It’s not hard to see who Trion look to for their inspiration. On the Dutch trio’s third release their influences (Trespass-era Genesis, Focus, Floyd, and Snow Goose-period Camel) are impossible to ignore, and this instrumental album demonstrates both their strengths and limitations.
Trion: Funfair Fantasy
Dutch trio take a ride back to the mid-70s.
Their exquisite playing and heavy use of Mellotron (from which the name Trion is partly derived, leader Edo Spanninga being a ninja on the instrument) move everything along at a pleasant pace, the emphasis on atmospherics and mood. Despite some great guitar and keyboard soloing on Floyd-like In the Distance, beautiful acoustic work in Wandering and the laid-back, slightly funky Towers, there’s little in the way of up-tempo technical pyrotechnics.
Some tunes would benefit from tighter arrangements, and a light application of the hoary ‘beginning-middle-end’ ormula, to avoid the compositional rambling that occasionally creeps in. If such a sub-genre existed, Funfair Fantasy would rank highly as an ‘easy-listening-retro-prog’ release.
As it stands, it’s ideal for anyone into jazzy and dreamy prog instrumental music whose listening tastes don’t stray much later than about 1975.