Troum (an archaic translation of "dream" from the duo's native German) mines the nether regions
of the subconscious to create waking replications of the nightly visions. Their recordings are
far from mere transcriptions of dreams to tape; they are the gossamer residues of once vivid
memories, passed through mesmeric filters to slowly dissolve present reality into soft focus
fragments of thought. Musically, these translations fall both on the sublime and, at times, on
the malevolent side of the ambient fence.
Sen - Troum's contribution to Staalplaat's luminary Mort Aux Vaches series - is fixated on the
North Sea where sheets of black ice creak under the tidal currents that roll onto a rocky beach.
Troum sees no need to utter any direct references, implying their metaphors begind a bleak drone
haze of guitars, bells, voice, and keyboards treated with a heavy dose of synthetic cathedral
reverb. Sen reveals Troum's post-industrial background with a churning drum machine which rumbles
underneath the complex tonal patterns like an antiquated seaside factory.
Troum, more so than their precedent incarnation Maeror Tri, has the potential to invoke
awe through their hypnogogic expanses of droning sound. Rarely have they failed to push beyond
their potential, and Sen is no exception.
The above was written by Jim Haynes for The Wire (UK). We could not better it.
Double LP set :: Pressed on quality 180g virgin vinyl in two colour variations ... and also ... Double Picture Disc LP set
217 copies :: picture disc 147 copies :: semi-transparent tan vinyl with white & black halos 97 copies :: milky-clear vinyl with sepia haze
Side A :: Sen - Part 1 [24:00] Side B :: Sen - Part 2 [10:35] Side C :: Sen - Part 3 [15:30] Side D :: Sen - Part 4 [11:49]
Unique semi-circular clear PVC gatefold wallet with a stickered inner 7" heavy PVC wallet housing
3 large circular double-sided satin-finished heavy card inserts, a sticker and sealed with a
numbered oval sepia sticker.
The gatefold - which has 2 further stickers - is then fastened with a Velcro button.
The artwork throughout - by eyelyft - is quite simply the most
complex and detailed this outstanding artist has so far created. It also took a major effort to locate a printer
capable of doing justice to these unique creations.
Re-issue of the long out-of-print CD released on Staalplaat's Mort Aux Vaches imprint in 1999.
Music has been subtely re-mastered and now gives the work the best-ever sound quality (so say the band themselves)
All three editions :: Pic Disc + Tan w/halo + Clear w/haze
Picture Disc Set :: Open Sleeve :: With the 3 inserts displayed
Milky-Clear (w/Sepia Haze) Vinyl Set :: Closed Sleeve
Tan (w/Black Halo) Vinyl Set :: Closed Sleeve
Picture Disc Set :: Back
Picture Disc :: Close-up (& personal)
Picture Disc :: Mirrored Close-up
Insert A :: Front
Insert B :: Front
Insert C :: Front
Sen Exploding installation at Spark event, December 29th, 2007
This packaging is so unique, we don't even have a proper category to file it
under, so let me start with that: "Sen" comes in three different 2xLP versions,
a picture disc set, a 180g virgin tan vinyl with a white record and a black halo
and a clear vinyl with sepia haze only available via Equation records or the
band. These amazing versions are designed by Eye.Lyft (eyelyft.com) and can/must
be seen in more detail at http://www.chronoglide.com/Equation_mc13.html. I am in
possession of the first, double LP picture disc set with velcro-fastened semi-
circular gatefold PVC sleeve with a heavy-gauge 7" PVC wallet fastened inside
and containing three 7" circular 2-sided satin-finish heavy-paper inserts and a
sticker, sealed with a hand-numbered oval sepia sticker! Obviously the care that
went into this is incredible. Needles to say it is visually absolutely stunning
and unique! I haven't seen anything like it in years (Ant Zen and the vinyl-only
Drone records used to make beautiful stuff like this, but not anymore... too
expensive in this iPod era where the tangible has lost its value). Interestingly
I also just noticed that Troum's email address ends in dronerecords.com, so
there must be some connection I am not aware of... maybe they even are the
founders of Drone records, which would explain the experience in graphically
astonishing packaging (but probably not the choice of releasing it on a different label).
But let's talk about the music: Troum (which is an ancient german translation of
the word "dream") is an ambient/experimental duo from Bremen, Germany, who also
happens to be (previously) known as Maeror Tri. "Sen" is their second album, a
re-mastered re-release of what originally saw the light as Staalplaat's 600
copies limited edition Mor Aux Vaches series (of which we have reviewed
countless CDs in the past) featuring just one very long piece. For the purpose
of this release that one long piece (which had been recorded in the VPRO studios
at the end of 1999 in one take, with no overdubs) had to be split into four
pieces (the four sides of the two vinyls). Musically completely engulfing and
rapturing, these drones layer upon each other as they originate from multiple
sources (guitars, bells, voices and of course synths) and build up to transcend
to a more grand, lethargic and entrancing state by way of really long and slowly
decaying reverbs and sub-woofer friendly frequencies and harmonics. The Cold
Meat Industry-like post-industrial infusion blurs the lines between dark-ambient
and experimental and expand into a hollow, somber and archaic, almost epic,
magmatic universe of rumbling drones.
"Sen"'s four parts remind us of the original musical meaning of the word "drone"
and re-define that for us with a contemporary clarity that sadly only a record
of the past seems to be able to provide. Almost 10 years later this record still
sounds timeless and gorgeous.
Rated: 4.5 stars out of 5