Trialogos are an experimental/cinematic/soundscape trio featuring dark-folk singer/guitarist Conny Ochs, multi-instrumentalist Kiki Bohemia and Sicker Man, who all came together during the global COVID-19 quarantine. The result, Stroh Zu Gold (Straw To Gold) which is Exile On Mainstream’s 100th release, offers an eclectic range of sounds, moods and textures.
Music fans with an ear to the stoner/doom underground will recognize Conny Ochs name for his three good-to-great collaborations with doom legend Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich. However, this record sounds nothing like Ochs prior projects. Opening with the synth wash of Lavu Santu anguished guitar is layered over the soundscape, as the track ominously builds, a heavy, repeating bass line holds the sounds together, albeit loosely, creating a sense of space.
The title track changes the mood, as a driving, dance beat with keys is the next mixture of sounds the trio want to explore. The record creates many different moods and atmospheres that blend seamlessly with each other, despite the sometimes-abrupt changes in sounds. Example being Batdance that opens with a morass of swirling noise, before descending into something that makes me conjure mental images of Berlin late at night.
Il Terzo Sogno features Ochs’ acoustic guitar playing with swirling strings layered over the top. I can’t help but think of this song in an independent movie soundtrack, to say nothing of the instant follow up Mali:Berlin. Ochs’ subtle playing mixes with Bohemia’s and Sicker Man’s various sounds to make for one of the most pleasant listening experiences on the album.
an interesting release that offers up a wide variety of sounds, moods and textures…
Rip Current utterly changes the entire mood of the record, switching gears again, as a crushing, heavy, ominous, synth monster, lurches forth. The music is claustrophobic, evoking a feeling of impending doom. To say this song creates a mood, an atmosphere, would be an understatement.
The album comes to a close with a lighter, spacey, airier vibe with both Wellenreiter and Hikikomori. Both songs cleanse the listeners proverbial palette well after the uneasy feeling left after Rip Current.
Stroh Zu Gold may not be for every listener, but it is an interesting release that offers up a wide variety of sounds, moods and textures. Additionally, the musicians experientialism and willingness to explore so many different sounds, sometimes in a single song, make the ambition and the creativity of the release commendable.
Scribed by: Martin Williams