Genre: Drone / Ambient / Industrial
Rising Phoenix-like from the cold, burnt-out ashes of cult industrial drone merchants, Maeror Tri, Troum have been a beacon of light in the field of drift & drone music for the past decade, appearing on numerous compilations and split releases in addition to releasing six full length albums. The nucleus of Glit[s]ch and Baraka[h] have taken the foundations of Maeror Tri and, through a natural process of evolution, have constructed new, dreamlike monoliths of nebulous sound on the foundations of the old. The concept of the ‘Dream’ is the common thread running through Troum; the name, the music and the philosophy. For not only is TROUM the old German word for “DREAM” but, according to their website, ‘the dream, seen as a central manifestation of the unconscious, symbolizes the aim of TROUM to lead the listener into a hypnotizing dream-state of mind, a pre-verbal and primal consciousness sphere. TROUM uses music as the direct path to the Unconscious, pointing to the archaic “essence” of the human’s inner psyche. TROUM tries to create music that works like a direct transformation of unconscious matter’. Dream alchemy is where we’re heading!!
‘Ryna’, the very first CD by Troum, first saw light of day in October 1998 and was released on Myotis Records (MYO.003) in a limited edition of 500 copies. ‘Ryna’ was finally re-released in 2006 via the Transgredient record label, a subsidiary of Drone Records, run by Baraka[H] (aka Stefan Knappe). In this incarnation ‘Ryna’ is presented as a digipack with stunning artwork that is as nebulous and amorphous as the music contained therein, complementing the sound of Troum, perfectly. So, now, turn down the lights, turn up the sound, relax and immerse yourself in the dreamlike world of Troum……..
Seeded from a single spark of iridescent sound, a strummed and effected guitar slowly grows in intensity, a dark, insistent drone rumbling away in the background, before Ennoia finally crystallizes into something fragile, delicate and intricate. Golden waves of sound gradually mutate and evolve to the sound of a seismic, resonant drone that weaves its way through strange harmonic layers and washes. This is music that seeps into the consciousness and embraces the mind with a sticky, sweet melancholia a hypnotic jangling sadness, glacial and cold, desolate and crushing. In contrast Riqis is a resonating dark ambient soundscape that ruptures the silence between tracks with a shimmering, ominous presence. An amorphous choral drone builds in the midst of an oppressive fog of guitar FX where subtle and random variations in pitch convey a sense of something teetering on the threshold between order and chaos, barely restrained. As the boundary blurs further a bell like crash ripples through the black atmosphere and mutates into a decaying bell tree that languidly melts away into the long shadows.
A cold metallic wind blows through the ruins of an abandoned industrial landscape in Torchar and a distorted, fizzing drone crystallizes in the air like electricity crackling through overhead cables. Out of the encroaching darkness a high-pitched tone emerges and unites with a detuned drone, languishing in the air like motes of dust on a summers breeze. The feel of the piece takes on a more sombre air as transient resonances appear, fleetingly, only to be carried away on warm rising currents of ambience. Nebulous voices filter through the expansive washes of sound and are stifled by the heavy, sticky heat haze of expertly created drone-essence. In Thalamus a wandering mid-pitched drone is carried along on a wave of delicately unbalanced, strummed notes and drone tones, ebbing and flowing, weaving a trail of sun-glistened meta-melodies. Ethereal bursts of layered drones peak and decay creating an ephemeral wash of sound textures that slither & slide in their wake. Disembodied voices, trapped in the eddies and currents of dull, leaden, reverberating percussion lurk beneath the surface waiting for a release that never comes. This is the sound of snow melting, of sunlight falling on dry leaves, water evaporating on a warm summer’s day. Troum appear to have the extraordinary ability to capture the sound of imperceptible motions and amplify and extrapolate them to reveal the music between and of things.
An effervescent, multi-layered, self-sustaining tone introduces Thumus and slowly develops into a liquid velvet drone-scape, a slow, somnolent melody growing from a warm and hazy pad sound. The darkness rushes in like cold water and envelopes the listener in its hypnotic, all consuming wake before multi textured drones fragment and flutter away on a wind of sublime sound. This is music that removes itself from time. A slow motion fall into sound itself. And all too soon, sadly, it’s over. Melted away in time. This is an outstanding track that, as a point of reference, occupies similar ground to the CD ‘Bezdna’ from Evgeny Voronovsky’s brilliant drone project Cisfinitum.
Ghuto-M is more of an industrial workout starting with a strident percussive assault that carves deep gashes in the heart of a somnambulant vox-pad. Metallic slithers of effected sound surface periodically whilst subtle background changes in the fractal, self-replicating drones develop the track into an enigmatic tour de force. Chanting voices merge on the resurgent breeze of dark sonics sounding like a tortured Gregorian choir trapped in some dark vision of Dante’s ninth circle of hell. In Agis a familiar drone blisters into existence and is cruelly cast asunder onto the shores of some dismal paradise-lost. This is dark and menacing where ‘Thumus’ was sweetness and light and displays Troum’s inherent talent for delivering unexpected delights at just the right moment. As the shadows lengthen the intensity builds until it breaks into a brooding dark ambient sound-scape fused with violent, though restrained, power electronics. The atmosphere, here, is oppressive, claustrophobic and cloying.
Riurja is the crowning glory on ‘Ryna’. A primitive, heartbeat drum pattern expertly sets the mood before a dull, insistent bassline joins the fray and drives the track headlong into a shimmering, rippling heat haze of amorphous drones. Fine filaments of sound are drawn out from the ether into a mercurial mist of heavenly sound. The percussion, sounding for all the world like small explosions, leads the track into chillier and darker territory as the drones grow in magnificence and strange harmonics weave themselves into the voluminous mosaic of sound. This is one seriously astounding track, twisting and wriggling against the restraints, growing in force like the prelude to some apocalyptic storm.
‘Ryna’ is a long overdue and welcome re-release and an album of sheer wonder and beauty. This is not music to be dipped into ad hoc. This is music of the spheres, to be savoured and enjoyed as a total, immersive experience where the golden washes of sound and exquisite drones are given free reign to envelope the listener and, as if by seduction, draw you deep into Troum’s strange and magical world of dreams. This is one album that I find myself returning to again and again and can heartily recommend this to fans of glacial, multi-textured drift & drone music that isn’t afraid to embrace dark ambient and industrial sensibilities. Very highly recommended, indeed.