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.