Digital Dream Sequence Is A Dream Come True

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Trioscapes’ new album Digital Dream Sequence is—pardon the pun—a dream come true.  This album, the second full length studio release from the band, has also officially taken the top spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new albums overall.  The band has taken the prog-metal/jazz fusion sound that it established on its breakthrough 2012 debut Separate Realities and stepped it up another notch on this record.  While Digital Dream Sequence is comprised of only five tracks, those five songs collectively comprise an album that will both entertain audiences and leave them thinking.  Audiences should be warned, however.  This album is not one for those with short attention spans.  The shortest track on the record comes in at three minutes and forty seconds.  The album’s longest track clocks in at just over fifteen minutes.  The remaining trio of songs written for the album each tops the five minute mark.  The album’s opener and title track comes in at just over seven-and-a-half minutes.  ‘From The Earth To The Moon’ and ‘Hysteria’ come in at 8:47 and 6:40 respectively for those that might be wondering.  So it goes without saying that this album is not one for those looking for a quick, easy listen.  That having been stated, there is quite a bit to note that makes this album so great.

Trioscapes’ new album is not one for those with short attention spans.  The depth of the songs written for this album and their run times requires a full investment from listeners.  This is evident right off the top in the album’s title track.  ‘Digital Dream Sequence’ can best be described by two words:  controlled chaos.  At times, it sounds like the band—Dan Briggs (bass), Walter Fancourt (tenor sax, flute), and Matt Lynch (drums, electronics)—is all over the place.  But a close listen reveals that there is a method to the madness of these musicians.  As the song’s companion video reveals, all three men are fully focused on their parts even as free flowing as the song sounds.  The song’s foundation is based on Briggs’ own bass work.  Fancourt and Lynch take that foundation and build a song that throughout its two movements.  And it goes without saying that both Fancourt and Lynch exhibit quite a bit of talent.  Lynch’s ability to handle such wild, polyrhythmic patterns all while keeping up with his band mates is a statement in and of itself.  And even Fancourt, with his flourishes, adds his own important touch to the song in whole, especially in its final seconds.  His is the last part that listeners hear on this song.  After all of the wildness of the song, his gentle, flowing performance almost paints a picture of a figure coming out of the “dream.”  It’s a fitting final statement from an equally fitting opener for this album.

‘Digital Dream Sequence’ was the perfect way for Trioscapes to open its second full length album.  The near eight-minute song immediately re-establishes the band, showing that it has definitely evolved from its first album.  That evolution is shown even more in the album’s third track, ‘From The Earth to the Moon.’  This song has a slightly more defined structure about it than the album’s title track.  Yet, that ability of the band to weave together multiple separate lines into one cohesive composition remains.  It’s nice to hear that that hasn’t been lost even through what feels like constantly changing time signatures.   Even more interesting is that within those seemingly constantly changing time signatures, there is one line that remains mostly constant from start to finish.  That line is shared between all three musicians throughout the song on a number of instruments including a marimba.  The inclusion of the marimba adds just one more great touch to the song that along with Fancourt’s musicianship on the flute and Lynch’s drumming puts this song over the top and guarantees it to be one of the best of the album’s opuses.

Briggs, Fancourt, and Lynch close out their new album fittingly with the album’s longest piece in the form of ‘The Jungle.’  This song comes in at a little more than fifteen minutes long.  And despite its extended run time, the trio paints a picture with the song that mirrors its title quite well.  It opens gently with what sounds like a table set against Briggs’ bass and then Lynch’s drumming and eventually Fancourt’s work on the sax.  The fast paced sixteenth note runs played by Lynch on the snare alongside Fancourt’s urgent sax line gives an image of a busy jungle scene.  It creates thoughts of birds flying around in the jungle canopy and perhaps a big cat or two on the hunt, chasing its prey through the jungle in question.  Other listeners might get something entirely different from this standout song.   And that is perfectly fine.  This is merely one critic’s personal interpretation of the song.  The energy exuded by the band early in the song never lets up at any point throughout its fifteen minute, ten second run time.  The band keeps that energy flowing right to the very last second, leaving listeners breathless and blown away by the musical journey on which they embarked at the song’s beginning.  Taking into consideration the effect of this song and those that built up to it, the musical journey undertaken in whole on this record proves to be one that is well worth taking by any truly open-minded music lover and any musician looking for musical enlightenment.  The end product proves to be an album that more than deserves the title of the year’s best new record overall.

Audiences can hear all of the tracks noted here and the remaining pair not noted now as Digital Dream Sequence is available now in stores and online.  While the band currently has no tour dates planned, audiences can keep up with the trio’s latest tour schedule updates and news online at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes, http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes, and http://twitter.com/MetalBlade.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes Announces Release Date For Sophomore LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today that Trioscapes will release its sophomore album this summer.

Trioscapes will release its second full length studio effort Digital Dream Sequence Tuesday, August 19th. Tenor Saxophonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and bassist Dan Briggs explained the difference between the band’s upcoming release and its debut record. Fancourt noted of the band’s debut, “after hearing the debut album, that was the first time I felt like I knew what we sounded like.” Briggs expanded on Fancourt’s thoughts adding, “For the first record, the three of us came together just to write music for that album, not even really knowing we were writing for an album.” He added, “After two years of touring, playing together, and casually working on new music, we really gelled and established more of a sound.”

Audiences can get a glimpse of what to expect on the band’s new album with the album’s lead single, ‘Stab Wounds’ now online in its entirety. It can be viewed via Metal Blade Records’ official Trioscapes page at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes/. More updates on the upcoming album, and all of the latest news from Trioscapes is available online now at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes and http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

BTBAM Releases Details For Upcoming DVD, Tour

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Between The Buried and Me announced on Friday that the band will record a brand new live DVD next month.  The as yet untitled recording will be for the band’s album The Future Sequence.  As front man Tommy Rogers notes of the upcoming DVD, “We are very happy to announce that we are finally doing a DVD for The Future Sequence. In this age we live in you can watch us play any of our songs live online. So we wanted to give our fans something a little different… an intimate live performance of us playing in a studio. It will be a wonderful experience and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we enjoy playing these songs.”

The upcoming live DVD will be recorded at the Fidelitorium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and will be directed by Justin Reich.  Jamie King, who has worked with BTBAM for a number of years, will handle mixing and mastering the recording’s audio.  The completed package is expected to be released Fall 2014.

Before the band sits down to record its new DVD, it will hit the road once again in support of Future Sequence beginning this Wednesday, February 20th.  The band’s latest North American tour kicks off at the Empire in West Springfield, VA and runs through March 23rd in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Between the Buried and Me will be joined by Deafhaven, Intronaut, and The Kindred on its upcoming tour.  The band is scheduled to perform at Charlotte’s famed Tremont Music Hall on the closing date of its North American tour.  The band’s complete North American tour schedule is listed below.

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Tour w/ Deafheaven, Intronaut, The Kindred

02/20 West Springfield, VA Empire
02/21 Huntington, NY Paramount Theater
02/22 Clifton Park, NY Upstate Concert Hall
02/23 Boston, MA Royale Nightclub
02/24 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
02/26 Montreal, QC Corona Theater
02/27 Quebec City, QC Imperial De Quebec
02/28 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
03/01 London, ON London Music Hall
03/02 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
03/04 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
03/05 Palatine, IL Durty Nellie’s
03/06 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
03/07 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
03/08 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
03/10 Reno, NV The Knitting Factory
03/11 Oakland, CA Oakland Metro
03/12 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
03/14 Lubbock, TX Jake’s Sports Café
03/15 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
03/16 Grand Prairie, TX South By So What?! Festival
03/18 Sauget, IL Pop’s
03/20 Ybor City, FL The Ritz Ybor
03/21 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
03/22 Athens, GA 40 Watt
03/23 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall

More information on the new DVD from Between The Buried and Me, The Future Sequence and the band’s upcoming tour is available online at http://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial, http://twitter.com/btbamofficial, and http://www.betweentheburiedandme.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes Announce Final Performances For Year

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

North Carolina based experimental jazz act Trioscapes has announced a new pair of live performance dates coming up very soon.  The band will be performing next Saturday and Sunday, December 15th and 16th in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, respectively.  Next Saturday’s performance will be at Krankies in Winston-Salem.  The band will follow up that performance with a live show the next night at The Milestone in Charlotte.

These new live performances will be the last shows of the year for the band.  This final pair of shows for the year cap off quite the year for Trioscapes.  The band saw a very well received tour with Prosthetic Records band, Scale The Summit post album release.  The band’s debut album, Separate Realities was a Top 10 debut on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Charts.  That album is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/item/14052.  After ordering the band’s CD online, fans can also get all the latest news and more including a live performance of its latest song, ‘Curse of the Ninth’ from Trioscapes on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes To Tour With Scale The Summit

Trioscapes, the brainchild of Dan Briggs (Between The Buried and Me) has made huge waves since releasing its debut album, “Separate Realities.”  The album went as high as #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart, and #80 on Billboard’s New Artist Chart.  It has also reached as high as #9 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Chart, #12 on the Billboard Current jazz Chart, and #197 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums Chart.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Now the band will head out on the road in September for a week-long tour with the metal instrumental act Scale The Summit.  The seven-day tour starts in Dayton, Ohio on September 15th.  It will wrap up September 21st in Greensboro, NC.  Along with the Trioscapes tour, Briggs is also touring with Metal Blade label mates Between The Buried and Me.  Trioscapes’ fans can get the latest news and more from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes.  A video for the song ‘Blast Off’ is now available online at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

One on One with Trioscapes’ bassist Dan Briggs

1)  Trioscapes and Between The Buried and Me are as opposite as two bands
can be. So as metal as BTBAM is, you must have been a fan of other forms
of music for a long time.  Have you always been a fan of the Mahavishnu
Orchestra, or was that one song just something that’s always caught your
attention?

-I got into John Mclaughlin and Mahavishnu when I was in high school
browsing through my dad’s cd collection. “The Inner Mounting Flame” and
“Bird of Fire” albums were so appealing to me because of the sheer force
of the playing and how raw the unison lines between the guitar and violin
were.  MClaughlin’s playing with Mahavishnu has been an inspiration for
years, and more recently his playing in Shakti is proving to be a whole
new level of inspiration and motivation to constantly pursue new way of
reinventing my playing.

2)  This one’s for all three of you.  The band’s bio states that Dan
actually contacted Walter and and Matt.  When Dan told you two his plans,
what was your first reaction to his proposal?

-Only Dan on this interview, but I had talked to both separately at
different times about playing together, so I dont think it was much of a
shock. The main shock was probably when we were all in the same room
together playing for the first time and realizing how tough some of the
material was.

3)  Trioscapes is being marketed as a jazz fusion band.  But I personally
get a prog rock feel, too.  So how would you guys classify yourselves?

-Yeah I’m not big on thowing a lable on everything under the sun, and with
this group in particular I feel like every song is kind of its own
different thing. I dont think you can really lump the song “Separate
Realities”, which is 11 minutes of mayhem and high energy in the same
category as “Gemini’s Descent” which is kind of “Discipline” era King
Crimson like with a bass drone and a miriad of lush textures thrown over
top. But then I can see how  a song like “Blast Off” lends itself to being
considered more of a fusion song. I dont know, the jazz thing is funny to
us, fusion seems to obvious, progressive rock is a huge part of our make
up…it’s just burst of creative explorations.

4)  The album’s opener, ‘Blast Off’ is a perfect way to open the album.
It really mixes prog rock and jazz fusion seamlessly.  Can you guys expand
on how that song came to life?  Which one of you came up with the original
skeleton of that song? Did it just grow naturally?

-“Blast Off” and “Curse of the Ninth” were two songs I brought in early on
that were pretty much finished compositions. When I went to Georgia to
play with Matt for the very first time, he played me this crazy beat that
he had written, I jotted down the time signatures and wrote a line to go
along with it and it became the post-solo section outro for the tune.

5)  Speaking of a prog vibe, I noted in my review that I felt a kind of
Liquid Tension Experiment/Attention Deficit feel.  Are the three of you
fans of progressive rock?  If so, do you have any favorite prog bands?

-All of us have connections to different progressive rock bands. Alot of
my favorite music falls into that category, so there’s quite a few…to
name just a couple though, obviously King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant,
Yes, Dream Theater. More recently, Astra, Unexpect, Sleepytime Gorilla
Museum, Field Music, Pain of Salvation, etc…Matt’s a huge King Crimson
fan, Bill Bruford is one of his main drum inspirations. We all obviously
love forward thinking, interesting music.

6)  Getting back to Dan for a moment.  You’re also a member of Between The
Buried  Me.  they’re going to be out on tour this Summer.  Has it been
difficult trying to balance that tour with potential new dates with
Trioscapes?

-Nope, it’s very easy. BTBAM’s year gets laid out way in advance so I’m
able to fill in the gaps whne I can.
7)  Staying on the subject of BTBAM, it’s an N.C. based band.  Did that
play a role in Trioscapes recording “Separate Realities” in Winston Salem?
What led you to record it at The Basement Studios?  How did you come to
your choice of producers?

-Jamie King has had a hand in every record that I’ve done since 2005. All
the BTBAM stuff, my other band ORBS, and now Trioscapes. It’s a comfort
thing recording with Jamie, and I was curious to see what he could do with
Trioscapes. We wanted to keep it simple and present like how you would
hear the band live. The only real overdubs we did were a few layered bass
distortion lines and doubling a few sax parts with flute. Aside from that
though, it’s just the songs the way we’d play them live and Jamie captured
it really well.

8)  “Separate Realities” has been received to pretty positive feedback
from every direction.  Considering that, do the three of you see the band
working on another record any time in the near future, or do you see this
simply as a one-off record?

-In the near future, no because we will be touring on this record for a
while. We all have a few little things written though. I’m sure we’ll
start throwing around ideas before too long. And no, this is not a one-off
record.

9)  What would you say is your favorite song off of this album?  Songs
aside, do any of you have any favorite moments from the recording process
for this record?

-Walter and I tracked “Gemini’s Descent” together and that was really fun.
We turned the lights down and did about 5 or 6 different takes and then
that was it. We wanted to capture the vibe we had while jamming it at the
rehearsal space. I’m really excited to finally play the song live, we’ll
be playing our full album at our CD release shows coming up next week. I
can tell you that “Separate Realities” is maybe the most stressful song
I’ve ever played live haha, but it’s also one of my favorites. Super high
energy and just non stop. I’ve never had to be so locked in to every
single second of music like I am when playing that.

10)  The video for ‘Blast Off’ was so simple.  But it shows you guys
really getting into the groove of the song.  It’s proof that the K.I.S.S.
formula works.  So came up with the idea for the video?  How did you
decide on using Symmetry Studio for the video?

-Our friend Johnny Davis runs Symmetry Studios, he tracked Matt’s drums
there for the record and they sounded awesome. He’s a super talented
engineer and being that he’s a friend we knew it’d be easy to set up. We
actually went down and played the whole album, not just “Blast Off”. Those
videos will be available before too long. There were just no live videos
that had popped up that were a good quality, so we thought this would be a
good representation for people that haven’t been able to see us live.
Although, there’s much more energy live.

11)  I’ve got one last question before I have to go.  As well received as
Trioscapes is already what do you see the future of this band being?

-We’re going to go hard and do as much as we can when I’m free and not
busy with BTBAM. We have a tour confirmed for September that we’ll
announce soon, some stuff in June/July that’s being worked out, and
hopefully a full US in November/December. If we all exist past doomsday,
then I’m sure we’ll have alot more in our future.