Music Reviews

Yen Pox & Troum

Mnemonic Induction


A lucid dream in one in which you are aware you are in the dream state while it is happening. Mnemonic induction is a technique developed by Dr. Stephen LaBerge that induces lucid dreaming at will.

This being the case, there is no hint of irony whatsoever in regards to the title of the collaboration between two of the heaviest-hitters in the genre of dark, atmospheric music, a.k.a. “Dark Ambient.” Troum (Germany) and Yen Pox (United States of America) have admired one another from afar for at least a decade. With the completion of the tracks on Mnemonic Induction, the two acts have bridged their mutual respect and admiration across time, an ocean, and two distinct, yet very similar, philosophies regarding the exploration of the human mind through the medium of music and noise.

Realistically, there is nothing distinctly “dark” about the children born from the union of Troum and Yen Pox. The CD itself does not impress an overtly “creepy” or “sinister” atmosphere upon the listener. However, to truly enjoy atmospheric music – ambient music – the frame of mind of the listener is the key. What you take away from Mnemonic Induction is completely up to you and the mood you happen to be in while you experience the whole of the CD. On the other hand, and I say this in all sincerity, were there ever an “official” soundtrack to the entirety of the written works of H.P. Lovecraft or Lord Dunsany, the musical journey that Troum and Yen Pox have taken and, for our benefit, archived in plastic, would most definitely fit the bill.

The sounds, musical injections, and collaborative experiments in dream-inspired cacophony are intricately choreographed into a ballet for the mind; shapes and colors can be heard, while visualizations and imagery are most definitely implied by the artists through careful architecture. Essentially, as said before, Mnemonic Induction provides the landscape that you allow yourself to travel through.

Assembled in four tracks – movements, if you will – Mnemonic Induction stands as a sort of standard; a flag raised on a mountain of dreamscapes by two of the most talented practitioners of atmospheric, musical experimentation.

The only negative comment I could possibly make in regards to the triumphant collaboration between Yen Pox and Troum is that even though the duration of the disc is over one hour, it ends far too soon, leaving the listener wanting for much, much more and not at all ready for reentry into the world of the awake.

Malignant Records:

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