill health, his little apartment could not accommodate us. I have always loved this city, where I had many memories, forged over numerous visits, in contact with the musicians of Univers Zéro [co-founded by Roger with Daniel Denis] and attending the group’s numerous rehearsals in the cellar (which gave its name to “Ceux d’en bas”) of Roger’s house at the time.  Brussels…where I was able to discover and absorb this city’s very special atmosphere. Taste the solar darkness of a Belgian sky, inseparable from the raw and sensitive humanity of this music which is both organic and spiritual. And those harsh, dark and endless nights that never seemed to want to end, because the friendship, the humor and the beer kept us screwed to the seat.

Roger wasn't expecting us. It was impossible to contact him. He was ignoring email and the phone. He lived almost as a recluse and his only activity was composing the music for what would be PRESENT's last album. He was overjoyed to find us in front of his door. And immediately told us that we absolutely had to listen to his latest work. LOUDLY. PRESENT’s music should be listened to very loudly.

My first sensation was it reminded me of the atmosphere of the first Univers Zéro albums [recorded with Roger prior to Present]. This very distinctive spirit of dark, slow and complex music, so réaliste that listening requires an effort and is sometimes difficult - because that is this music’s price. The idea of recording this music immediately came to my mind.

Then it was lunch in this district of Brussels, under a gray and humid sky… Roger was happy in front of his American fries which he wolfed down greedily (which was rare, he ate very little). The humor (Belgian?) was there, the joy of dear friendship found again, the feeling of being in tune with someone with whom one shares the same kind of lucid and disillusioned humanity but also and above all precisely the same humor.

Out of the blue, I asked Roger if he wanted to record this music. He hadn't thought about it. But also, the musicians were separated and no projects were planned for the future. Without it having been formally said, PRESENT had ceased to exist. I insisted. For me this music had to come out of the walls of his room, it was not “the end yet”. 
Roger ended up saying OK if the musicians wanted to do it.  
This project took 5 years.  Roger died in the middle of its gestation, the finalization of which was taken care of by Pierre Chevalier and Udi Koomran.  But the work is done, accomplished, complete. 
All of Roger’s friends have not finished talking about Roger the Magnificent, about the Heroic Deeds of the rebellious and die-hard anti-hero that he rightfully was.  
Of course, this was the price you paid, Roger, to achieve such a Work. To the point of sacrificing your life.  We always knew – and  we know more since you left us – that you will remain in the hearts (and brains) of all those who love Music.  Rest in peace?, Roger. 
– Michel Besset / November 20, 2023

This Is NOT The End press release

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RUNE 382


RUNE 383/384

The remastered and reissued albumsTriskaidekaphobie and Le Poison Qui Rend Fou have amazing ensemble interplay from all the musicians. Contains the most intricate and roaring rock music since King Crimson's Fracture.

"The music is explosive, dramatic, and cathartic."- Audion

Founded in 1979, the Belgian band is widely acknowledged and celebrated as one of the leading lights of the Rock In Opposition (R.I.O.) / avant-progressive / Chamber Rock scene, notable for producing genre-transcendent, non-commercial music outside (?in opposition to?) the mainstream music industry. Cuneiform Records, one of the leading and longtime international supporters of Rock in Opposition music, is now reissuing Present's first two studio albums, 1980's Triskaidekaphobie and 1985's Le Poison Qui Rend Fou, as two separate CD releases, each accompanied by a wealth of bonus material.

The new CD reissues feature each studio album plus bonus live material by Present, including previously unseen archive concert footage; and CD booklets featuring historical photographs, interviews, and in-depth biographies of the band's early days written by historian Aymeric Leroy and Renato de Moraes.

Both albums have been freshly re-transferred and remastered from the original master tapes, and the live material much improved, by Present's sound engineer, and an acclaimed producer and mastering expert in his own right, Udi Koomran. Specially conducted, in-depth interviews with Roger Trigaux and past members of Present, notably Daniel Denis and Alain Rochette, provide revealing insights into the genesis of the band and its music, along with previously unseen photos.

Featuring studio and live recordings by one of avant-music's most legendary bands, performing works that should be credited as some of the most significant, boundary-defying compositions of late 20th century classical and rock music ? Trigaux's "Promenade Au Fond D'un Canal" and "Le Poison Qui Rend Fou", and Daniel Denis' Univers Zero tune, "Dense", these Present reissues are essential not only for R.I.O. fans, but also by all who love sophisticated composition and genre defying musics, whether post-classical or post-rock.

Cover art and high res images available below for download
Le Poison Qui Rend Fou press release
Triskaidekaphobie press release

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Le Poison:


RUNE 207

duoIn 1998, when Cuneiform released Present's fifth album, Certitudes, the band came to the USA for the very first time and undertook a huge, full US tour, logging in 10,000 miles and 5 weeks of concerts.

Professionally recorded on 24 track on the final date of the tour, after 35 days of touring, the band were a tight, hard-rocking, road-tested machine and this is a very well recorded, stunning, loud and hot performance. Roger & Regginald Trigaux-guitars and vocals, Pierre Chevalier-piano, Jean-Pierre Mendez-bass and Dave Kerman-drums..

"No matter how great their record is, little could have prepared us for experiencing Belgium's Present live. The churned out mind-numbingly complex and shifting songs that always seemed to be driving towards some sort of awesome denouement. If they ever come around again, see them even if you have to kill to do it." – Atlanta Press

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RUNE 107

Certitudes is new studio recordings from Roger Trigaux and company. Just telling you the lineup will give you an idea of how good this is: Roger & Réginald Trigaux-guitars & vocals, Alain Rochette-keyboards, Guy Segers-bass & Daniel Denis-drums! All perform with a lot of fire & energy, & this combines the precision & intricacy of Present's earlier sound with the heavy attack of Live. Hearing Roger, Guy & Daniel together again for the 1st time since Heresie is a genuine unexpected treat, & adding keyboards to the dual guitar lineup helps to expand out the sound greatly. 3 tracks penned by Roger, & 1 short charmer by Alain.

"Notably more furious & urgent than anything on their previous albums...these avatars of an anguished, angular muse have unleashed their ultimate tour de force...this is a turbulent masterpiece. " 5 stars [highest rating] – Alternative Press

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With Live!, Roger is back with a full band version of Present, featuring two guitars, bass and drums (by Dave Kerman of 5uu's/U Totem). Dark, metallic, complex music with intricate dual guitar and bass interplay. While primarily instrumental, the dark imagery of the music is matched by the darkness of the vocals; Roger and company sound like men fighting for their souls - and maybe they are! Imagine Univers Zero reborn as a metal band, and you might have an idea of the sound here. Professionally recorded by Eric Faes, this includes new and old work and an amazing, intense version of "Promenade Au Fond D'Un Canal".

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For press and media: cover art and high resolution images are available below for download (click thumbnail, right-click image and select "Save As.."). Please credit the photographer (when available) and "Courtesy of Cuneiform Records". For more information, click here.

This Is NOT The End
Le Poison Qui Rend Fou & Triskaidekaphobie

This Is NOT The End press release
Le Poison Qui Rend Fou press release
Triskaidekaphobie press release

9/20/2013: Cuneiform Bands to Appear at Rock In Opposition Festival September 20-21, 2013 in Carmaux, France
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© Cuneiform Records 2014

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