Comprised of recordings dating from 1993 to 1996, Emotional Engramm is the final work from the groundbreaking German electronic-experimental transcendentalists -- Maeror Tri. The CD has been released by Iris Light, and with its seven extended and deeply evocative pieces, it is a worthy farewell from Maeror Tri -- 2/3 of which will continue to create music as Troum.

 
Maeror Tri
EMOTIONAL ENGRAMM     
Track Listing

1. Landscape Of Visionary Thoughts
2. Sublimis
3. Nebulos
4. Vadum
5. Chymos
6. Undisonus
7. Sphaira

          The music on Emotional Engramm is developmental rather than structured; it is not moved forward by the propulsion of rhythm or beat, neither is its flow accreditable to melody, although threads of harmony and melodics do play an important part in Maeror Tri's musical needlework. Above all, the experience of listening to the pieces on this CD is akin to looking into a kaleidoscope, and slowly twisting it to make the little shards of colored glass assume new and always intricate patterns.
          "Landscape Of Visionary Thoughts," for example, opens with rumblings so deep and subdued that they seem like a aural fata morgana. Slowly, twinkling electronics fade in, and establish a mood as of a synthetic orchestra tuning their instruments for a suite. The sounds gradually bleed into each other, and evolve into vibrating and echoing tones that emit a chromatic brilliance; as these sounds grow stronger they take on the quality of something enormous passing by, and disappearing out towards the stars. The  piece then drifts into a saturated cloud of atmospherics, out of which rises a fragile, yet strangely familiar rudiment of a melody. It hovers above the thundering and turning engines that fire up far below, levitating on the powerful updrafts of sound. And -- miraculously -- as everything else fades at the end like some bad memory, this increasingly faint progression of notes linger momentarily, before it too evaporates into the space of silence.
          A vast construction of sustained tones meet the listener at the outset of "Nebulos." The incomprehensible murmur of voices duck in and out of this deafening structure, while a distant hiss ever so slowly comes into focus, and reveals itself as the hypnotic sound of rain. At first the soothing impact of each raindrop is audible against the fabric of cosmic drones that remain present in the background; later the rainfall intensifies, and then finally subsides altogether, leaving "Nebulos" to end, the way it began, with otherworldly, almost solid, objects of ringing sound.
          The sound of water is also used on "Undisonus," although here it has been manipulated into the heavy breaths of some enormous organic entity. Clacking beats and soaring atmospheres are almost drowned out by the wash of aquatic interference. Maeror Tri does not stay at the edge of the ocean for the duration of this piece however. Soon, the listener is gently carried away, and, throughout the remainder of the piece, held aloft on sheets of sustained, shimmering harmonics. 

          The other four selections are equally evocative and visual, but it serves little purpose to wring apart the language of words to describe these musical compositions, which in all truth elude any attempt at capturing their essence through verbal acrobatics. 
         

          While listening to Emotional Engramm I was overwhelmed by memories and images from when I was a boy. Even more strikingly perhaps, certain thematic sequences on the CD gave me deja vu of melodies that I composed in the silence of my thoughts many years ago, and only hummed or whistled when I found myself absolutely alone. I have no way of being sure that Maeror Tri's music has actually given me back these most private memories and compositions of mine, or whether the triggering of such sensations in the listener is an intrinsic quality of their music. All I do know is that I like to listen to this CD more than just about anything else, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.         

Reviewed by Michael C. Lund


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