Maeror Tri from Zoharum

Maeror Tri (1988-1997) was the prior identity to work by Stefan Knappe (Baraka H), Martin Gitschel (GLIT[s]CH) and Helge S. Moune – Knappe and Gitschel would continue on as Troum, who are still quite active. Their prolific brand of ambient/drone is one of the unsurpassed in the field and it took the incredibly ept Polish imprint Zoharum to celebrate a half dozen remastered reissues and other material that stuns with otherworldly sonics. Here I discuss four of those that teeter on brilliance.

Originally released in 1993, Archaic States was the ninth tape put out by the G.R.O.S.S. (Japan) run by the incredible Akifumi Nakajima (1959-2013) back in the day. Zoharum pressed 350 copies of this on CD and added a bonus track lifted from a 1998 comp (My Lom II). From the outset this merges the streaked worlds of bass-heavy percussion and scattered electronics that bring about eerie sounds that mimic a batcave disturbed by moonlight. It’s heavy, dense and dimensional, though on a track like Lacus Somniorum one can hear an altered harmony that brings balance. The muffled drone, twisting gently with murmurs from beyond becomes a modern day ghoulish soundtrack. Though this has some low-lying ambient spots, it’s always en garde with chambers of bridled industrialism.

Ultimate Time was first released by Old Europa Cafe (1994), here with an additional track from the 1997 comp The Art of Marginal Talent. Far more subtle than Archaic States this was Maeror Tri’s very next record. But this spins its own psychological web, and it’s arousing affect is quite intense from the opening track Dolor, and throughout. This is one brilliant hour that you will want to curl up to with your brightest night light. A melange of rhythms that put you at ease otherwise its Mayday. Gentle brushstrokes become deeper and broadened on Lost Paradise, you are getting verrrrry sleepy. Yes, while this slips into pensive subconsciousness the fact that you are even listening to music seems secondary to the meditative possession imposed. Sublime and subliminal.

Sensuum Mendacia / Somnia is two parts in one, the first originally produced in 1991 by Direction Music (Wales), and this re-release includes five related tracks taken from the split tape with Nostalgie Eternelle duo (1990). This remaster goes even deeper into their budding imprint of ambient atmospheres. Foggy and dappled in dreamy illumination. They veer a bit into a delusional, medieval sense of the orchestral here, which seems slightly oversteeped in a type of melodrama unspoken otherwise but on Soma 2 and Choir of Transcendence. Afterwards their fluid form returns with a gracefulness that almost eludes description, it’s more about letting go into a deep listening state. The split is a perfect pairing here, only emphasizing the most intimate, ethereal.

Lastly is Hypnobasia (Old Europa Cafe, 1992) including three bonus tracks from various comps (1989-1992): the wisely curated Augurium, Ecstatic Singing and Exilitas. This sounds like a fusion of air raids and field recordings, peace and pain twisted and tied. At first it comes off as if its falling into deep industrial drone, but there are pockets and passages that contradict that trajectory. An ill-at-ease rupture in the conjured stillness of Drowning Into Hatred is disconcerting. I’ve never really considered something as ‘post-noise’ but I do declare this is something along those lines, not concerned with the noise itself, but the aftermath. A deformed shadow seems cast from this collection, ultimately quite listenable, and smartly so. Parts stylish horror soundtrack and industrial transmission — all meditative obliteration.

More: Drone Records

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