TROUM - Reviews

TROUM – Autopoiesis pic-LP Small Voices

In 2003, the German post-industrial duo Troum completed their celebrated Tjukurrpa-trilogy. Each of the three records concentrated on the aesthetic fundamentals of their work: harmonies, drones, and rhythms. At the same time, the trilogy was inscribed with the metaphorical themes relating to Aboriginal dreamtime. If this mighty body of work had one flaw, it was the way the formalist agenda of this series trumped Troum’s ongoing investigations into hypnogogic states and the psychological impact of sound. Troum have been at their best when the sonic elements of their work play off each other and run in parallel with their conceptual ideas. The vinyl-only picture disc Autopoiesis finds Troum at the top of their game, as their guitars and bass, heavily fortified with effects, drift through miasmic washes. When suspending their drones as lugubrious slabs of sound, Troum emerge as a brooding doppleganger of the shoegazer ethos. And throughout Autopoiesis, they vulcanise their drone into chugging riff and darkly majestic melodies. [Jim Haynes, THE WIRE]

Troum, "Ajin" Equation Records

Written by Jon Whitney Sunday, 29 January 2006

The Danbury, CT-based Equation Records is home to Troum's latest release: a fantastic picture 12" disc LP with four new Troum mini-masterpieces, limited to 500 copies and hand numbered with as much loving care as Troum put into their music.

While Troum are known and worshipped (in unfairly small numbers) for their vast, gorgeous soundscapes, this time, they sound far more aggressive and serious. The 'open' side begins forcefully with "Tatan," as its relentless, echoed, driving rhythm is decorated with the bleeding howls of guitar noises and ghostly sounds. "Aurddrach" eases in more quietly, with a signature Troum depth-defying sound and a faster paced, but more subtle rhythmic loop. Both rhythm and atmosphere build concurrently until the sound is so massive, and then it breaks, quieting down, as if they're laying a beast to rest.

The 'closed' side is far more reserved, contained, and concealed. Rhtyhms of "Chertanovo" only barely evolve after about four minutes into the piece, and even then, they're provided by the echoes of the main sound sources, which are thunderous and rumbling. It's like being hidden deep, beneath the earth in the massive darkness, where only a few glimmers of light can be seen through cracks far above. "Chertanovo" doesn't make a grand exit, it only creeps off into the infinite darkness. "Yemanja" ends the release with a sad and slow anthemic melody. Elongated and emotional, it's a reminder that it's almost criminal that Troum aren't as praised as much as the bands like Sunn O))) and Godspeed who have followed their foosteps on the same trails, but have reached different peaks and valleys in their expeditions.

samples: * Tatan * Aurddrach * Yemanja

" TROUM :: Tjukurrpa (Part Three: Rhythms and Pulsations) " CD: Transgredient Records " . . . . . >> Troum have truly developed this series like fine art. Tjukurrpa is the equivalent of an aural locomotive in one ear, while acting as a psychedelic elixir in the other. How can the power of sound be designed to be disturbingly curious and larger than life? Ask Glit[S]ch and Baraka[H] who after disbanding their legendary industrial/ambient project Maeror Tri in 1996 have since branched out into a significant niche, a sound territory of their own. The recording is deftly wide in scope and dark in every corner, almost tribally spiritual, having more in common with Gamelan than Black Sabbath, but there is a furious (if not totally understated) nod to the latter's "Iron Man" on the bass boom of "Orphne." This is one of those rare records that only rolls around once a decade and is worshipped by too few, misunderstood, and out of its era to some. One thing is for sure; when a disc simulates the physical manifestations of a Cecil Taylor live concert something is perfectly trembling in my soul. ::..:::.....:..::....:::::..:::..:::::::......:::...::.:::....::::..:..:::...::.......::::
TJ NORRIS for Microview V3 / Igloomag.

...Time is implacable, it's going away quickly, so there is the closing part of the trilogy, but also new self-dependent album. Like the pillars of fire emerging from darkness, the reflections of the ancient rites permeating our very entity and throwing the light from the inside. No, you will not hear the rhythms here, there is no rhythm in straight modern meaning of this word. Like the lonely dancer moving still in the total silence, music will give the physical tension to your body, preparing it for the rush. Suddenly, the whole power flowing direction is turning around, only breathing aural halo remains, preventing you from the flashing vehemence.

The global rhythm of the album is just like a biorhythm, it become the final shape depending on the many individual elements. Devouring or emphasizing each other, they develop inside the organism and join insensibly to our attitude, becoming habitual part of it like breathing or palpitation. The standard rhythmical structures can just diversify the physical course of time sensation - unlike that, Troum music embraces all association models control in the human brain, so it will enchant you and not let you go... despite your frame of mind and inclination. 04-01/04 DMITRY VASILYEV, IEM magazine ,

With the release of this third part of Tjurkurrpa, Troum finishes their trilogy. The first was subtitled 'Harmonies' (see Vital Weekly 260) and the second 'Drones' (see Vital Weekly 308) and now they explore 'rhythms and pulsations'.

Troum is a German duo who play a wide variety of instruments, such a metal percussion, mouth organ, choirs, guitars and effects and their main interest lies in playing trance like music that can't be rationally accessed. So the release as a trilogy makes sense. One side dealing with harmonics, one side deals with drones and one aspect dealing with rhythmic music. It's music that plays with your (sub-) consciousness.

It's maybe strange to hear Troum playing more rhythmically and up-tempo music, but it perfectely makes sense, at least to me. Do not expect some techno-trance music, but rather minimal, pulsating, beat related music.

Rhythms are minimal, but with small changes in texture and colour. On top they add more colour from using various sounds, playing around with sound effects and equalization. More then on their previous releases, there are traces of Zoviet*France like music, especially on their early records, but if there is one really good lo-fi ambient industrial band around these days, it's Troum. Their trilogy is a true masterpiece in the genre. (FdW) 03-11/04 Vital Weekly

TROUM Sigqan -- Desolation House

Review of Sigqan published in D-Side 18 (September / October)

With each new album, we keep asking ourselves how the music of Troum could be so successful. How such an assemblage of drones and organic instruments could contain such a notion of absolute ? Recorded on the basis of a live reworked in studio, "Sigqan" doesn't fail to this rule with its three long enveloping tracks which evoke a thousand worlds by a simple large tone variation, where the meditative stance of the guitar drones - with a power rarely seen elsewhere- combines with accordions and muffled voices, distant breaths. Troubled dreams for upcoming nights...
Jean-François Micard

The french version:
a chaque nouvel album, on se demande comment la musique de Troum peut être si réussie.
Comment un tel assemblage de drones et d'instruments organiques peut-il contenir en lui une telle notion d'absolu ? Enregistré à partir d'un live retravaillé en studio, "Sigqan" ne déroge pas à la règle avec ses trois longs titres enveloppants qui parviennent à évoquer mille mondes en une ample variation de ton, où le recueillement des drones de guitare, d'une puissance rarement atteinte, se marie à des accordéons et des voix étouffées, des souffles lointains. Des rêves troublés pour les nuits à venir...

Troum, "Sigqan" - Desolation House

Deep beneath the ocean is a world of mystery, wonder, darkness, and danger. Even if it weren't for the cover art of this German duo's brilliant new album, there is unmistakably no other place in the universe that has influenced the sounds and movement of what is represented within. These drones are not passive in the least. The depth and volume are all encompassing, and moving slowly but steadily like an ancient and lonely large whale through the graveyards of shipwrecks, at the very beginning of the food chain in which all living creatures depend. Recorded live in the studio without overdubs, the first two parts are based on live performances the band was touring around with in 2001, the first being a dark blue rumble, heavy on the low end and marked by patient melodic movement, the second with swirling guitar strums and leads like the sun coming through in bended bands of beams: flickering, reflected, and refracted.

The intangible overwhelming feeling of weight and pressure is unavoidable and inescapable, like being frozen in a dream, unable to move, but calm and comforting all the same. Around the half-way mark, it dips back into the darker regions as pitch and pace slow down deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper yet into the cold, black unknown. The third part was recorded as an afterthought, and is described as a new ending. Its brightness and chugging backwards-sounding guitars brilliantly accent the feel that it is a journey which is reaching its end. At this point, it feels that the central figure in the journey seems to be a vessyl of some sort, and the 16-minute Part 3 is thematic of a glorious resurfacing, reintroduction to the bright light of day, and returning to solid ground. But, as the brightness comes, so does an ominous sense that all might not be right. The world looks different than before, the places are familiar but everything's seemed to have changed. The credits may roll but this is certainly not the end. - Jon Whitney ---

Troum-Siggan-CD - Desolation House
Sweet Christ !!!. Troum which was members of Maeror Tri. Can just do no wrong. Bleak, Drifting Dark Sounds mix with a feeling of reflection and loss no other band can come even close too. and its all done with electric guitars, e-bow, accordion, our voices. The sound quality on here is top notch too you can hear every delicate feature. If your a fan of mood Music or Music that can change your emotions. You have to get Siggan as Troum are second to none. As Always Desolation House has packaged it in a breath taking 6 Panel digi pak.
dragon flight rec / clint listing

TROUM - Darve sh - 10" - 2 tracks - Beta-lactam Ring Records - 2003
New release by the masters of 'Tiefenmusik', this 10" titled 'Darve sh' is the part 10 (of 12 records) in the Lactamase series released by Beta-lactam Ring Records. As the title suggest it, the famous German duo offers, here, their musical vision of the Whirling-dervish.

Contrarily to all their excellent previous productions where the sound could be described as dark atmospheric ambient industrial, the 'Darve sh' sonorities are less dreamlike and sound more pulsing, hypnotic, whirling... to bring the listeners to the limits of trance... The masterful first track (titled 'derve sh' as the second one) begins as a wave that immediately catches and drags you in the giddy whirl.

Based on repetitive loops, rotating and hypnotic sound waves, deformed voices... the intensity grows, minute after minute... to go beyond the state of trance... where the mind reaches the 'doors' of Enlightenment… Then, the second side can be played and the musical atmosphere can explore the ritual and ecstatic sates of this spiritual experience...

A new musical exploration from Troum that proves the huge talent of this influential duo to express the best trance-inducing potential of music...

This 10" is a limited and numbered edition of 500 copies.
Highly recommended!

Nathalie F. - Heimdallr, a French web/magazine.

Spring 2003

Symbiosis is the latest offering from those warriors of the subconscious Troum.

Troum - Symbiosis miniCD on Transgredient Records TR-002
Symbiosis is the latest offering from those warriors of the subconscious Troum. This dinky mini-CD in hand-printed sleeve gives us a 20min+ window on their impeccable and highly individual use of the humble guitar.

Surrendering their usual lengthy journeys to the constraints of the format we find them in a simplistic understated mood for this 5 track EP.

Like the sound of light refracted around a room track one is cut like crystal. The notes slowly folding over each other in multiple reflections describing a slow spiralling descent. Later the sound becomes suspended then fades any all to quickly leaving you with a taste for the ephemeral and a pleasing reminder of Eyeless in Gaza's more instrumental moments.

Slowly track two develops into a drone, each note contributes to the tracks building intensity. Every note is seemingly immortal, their circlulative echoes providing that subliminal distortion that I've always found pleasing in Troums work. The hum pulsates deep below every subsequent input then scatters in pollinating splendour.

Track three is my favourite with it's slow dulcimer like fragility. It seems to retract and advice hypnotically, shimmering in saturated Tsaresque hues. Lovely-sustained echoes dance solemnly between the speakers - a real treat on headphones.

The next track aquires a more optimistic mood building until a single percussive string washes it all away. The disc ends with a backward mastering of possibly the first track or a reworking from Tjukkurrpa pt.1 I'm not sure. The sound continually strips away itself until there's nothing left.

An elegant end to a short lived pleasure and I'm eager to hear more - By Mr Autotistic

TROUM & YEN POX "Mnemonic Induction" CD, 2002 MALIGNANT RECORDS

A more than sixty one minute colossal piece divided into four large sections without discontinuity is the result of the collaborative effort by this couple of well known German and US based artists. An enormous cut so subtly evolving that you should devour it without a single breath in order to crumble its content up, since it develops Troum’s philosophy of music as pure emotion that finds the direct way to the unconsciousness; but with the extra spice of the dark soundscapes of its American partner, generating (both together with Moljebka Pvlse’s release on CMI) the perfect droning evocative experience of 2002.

This is the case of an album created to go right through your brain and discover some of its usually unused or forgotten parts, to pull out memories you didn’t know you had, to discover an inner state you didn’t know you could. The only way to know what is inside of this round piece of plastic is experiencing it and reaching the necessary profundity that this sleeping monster deserves. Probably your consciousness won’t recognize what has happened after the playing concludes, you’ll try to describe the music and you’ll can only say that it was an immense layer alive.

And because in fact, there’s a lot inside: emerging from the rumbling background there’s a dynamic structure of sinister melodies and suggestive resonances (probably the most noticeable shade of Yen Pox) that go ahead along the growing path that the deep current follows, proving how well the collaboration succeeds. In fact, the meeting could have been under a new moniker created for the occasion, but this way is highly representative of what you can expect here: actually Troum and Yen Pox making their best together, it’s that easy.

To bring to a close, a special mention should be done regarding the amazing work by the Malignant Mastering Service, which has achieved such an extreme use of the low frequencies that you should avoid playing this through sensitive low quality speakers if you still want them. The accurate sonic train for such an amazing ‘dream-like’ passage.

Highly elaborated experimentations in sound without missing the creepy touch, although a solid construction more than just a simple blend of styles or the anecdotal reunion of two respected artists. This time 1 + 1 equals 2.


Official press release from Malignant Records:

NOW AVAILABLE Yen Pox/Troum - Mnemonic Induction CD (TumorCD17)

Given their separate history as masters of droning atmospherics, and their mutual admiration for each others work, a collaboration seemed only natural. Now, after years of discussion, Mnemonic Induction has finally materialized, resulting (not surprisingly) in one of the greatest, most mind bending works of dark ambient ever.

A 60 plus minute exploration through nebulous, grey areas of the mind…expansive drones and spiraling vortex' of sound that hover near the shadowy, distorted zones of a nightmare before ascending to mountainous heights and dense, billowing climaxes. This has a remarkable, liquidous feel that unfolds in a fluid, intense nature…patterns converge and meld seamlessly as layers of sound are added and subtracted; thundering lows rise up from the abyss, and spiral into the stratosphere, only to dissipate into a vacuumous black hole. The effect is something that plays on the mind, recalling moments before complete wakefulness exists…a tattered and restless dream state where images & thoughts flicker and appear from a fog.

Designed by Stephen O'Malley, housed in an attractive eight panel digipak with thoughtful text. One of our proudest moments, and one that set's the stage for some high quality dark ambient releases forthcoming later in the year. (Malignant Records).

A word on the artwork from Stephen O'Malley:

These aspects are very complimentary to the sounds as I saw them, and to the fact of the sound's value as a denominator of imagination. The colour scheme stands as a waking dream, the way I interpreted the liner notes... the state of mind before language/consciousness came into being with life on earth. Which still exists in everyone's mind of course, but which is increasingly cast over by rational thought and entanglement with the state of thought around consciousness in our society.

The organizational patterns around language are the basic foundations of conscious thought, where the subconscious is something we encounter in one example: music without word. It's a palette or canvas to be interpreted by those root thoughts if one allows. I tried to get this across in the artwork, to compliment these ideas. -

"MNEMONIC INDUCTION" collaboration - CD with US dark ambient masters YEN POX out very soon on Malignant Records (

....a step towards unconsciousness, estrangement and self-knowledge. Having plunged so deep into one's inner space one risks never to come back again. Roaming about the corridors of your own soul, try not to get lost completely. - Nikolai Kiryukhin, STEREO & VIDEO,

The acoustic spectrum of Troum music is somewhere between quiet meditation, pulsing groove and soundwall chaos, but in very abstract way of feel. Dark and ritualistic tones have nothing to do with depression, but with highness of emotions... - Dmitry Vasilyev, IEM Magazine

.... in most cases, invocations of dream imagery plants the author within the shiny happy world of new age. this is not so for troum, whose dreams must be plagued by grim visions of shadowy archons, as their monumentally dark and surprisingly beautiful drones cast from post-my bloody valentine guitar reverberations do not equate with an easy sleep. - Jim Haynes, WIRE

Troum - Tjukurrpa II
PART TWO: Drones (Transgredient)

While I had always enjoyed what I've heard from Troum and Maeror Tri, it was the first part in their 'Trilogy' ('Harmonies') which made me fall in love.
Be warned, however, as the second part in the trilogy is not nearly as gentle as part one.

Ironically, 'Drones' is not 100% drones, a characteristic of a number of their other releases. The music is much darker, heavier, lower pitched, and with a scattering of sound effects which border on abrasiveness.

While 'Harmonies' was bright and angelic, 'Drones' is most certainly haunting and creepy. Far from minimalistic drone, Troum's recipes never call for software. This time around, the duo have been expanding on mutating loops originating from metal and percussive sounds to guitars and choir samples.

Opening with mangled electronics mimicing a vicious robotic dog, it's not long before the fog-like sound drifts in, oppressive with low, rumbling undertones. Heavily processed sounds echo and resonate, far removed from their original state, as the disc creeps through the five tracks, slowly like a World War 2 submarine, far beneath the surface, lost in the darkness. Sounds which no longer resemble their origins become muffled thumpings and low-end filtered feedbacks building upon themselves, always approaching (but never quite reaching) noise. It continues to the end, where an angelic choral loop underlines the sound as the lower frequency sounds flourish in the foreground.

Oh, the humanity—it's as if the submarine sank to the bottom of the ocean.
It ends all too quickly.

Did they survive? Stay tuned for the third in the trilogy I guess.
If the drones you crave are more Stars of the Lid pretty, seek part one, if they fall more on the Zoviet France side, part two will certainly please. 2002 feb 4- Jon Whitney



Troum - Tjukurrpa I
Part One : Harmonies (Transgredient)

In the beginning there was... the Word? The Act? No, there was the Drone.

And if no one did deep-dream drone like Maeror Tri, no one does it like Troum, Maeror Tri's successor. Troum's two dreamweavers use no synthesizers, only guitars, bass, wordless voices, and accordion, in realizing the "dreams dreamed by dreamers who are awake."

The Tjukurrpa trilogy, taken from an Aboriginal word for "dreamtime," isolates and highlights Troum's main attributes: harmonies, drones, and pulsations.

This first volume plays up the duo's lofty, liquid melodies, while taking in the history of drone musics - from the primordial roar of the didjeridu through Eno's airport ambience. Cello-like undertones give way to the celestial swirl of illusory strings in opener "Wrota Sfer." The star-scaling "Licht- randung" plays like the overture to a world's first dawn, recalling the Auroral symphonics of Stars of the Lid. "Gluoen" borrows the massed, sacred harmonies of the Seraphic choir. There's cabalistic innuendo in "Zayin" and "Mada Shaunda," as though the keys of Making and Unmaking have been encoded within each deliberate involution. "Skaunieiis" makes the album's bid for unutterable beauty with infinitely rippling guitars. Troum reserves its most stellar vision for last, observing the choreography of night from its point of creation in "Mirrored in You (Dedicated to Martyn Bates)."

If you're at all partial to the exploits of more celebrated dreamstate disciples (you know the names), you owe it to yourself to investigate Troum and Maeror Tri. Begin with Tjukurrpa I: Harmonies, as this self-released, splendidly packaged edition of 500 is sure to disappear quickly, and move on to Meditamentum 2 (Manifold), an essential collection of Maeror Tri rarities.
It's all good. -- 2001 feb 9 -- gil gershman

Ryna (CD Myotis)

Troum is the next step evolution of Maeror Tri, taking the highly processed guitar ambiance of their previous venture and channeling it through a more tumultuous, volatile outlet.  “Riqis” reverberates from the voracious maw of a wind tunnel; “Tocher” opens in a similar vein, though its tones seem more subterranean, struggling under the surface, before slipping through into a completely different land, one littered with diamonds melted in the incinerator heart of the earth; rising from the multi-layered drone of “Thumus,” distraught impressions like grievous fingernail crescents dug into the skin, at which point the layers grow even more voluminous, before dissolving into dust-laden light particles; “Riurja” is driven by a primitive beat, looped crumbling cliffs that are punctuated with more thundercrack lightening slashing at the disintegrating ridge, the stalking pace almost musical, melodic. 

The general feel of the sounds here is reminiscent of the earth moving, tectonic plates in constant shuffle, the tracks building and then either shifting or worn away via attrition.  It‘s as if Maeror Tri learned to fly through ingenuity, smoke and mirrors, while Troum has taken the ingenuity, smoke and mirrors and, somehow, grown wings. Amazing stuff! 



TROUM - RYNA (CD by Myotis)
TROUM - DAUR (10" by Cohort)

Maeror Tri are now officially dead - long live Troum. Two members of Maeror Tri have been playing intensely in the last year and now the first productions are available, and this is their first CD. Packed in an oversized folder with vague images, this can unmistakably be classified as ambient industrial. The eight tracks all clock in at somewhere between 6:40 and 8:30 and they are all of an unmistakably dark character - organ like guitar treatments howl by like the wind, or huge thunder storms being captured on Riqis. Too raw to be ambient by any means, and too 'soft' to be considered the grandchildren of Throbbing Gristle. My favourite tracks include 'Thalamus' and 'Thumus'. The dark atmosphere is kept throughout the entire CD, and one wished it contained also a bit more light in this tunnel. But as debut, a damn fine opening.

The blue vinyl captures on one side 'Daur', a beautiful slowly increasing wave of guitars. The b-side holds two tracks, of which 'Venustas' is simply beautiful guitar plucking and is a great post rock doodling (hello Kranky? sign this!). 'Krypte' then starts out with a bass and more chorused guitars. The 10" is more post rock then the CD and displays two sides of this young band.

Now of course I am obliged to say something about the difference between Maeror Tri and Troum (or that what linked them together), and I must say that the early Troum reminded me a bit of the early Maeror Tri (circa their first CD), in a way it is a much more raw and unpolished diamond.


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