Have we got a treat instore for you as those who caught the Trialogos performance over the Roadburn Redux weekend will know exactly what we mean. Featuring three inspirational musicians in the form of Conny Ochs, Kiki Bohemia and Sicker Man, today it’s an honour to bring you the entire forty minutes of their debut Stroh Zu Gold, that also marks Exile On Mainstream‘s 100th release, and to quote Martin in his recent review, where he said it ‘offers up a wide variety of sounds, moods and textures’, he’s certainly on point with that analogy.
Multi-instrumentalist Conny Ochs comments about the album, ‘Stroh Zu Gold is both an image and a quote from a famous and quite mystical German fairy tale by the name of Rumpelstilzchen. It embodies various rich imagery, one of them being a scene where a quite improbable task, turning straw into gold, needs to be accomplished. In fact, it is achieved through witchery. The strange and adventurous way in which we recorded the album made that image pop up in the process, and it stuck.’
While adding about the recording, ‘It feels to me we had witchery on our side too. We just threw ourselves into this, without any recipe, not knowing at all what we would be cooked up to. I am very thankful for having the chance to work with Kiki Bohemia and Sicker Man, and for that treasure of freedom in the unknown. I hope we can transmit this through the album, and that we have the chance to bring it to a stage soon.’
Exile On Mainstream founder, and all round top bloke Andreas Kohl, reflects about reaching the 100th release landmark, ‘One-hundred releases, twenty-two years! Pinch me! Who would have thought we will make it this far? When Dischord made it to one-hundred in 1997 I hadn’t even started but couldn’t believe that you can keep the spirit for that long and still remain relevant and true to yourself. Truth be told, I had wanted to put it to rest a few times, but it was the artists themselves who wouldn’t let me, and in particular Conny Ochs, who kept on telling me I can’t.’
He continues, ‘So this goes out to the artists on the label more than to anything or anyone else – they are the ones who got us this far. It’s all for them and because of them. And that’s why the Trialogos is so perfectly closing the circle because it perfectly illustrates what this is all about: the friendship, the family, the ‘anything goes’ and no limits approach. Wait a second, false modesty here, I’m the greatest! I put out one-hundred records. Eat that!’
That’s enough of the talk, now click play below to be encapsulated by the sonic tones of Trialogos and their debut album Stroh Zu Gold…
More On Trialogos & ‘Stroh Zu Gold’
New experimental/cinematic rock collective, Trialogos – formed by Conny Ochs, Sicker Man, and Kiki Bohemia during the pandemic over the past year – presents their debut LP, Stroh Zu Gold, marking Exile On Mainstream’s 100th title.
Following Tony Conrad’s concept of maximalism in minimal music, Trialogos’ widescreen Super 8 soundscapes and occasional haunted house vocals conjure up visions of winter lost beaches, bats dancing upside down, and sojourns in permanent dawn. What we hear in these ‘trialogues’ is one word sounding through the other. Like in a doubly exposed photograph, the individual elements become both more ethereal and more defined. They touch and blend, align and dissociate at the same time and take on the remarkable capacity of ghosts: the ability to inhabit one another, one voice speaking through the other.
Trialogos’ three members arrived here through quite different musical backgrounds and experiences. Singer-songwriter and visual artist Conny Ochs is a troubled troubadour of the special kind, who gained massive recognition for his highly praised collaborations with Wino. Sicker Man works as a composer and producer for film and theatre scores and explores the musical field in between experimental pop, noise, and instant composition, using and processing the cello as his main instrument. His movie score for Simon Barrett’s (You’re Next, The Guest) directorial debut, Séance, will be released through Lakeshore Records on May 28th. The third corner point of this mystical triangle is represented by Kiki Bohemia, a singer and autodidactic player of lost and found instruments and toys, who is also Sicker Man’s long time partner in a variety of different projects, such as the doom duo Slutty Clowns.
The idea for a collaboration first came up in an underground backstage room at the Zukunft Club in Berlin, where the three artists shared the stage for a concert. The three of them got together for the first time in an experimental improvisation as part of an art exhibition in Sassnitz, Germany during the Summer of 2020, where things started leading towards what is now Trialogos.
In response to the altered living and working conditions during the pandemic, Sicker Man and Kiki had started a daily series of livestream concerts called Cleansing Drones For Locked Down Homes in March 2020, designed as an experimental musical ritual to comfort and express emotional and artistic turmoil during a state of emergency. When Conny Ochs joined in as a guest in the Autumn of 2020, they expanded the technique of those ‘dialogues’ to include the voice of a ‘third,’ taking collective soul searching and notion of self-transcendence to a further stage. Locked up in their studio in Berlin, seeking solitude and introspection, the trio recorded Stroh Zu Gold within just three days, gaining new artistic vision and transvaluation from this almost eremitic kind of lifestyle.
The album was officially presented to a selected audience during the Roadburn Redux virtual festival in April 2021 as a streamed live show from the stunning location UT Connewitz in Leipzig, a more than one-hundred-year-old cinema. The response was just overwhelming, and the band left the crowd mesmerized. A first, handmade edition of the album on vinyl sold out while the concert was streaming and was out of print before it was over.
Stroh Zu Gold was recorded at Blank Studio, Berlin in October 2020, produced by Tobias Vethake and Trialogos, with additional recordings by Conny Ochs. The album was mastered by Andreas ‘Lupo’ Lubich, and completed with artwork by the band members, primarily Ochs.
Stroh Zu Gold Tracklisting:
01. Lavu Santu
02. Stroh Zu Gold
04. Il Terzo Sogno
06. Rip Current
Conny Ochs – Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Drums, Percussion
Sicker Man – Acoustic & Electric Cello, Guitars, Juno 6, Moog, Lapsteel, Beats, Effects
Kiki Bohemia – Rhodes, Vocals, Bass, Dictaphone, Autoharp, Effects
Stroh Zu Gold will be issued June 18th in a four-panel mini-gatefold CD, 180-gram pure virgin black vinyl LP including a download card, and digital platforms through Exile On Mainstream which can be purchased now over on the labels webstore.