Category Archives: Troller

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Featuring : Troller

SINGLE POCKET JACKET -most common format

Troller return to 20JFG with their latest album Graphic.  Today we visit the six minute centrepiece of the album, Storm Maker.

Storm Maker proffers a glimpse into the dreamworld Austin we yearn to visit.  In terms of anchoring a psychic picture of a place, theirs is a gloriously fatalistic southern American counterpoint to Lynch’s brisk, northern, 50s, idyl/horror-show.  It is a world of yearning, of passion so white hot it can only manifest itself in molasses-slow waltzes.

Witness Storm Maker’s operatic vocal; at times emotive to the point of incomprehensibility.  A wall of pure longing, a sound powerful enough to draw us across the Atlantic and into their perfectly preserved dreamworld.  A world of sparsely populated clubs, spare lighting  and endless, cosmic sadness beneath the glasses of its patrons.  A beautiful purgatory of the damaged and innocent.  A sympathetic portrait of the psychic trauma of dominance — that Lynch painted so well for us non-Americans.

Troller – Storm Maker

Troller’s LP Graphic is out today on Holodeck Records.  Get it here.

Bonus sadomasochistic red-room lip-sync video for Not Here.  Don’t say we don’t spoil you:

Use of Interfaces

03-trevor-naud-mapmaker_900

(This post was written before Iain Banks sublimed/was reassigned. It goes to him in any case. The artwork is by Trevor Naud via 50Watts.)

After Iain Banks’ Transition and a delightful detour into music literature (with David Byrne’s ‘How Music Works’), 20JFG just started reading another book based on the premise of trans-dimensional movement of people and artefacts. No-one should be surprised to find that this topic is of interest for our coterie of fantasists, dippers into sonically augmented realities, also fans of video games which are after all but primitive versions of the Holodeck, which is also the name of the Texan record label that concerns us today, as it does what it says in its tin, viz. generating windows into other dimensions from which lumbering beasts crawl and creaking siege engines roll to devastate our reality, and, in the process, make us swoon lots.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves – or perhaps we are leaping across adjacent dimensions of drafting and thinking.

Where were we?

Oh, yes, infinite worlds packed tightly like slices of grapheme, across which a few relativistic corsairs leap with gusto. In the case that concerns today (Charles Stross’ ‘The Merchant Princes’ saga), this involves two differently developed version of Earth (one like ours, the other still feudal) through which a few ‘world-walkers’ move, carrying with them technologies from where they are commoditised to where they are scarce, as the Law of Comparative Advantage would predict (Paul Krugman is a fan by the way).

The outcome is: medieval knights packing automatic rifles over there; corporate boardrooms stuffed with bloodthirsty Earls over here. Caravans moving cocaine safely across wild forests, ready to be reinserted in the centres of consumption of post 9/11 America.

troller

Let us add an additional exchange:  a transference of mainstream music production and recording technologies to farmsteads and villages in the outer confines of civilisation, by which we mean places where the vaguest rudiments of an organised religion are yet to be formed, where the first steps away from oral culture are yet to be taken, places which are more accurately described as outposts of the wilderness amongst humanity rather than the other way around. Places whose vague streets are by night trodden by wolves, bears and bigger and badder things, places inhabited by clans who take their sustenance from the woods, and in exchange give away songs (as well as, every so often, a sacrifice of their own).

Troller live in that village, they import those tools that many in our world deploy to propagate shallowness and banality to instead create something of rumbling and musky deepness, like the shriek of a thousand small creatures dying, decaying and becoming part of the mulch from which new growth comes, a performance in a snowy summit populated by uncannily configured rocks, the performers shoe-gazing not to make a statement, but to preserve their sanity in the faceless face of the entities which their music summons. Like the throb and pang of sexual attraction within close quarters, not framed as romance between individuals, but as the necessary ritual that guarantees the survival of the group.

Pop music red in tooth and claw, this is what we receive across a colossal chasm. It is powerful stuff. Just like that, it snuffed the summer away from our sky.

Troller – Winter

Troller just reissued their self-titled release in vinyl in Holodeck last week. Go and pick it up right now.

breadwoman

And talking of things that arrive to us as if from a faraway land, but that with their familiarity make us wonder whether we haven’t travelled with them here (implying that they are our baggage, or we are theirs), also making us wonder whether they haven’t spirited us away to their Kingdom like fish impaled in golden-gilded hooks, to be devoured, processed, assimilated, what better moment than this one to bring into the discussion Anna Homler & Steve Moshier’s ‘Breadwoman’, that figure lumpy like an edible Tetsuo made of improvised loops and drones, chanting in an invented language ‘which is Bread to English’ lettuce’?

We can’t think of one, so here you go – in our lay-people’s eyes, the song below is evidence supporting the idea of a generative grammar for language (and relatedly, music), a pan-human template within which the constructs representing a warm dawn, the metronome of a cradle and the creak of its wicker all slot smooth, like humans sliding under thick blankets in a freezing winter night.

Anna Homler & Steve Moshier- Yesh’te

We discovered this through Matt Hendon of Where to Now fame. It was originally released in 1985 by High Performance Recordings, and was recently reissued in Forced Nostalgia.

Shadow caravanseray

wehavealways

Three thin pale sisters welcome you in with melodious voices. It is warm and it smells of clean sheets, baked bread and burnished wood. They bid you to stay as long as needed, and rest and recover before venturing back into the wilderness outside.

They smile and they swirl and all of your wishes are fulfilled. Cream soup, a well-appointed library, good conversation and delightful entertainment every night, shadow puppets running through the walls with a fairy tale that puts you to sleep.

Some things you do notice.

There is a subtle whiff of something sour in the breath of the three sisters, of something rotten in the food that they serve you, of something crawling behind the florid wallpapers of their lounge, of something awful in the shadow puppets that stretch and linger over the walls.

Also, note that you have never seen these three sisters in the light of day. Wait. You haven’t seen the light of day since you arrived here. Wait. For how long have you been here?

Tonight (it’s always tonight) shadow puppets run over the walls, dangle acrobatically from the wrist of a sister around the neck of another, leap on the floor and scurry into the shadows where their little eyes glimmer luridly. They jump on your chest like cats made of mist, and stretch their paws around your throat.

As you start dozing off, they whisper a strange story.

About a house in the countryside and a God-fearing father, a silent mother and three daughters who liked to play in the forest behind the country-house. About the shadowy things they met in that forest and how the father didn’t like them.

About how he forbade them from playing with the shadows and what the sisters did about it. Blades in the night, a brief trial. Three ropes over the branch of an oak, their bodies so slight it barely creaked.

And then the house empty, save for the shadows. And then thin pairs of pale arms tearing a rend in the veil, crawling back into the house and its lonely limbo, waiting for visitors to keep them company in the shadows of a night that lasts forever.

The Coombe – Tierra Amarilla

Troller – Winter

The Knife – Without You My Life Would Be Boring

Cabaal – In Flux

Mayerling – La Mort n’en saura rien

You roam the shadows for an eternity. Eventually you find your bag, and strike a match. You slowly get your bearings.

Ahead of you, there is a tunnel dug in the rock that heads further down. Go there.

In the wall to the right there is a portal humming ever so slightly. Go there.

2013 References

Image from book cover for Shirley Jackson’s ‘We have Always Lived in the Castle’.
 
We loved The Coombe’s parcel from A. Machen’s country, and Troller’s glaciar-like ballads. The lumbering beast that was The Knife’s album could perhaps have done with some light editing, but we nevertheless surrendered to its claustrophobic embrace (and loved the Margaret Atwood references).