Troum and All Sides - Shutun
(Old Europa Café) Keith Boyd 03.27.07
Bremen , Germany 's Troum is one of the preeminent dreamy yet dark drone outfits in the world. They arose from the ashes of the more industrial leaning and guitar-based Maeror Tri in the late 1990's. In their newer incarnation, dubbed Troum (Old German for Dream), they featured a vastly increased sonic palette replete with Musique-Concrete field recordings, gongs, accordions, melodica, synths and even an occasional voice or two. This expanded ensemble pushes these instruments into dark, gauzy tone washes that ebb and flow like some sort of silvery lunar tide. The driving impulse behind Troum's music is consciousness transformation. The layers upon layers of tones and sound events slowly hypnotize the listener into a deeply relaxed yet aware state. Theirs is music as a portal to mythic and alien dimensions. Theirs is a music as an expression of the intimate mysteries afloat in the subconcious.
On their new CD, "Shutun" they are joined on their cosmic journey by one Nina Kernicke who goes under the name All Sides. While this may indeed have been a collaboration it's hard to tell where one thing starts and another ends. So seamless is the presentation here you get the sense of having dipped into an alternate universe where this is the sound that the wind makes. Mental pictures and Mystery Plays drag forth from your mind in a languid tumble. Icebergs cleave shedding huge pieces of themselves downward through thick arctic water. Cloud horses charge manic eyed and steaming across silvery storm skys. So epic and majestic is this music that it forces you to stop and breathe in wonder. With each iteration of its sonic flows new ground is blanketed with whispered snow sounds. With each decaying ebb there is a wondorous Arctic sparkle and crack left behind to hover and diffuse. As the piece continues these all consuming layers slowly give way to haunted creakings. It's as though the music has become some ancient mansion at midnight slowly settling into a peat bog with pops and groans coming through the walls to wake you from your slumber. By the midway point the popping creaks gather a head of steam and take on a train enigne life of their own. An incessent chug builds and fills the air, leaving any hint of calm back at the station and proceeds to ride on through the very essence of night, through the back of your skull. Through the night skull of the very world. The piece ends with soaring combinations of various segments heard throughout. This time however they are underpinned by a crunched and pounding heartbeat that anchors the music to at least a margin of the human dimension. This is some seriously wonderful music. A cinema for the ears and heart.