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Label: Section 44
Catalog# SEC-007
Release Date: April 2006


Eyes Wide Open 5:23 Sample
First Embrace 5:29 Sample
Death of Varena 3:31 Sample
Gray 5:01 Sample
Chase the Fire 4:12 Sample
Shiver 4:55 Sample
Walking With Shadows 4:19 Sample
I'm Under No One 5:21 Sample
Before It's Gone 4:13 Sample
Toothing 4:21 Sample



A unique US band that's not afraid to take chances
Carl Jenkinson - Hard Wired Magazine (UK)

Rating out of 10: 7.5

If there were an award for best cover art then this American trio's debut
would win by a mile so hats off to bandmember Pierre Norman, whose idea it
was. More importantly, of course, the music that he, along with Randall
Erkelens & vocalist Krystyna Eller make is worth lending an ear too, as
well. It is, in fact, Krystyna's ethereal, harmonic, dramatic & at times
mysterious vocals that set the band apart from many of their contemporaries
by adding a more characteristic touch to such otherwise traditional synthpop
offerings as the solid opening duo of "Eyes Wide Open" & "First Embrace" as
well as "Chase The Fire" & "I'm Under No One". However it's on the more
evocative tracks that they really find their niche, telling their story
while complimenting the mysterious, exotic & somewhat sultry feel (thanks to
the Arabian touches) of the excellent "Death Of Varena". Likewise the
seductive & subtly erotic mood of "Gray", which features the additional
talents of Modyssey's Doug Bell, is likewise enhanced by her expertise,
making for a most beautiful & intimate piece that evokes making love late at
night in the light of the full moon. Few bands are able to evoke such
feelings (& with such clarity, too) so it's to their eternal credit that
they can & it's this area that I hope they develop further in future with
the baroque touches that compliment the excellent piano work on the dancey
"Shiver" proving another nice touch. On a darker note, however, I'm not
convinced that the increasingly offbeat path that "Before It's Gone" takes,
moving on from its initially lovely opening & acting like a narrative to a
strange play, is a totally good idea although it does prove they're not
afraid to wander away from conventional realms. However, the cover of Gary
Numan's "Walking With Shadows" is a definate no-no & while I'm sure that it
wasn't their intention to emulate the darkness of the original their version
sounds far too cosy, particularly the harmonised vocals, thus resurrecting
the long-dead spectre of, gulp, Techno Army &, yes, I fully realise what an
insult this is but it's true so I sincerely hope they never do anything like
this again & concentrate on their many good points. Still, that they're able
to provoke such extreme reactions in the space of one review proves that
they're not your run-of-the-mill synthpop band &, despite coming a cropper
at times they're pretty special at their best &, overall, I'll look forward
to what they come up with in the future.



Tristraum - Gray Debut
Maurizio Pustianaz- Chain D.L.K Magazine (Denmark)

Rating out of 5 Stars: 4

After several years of work, Tristraum finally released on early February their debut album titled GREY. Containing also their previous singles “Shiver” and “First embrace” the album include also a cover of a Gary Numan song: “Walking with shadows” (track that is coming from his previous album “Pure”). Gathering ten songs for a length of fortysix minutes the album shows the different faces of the band: the synthpop influenced by goth melodies (see “Eyes wide open”, “Shiver” or “I’m under no one”), the sensual electro pop (the Fixx cover “Chase the fire” is a good example of this style and it is the one that convinced me most even if also “Toothing” is a good one), the introspective ambient electro with celtic melodies (see “Gray”), the good Gary Numan cover of “Walking with shadows” reprocessed by the band being true to the original version but playing it with their personal style and finally the ballad “Before it’s gone” which contains a charming orchestral arrangement that make the creepy effect created by the song rise in an impressive way. In my opinion half of the album is really good and it gathers different influences that have been richly personalized by the trio. The synthpop goth influenced tracks are the ones that impressed me less because on those I found Krystyna voice less expressive respect the other ones where she changes her voice coloring, in this way, the different tracks in a beautiful way.



Tristraum is Hypnotizing
Oleg aka Synthez Observer- Synthpop.ru (Russia) - Translated from Russian

That was an all digital album. And no analogue tape was harmed during the recording sessions. And the album was expectedly fine. Picking up where the moderately successful single "Shiver" left off, American trio brought the best of utilitarian divertissement together and under the auspices of Queen’s "It's a kind of magic" set on a kingly majestic "Gray". And the expectations were rewarded.

Empowered by the electronic embellishments, still as delicate as Sting’s “Fragile”, passionate beauty throughout the core sound of richly textured realization, pierced thru by the bright overtones from the darkwave range, ornamented by the obligatory requisites of synthpop and obsessed by the integration of elastic string of melodious gothic oblivion. Peacemaking mystery ambience stuck along with the relentless decibels reminiscent of the previously granted by Claire Voyant and Glow.

And the key point here is the deeply languish and hypnotizing talent of Tristraum Krystyne Eller that shines brightly and magnetizing so strongly that attention never gets unfocused, this coloratura vocals designs the total feel of the records… So associations go “Perhaps, hellishly cool! Most likely 4 octaves (?)”, “vibrating”, “Did you hear Recoil’s “Strange Hours”?”, “she sings like Diamanda Galas, ominously attractive and stunning”, “there is no standard for this, a pure revelation”, and sometimes compared to Jimmy Sommerville’s “siren”…

And put in dramatically labyrinthed synthetics soundscapes, with its leading role this voice fuses gently into the rest of the music, lush and genuine, but conditionally set to the back for Eller’s gift may sway. Covers for "Chase The Fire" originally by The Fixx and Gary Numan’s classic libretto "Walking With Shadows" parked in the record, as well as the steel cage friendship of Modyssey on the title track, all fit super as custom-built clothes. So a lot of flowers go to Krystyne Eller, and the great respect to her bandmates, this is a truly remarkable work that dwells really in a polychrome world, not in the “grayness” as the sleeve scheme told us so.

Tristraum "Gray"
Side-Line Music Magazine (Belguim)

Without having listened to one single song of this group native of the United States and more exactly of san Francisco, this name was already familiar to me. Tristarum was involved in several conpilations and some remixes (T.O.Y., Assemblage 23, Project X) and had massively bombed the Net to "spread the news around the world". Singed on Section 44 stable, the trio (two boys and a girl) composes rather minimalist pop, well constructed (Eyes Wide Open, First Embrace, Gray) Worth the mention: the voice of the lead singer comes sometimes quite close to a "shy" version of Alison Moyet. Let's also note thte presence of Gary Numan's cover "Walking with Shadows". No groundbreaking release but an album worthy of examination.

Selected highlights from other review material from Side-Line:

This band brings a lot of romantic and kind of new wave influences in its synthpop tracks.The female vocals and the style remind of a bit of MONOCHROME but evolving at a slower pace and injecting '80s-like atmospheres into the whole. We'll produced and recorded...

The tracks are well crafted...

Synthpop that goes down easy...

The songs are diversified...

Modern sythpop that one could compare to some Melotron or De/Vision to name a few

Tristraum "Gray"
Jason Baker - Synthpop.net

This is the debut album for Tristraum, the musical collaboration of Randall Erkins, Pierre Norman (both formerly of the Twitch Remix service), and Krystyna Eller. This debut album was released on Section44 Records in 2006, and features the previously released single "Shiver" as well as covers of both Gary Numan and The Fixx, and 7 other original songs.


"Eyes Wide Open" opens the album with a strangely alluring almost R&B-like feel, with the mysterious "come hither" nature of the lyrics perfectly complimented by the subdued but quite catchy music. That same "come hither" spirit is present in several of these songs, with "Shiver", "First Embrace" and "Toothing" all having a underlying sensuality that is quite perceptible (and in the case of "Toothing", quite blatant! (read: explicit language)). The minor key setting of "Death Of Varena" gives the song a bit of a middle eastern feel that is really captivating. "Gray" is a song that was written in collaboration with MODyssey, and is a great example of minimalistic music used to great effect along with the very strong vocal performance.


The album version of "Shiver" seems to have had the energy amplified for this version, as it's primed for the dancefloor now. "I'm Under No One" is a track which has previously only been released in remixed form, and it's a track that didn't immediately grab me on first listen, but has begun to grow on me, and I think that's probably the reaction most will have. "Before It's Gone" is a disconcerting track, with a very unnerving melody that sounds like it was taken from a Gothic Horror movie or something similar.


Overall, Tristraum have delivered a very catchy and captivating album. It's not your standard synthpop or dance, but this band has crafted a unique and quite interesting sound, and I can easily recommend this album!

 

 


 

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