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Troum, "Tjukurrpa (Part One: Harmonies)"

Troum are a Bremen, Germany based duo formerly of the 'ambient-industrial' band Maeror Tri. Tjukurrpa is their third full length CD, follow-up to a Mort Aux Vaches and first on member Stefan Knappe's Transgredient Records. It is also the first in a trilogy under the name (meaning "dreamtime"), this one concentrating on 'harmonies' and the next two on 'drones' and 'pulsations'. And that is Troum's objective: to put the listener into a dream-like state of unconscious exploration.

The 7 pieces range from 6 to 16 minutes and are comprised entirely of guitar, bass, accordion and voices without the aid of computers or samplers. It's a big blurry drone in the same sort of vein as Stars of the Lid, James Plotkin and some Eyeless in Gaza/Martyn Bates (in fact, "Mirrored in You" is dedicated to Bates). The opening track "Wrota Sfer" is the lengthiest and offers the most obvious, yet gradual and heavily obscured chord changes. "Skaun[ei]s" draws back the heavy effects curtain enough to clearly decipher pretty guitar note patterns. "Mirrored in You" builds a tense wall of noise then finally releases near the end. Overall Troum's work is good and makes for a nice ambient background but it's not as emotionally engaging for me as the others I've listed above. Their sound is very 'same-y' considering the different instruments being used and the harmonies a bit unimaginative or too buried to hear. But, I am still interested enough to see how parts 2 and 3 turn out. The packaging is simple but intriguing with full color paper circle bookends for the disc. Troum will be contributing to the Beta Lactam Records "Lactamese" 10" subscription series later this year and briefly touring the U.S. later this month ... - Mark Weddle