Boomkat Product Review:
Droll, killer bedroom pop and experimental beauties from Germany’s TRJJ collective and mainman Max Stocklosa on Belgium’s practically faultless Stroom label. RIYL Lolina, Mica Levi, Coby Sey!
As Stroom approaches 30 releases, a number of distinct strands have emerged from its impeccable tastes, and TRJJ’s ‘Music compilation “12 Dances”’ slots neatly into their most precious vein of slow, zoned, and loner obscurities somewhere between the minimal, rhythm-driven slink of Pablo’s Eye, the bedsit blues of Vanderschrick, and the other-place ambience of their Cybe collection.
Far as we can tell, TRjj stems from TRIIMusik, “a loose group based in Germany since 1998” and revolving active members ALEPHER, Francis PON, Wanda Hotl, E.P.I., ZOVV, V-complex, Kutschi Mane, and the aforementioned Max Stocklosa, whose name crops up more often than the others. Despite so many hands on board, though, the music is remarkably coherent, sounding to our ears like the work of a smaller and tighter group. It’s surely testament to the collective’s minimalist modesty and shared vision that this is the case, and duly highlighted in the poetically-sequenced track selection by Ziggy Devriendt aka Nosedrip.
Making sterling use of samples ranging from African and Americn folk to modern free improv, the album spreads out from ether-dream ambient in the introductory ‘Emulation of History (Disguised Drums)’ to crumpled trip hop recalling Hype Williams on ’Shadow Expert II’, constantly surprising at each turn with subtly mutating backdrops united by a recurring vocalist who we’ll presume for now is Max Stocklosa. We hardly need to stress it, but yep, this is another riddle wrapped up in a dream by Stroom. Hours of pleasure will be had while following its logic.