Apr 5, 2007

Troum & All Sides - Shutun (Old Europa Cafe, 2007)


My first exposure to German atmospherist Troum was last year's To A Child Dancing In the Wind with my buddy Martyn Bates. Well, it's a one-sided relationship. Streets I Ran is one of my favorite things, although Marty's certainly surprised and impressed me elsewhere. I think initially I dug the affair with Troum because it felt like the other dark ambient Martyn Bates collabs (like Murder Ballads and Two Thousand Days) both of which were so large in scale and scope I had to build an addition on the house. To A Child was overwhelming in a condensed way, with each track feeling like an excerpt from a 364-month trance-inducing blissful feety-pajama romp through true emotions. Okay, ignore all that. It was, in fact, fucking great and not the Windham Hell it sounds like. Near as I could tell, Troum dropped him in the middle of a starved lake with a Shure-58 and hiked to higher ground.
All Sides, I came to find out, is Nina Kernicke's bag of tapes and tricks, bringing the boreal chops to Troum's abandoned factory. This is one looooong track made up of dozens of little ideas woven in and out or laid side-by-side. Thankfully, Kernicke leaves most of her Meat Beats at home, although she does whip out some suspicious string patches that had me hunting for the ear plugs. Oh sure, it's pretty and emotive and all, but so is that New Age program on public radio. Can't say who brought what dish to this potluck, but that one has a particularly All Sides bouquet, I'd say. That dark ambient stuff only works for me when it's more dark than ambient, otherwise it walks a line too thin for my blood.
This didn't much hold my attention. Can't tell who's mostly responsible either. Ah, the glory of collaborations: everybody takes the cake, no one wants to do the dishes. Or...something. Comes in a metal tin like that other record.

1 comment:

Doppelgänger said...

Great comment about Troum. I'm making a post about the same album.

I hope that u visit me in the Sonorous Abyss...

Good Luck!