A trio of technically proficient and experimentally focused musicians who bring together elements of post-bop jazz, ambient electronica, post-rock, electro-acoustic music, free improvisation, and musique concr+¬te, the Australian group Triosk first came to the attention of international experimental music listeners thanks to the somewhat unlikely circumstance of a collaboration with the German microhouse producer Jan Jelinek. Formed in Sydney in 2001 by conservatory-trained pianist Adrian Klumpes, bassist Ben "Donny" Waples, and drummer/percussionist Laurence Pike (a member of Pivot! and Roam the Hello Clouds, who has also played with Flanger, Savath + Savalas, Jack Ladder, Qua, and on his own as Laurenz Pike), Triosk's stated intent was to perform improvisation-based music with electronics an "active and equal" component. Taking the familiar jazz piano trio format as a starting point, they sought to broaden the scope and potential of the genre by incorporating the techniques and textures of minimalism and electronica, which meant both the layering of electronic and acoustic sounds and the electronic manipulation of their acoustic instruments, whether live in real time or afterwards in post-production.
After encountering the abstracted, loop-based "jazz" of Jan Jelinek's minimal dub masterpiece Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records (which culls its source material, albeit unrecognizably, from vintage jazz albums) on a late-night radio broadcast, Triosk began incorporating samples of Jelinek's work into their live shows, improvising in response to the gradual mutations of loops played from a mini-disc. Jelinek's November 2001 tour of Australia gave the musicians an opportunity to meet and develop the mutually engaged creative relationship that resulted, two years later, in the album 1+3+1. A collection of collaborations conducted through the intercontinental mail, and titled to reflect the process of its creation, it was comprised of pieces begun as Triosk improvisations atop pre-recorded Jelinek material, which the producer then further modified, edited, and mastered in Berlin. The collaborators appeared in concert together on a 2004 Australian tour, including, fittingly, an appearance at the first Jazz:NOW festival in Sydney.
Jelinek also appeared on two tracks of Moment Returns, the first proper Triosk album, which was recorded around the same time as 1+3+1 but not released until 2004, and for which the group moved from Scape (Jelinek's home base) to the London-based Leaf label -- an appropriate fit considering Leaf's roster of artists melding electronic and acoustic elements in innovative ways: Colleen, Psapp, and Manitoba, among others. The more cohesively organic though still distinctly electronic Headlight Serenade followed in July of 2006; Adrian Klumpes issued a likeminded solo effort, Be Still, that November. In December 2007 Laurence Pike announced his decision to leave and thereby effectively dissolve the band, citing irreconcilable musical and personal differences. ~ K. Ross Hoffman
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