Truby Trio: DJ Kicks

Christine Hsieh

Truby Trio

DJ Kicks

Label: Studio K7
US Release Date: 2001-08-28

Truby Trio embody everything that is sleek and polished about the European jet-set lifestyle. It's rather sickening, actually. First of all, there's Rainer Truby himself, the widely-hailed king of nu-jazz fusion and personal favorite DJ of downbeat tastemaker Gilles Peterson. Rounding out the Trio are Christian Prommer and Roland Appel, otherwise known as Fauna Flash, whose full-length album, Fusion, was released last year to critical praise. Working with Peter Kruder (of Kruder & Dorfmeister fame), Prommer and Appel are steadily gaining recognition for their deep, dubby atmospherics recorded under the Voom:Voom guise. Meanwhile, in addition to remixing tracks from Kruder's delectable side project, Peace Orchestra, Truby still finds the time to team up with Kruder and Peterson in Ibiza every summer for long nights of sophisticated debauchery. And of course, Truby Trio are signed to Compost Records, the nearly faultless Munich-based label known for its high quality output, which melds elements from jazz, Brazilian beat, house, and drum'n' bass into unique and well-crafted songs. Basically, these boys are golden, and they prove their worth here with a lovely contribution to the popular DJ Kicks series.

From the start, Truby Trio establish a mood and allow it to develop slowly. After lingering over the soothing sounds of a lonesome saxophone solo bathed in hazy organ chords in Conjure's "Medley", the Trio slide into "High Jazz", their own dense and richly textured composition. Each layer of percussion ducks and weaves amongst the constantly shifting accents, taking hold and teasing the listener with glimpses of jazz piano licks here, spoken word snippets there, and soft waves of sound in between.

For the most part, each cut stands tall on its own, linked easily due to the Trio's acute ear for continuity. An arresting bassline in "High Jazz" evolves effortlessly into the backing for Block 16's shimmering, bossa-licked number, while bouncy keyboard work and sci-fi lasers in Slowsupreme's "Granada" play against a contemplative melodic line and distorted sighs. As the mix swells, Truby Trio throw in increasingly up-tempo tracks. Naturally, as they are purveyors of high-class schmooze, the tempo is never such that one would feel compelled to throw one's limbs haphazardly around on the dance floor. Even the supremely funky "One and the Same" by Modaji seems like just the thing to dance to without working up any unsavory perspiration, what with the swaggering, purposeful strings, groovy b-line and soulful vocals over a rambling acoustic guitar, eliciting a sense of retro nostalgia and controlled exuberance.

This mix peaks on a high note that perfectly captures Truby Trio's aesthetic. Tim Hutton's "Colours", rerubbed by the Freeform Five, is a stunning, tasty slice of loungey brilliance, twisting the relatively sedate sounds of niteclub jazz into a pleasing combo of savvy piano, playful flute, and deep house. Using this track as leverage, the Trio descend into darker, moodier tunes, throwing the somewhat repetitive and static sounds of Voom:Voom's "Ginger & Fred" against stuttered beats and off-kilter synth lines courtesy of their recent single "Galicia".

Capping off this mélange of sound is Fauna Flash's "Tel Aviv", a smart, assertive house tune with subtle Latin rhythms, warm sax, and mellow overtones, perfectly evocative of smoke-filled lounges full of plush couches, bottle service, and sharply dressed VIPs. But what, then, does one expect from the reigning kings of class? Their contribution to the DJ Kicks series makes a strong statement for the group, branding their name on home speakers across the world with their distinctive musical blend. This is electronic fusion at its best, speaking through music of the powerful synergism between Latin, house, and jazz. An essential purchase, Truby Trio's DJ Kicks has the potential to set dance floors abuzz and to dazzle even the most jaded world traveler.





'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.


Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.


Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.