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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JOHAN TRONESTAM: Far Away (2012)

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

“Far Away is a striking bass sequenced album of cosmic-rock with contagious harmonies”

1 A Wider Perspective 5:54

2 I am Already There 5:57

3 Exoplanet 7:00

4 Discovering the Unkown Space 5:31

5 Seen from a Distance 5:43

6 Silent Symphonies 5:41

7 Pulsar 6:10

8 Nebula 6:36

9 Distance and Time 5:30

10 Event Horizon 5:44

11 Artificial star Traveler 6:03

12 Beyond the Horizon of Knowledge 6:48

(DDL 72:36) (V.F.)

(Melodious Cosmic Rock)

The cyberspace is full of hidden talents who make themselves known by word of mouth. And this is the case with FAR AWAY Swedish synthesist now residing in Finland Johan Tronestam. In the Tronestam family, music is a vocation. Son of a musician who pushed him to learn the violin, Johan Tronestam preferred to play the electric organ. That's how his passion gave him the chance to play keyboards for various local bands and acquire a first synth at the dawn of the 80s; a Korg Trident synth. At the same time, the discovery of Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene album changed his artistic vision and his musical approach. And it is at the heart of these influences that bathes FAR AWAY, a powerful album of alive and vibrant MÉ with 12 tracks with rhythmic structures, enriched by sometimes unruly sequences and percussions which end up unifying themselves in surprising rythmic symbiosis. These rhythms are honest and catchy where screaming and howling Orion winds to multiple forms, both airy and vocal. In short, is a solid opus where cosmic rock goes with its secret moods.

A Wider Perspective throws us all the way into the impressive musical canvas of this album with a heavy aboulic rhythm that pulses under a good synth with melodious lines and stars. We are in a state of weightlessness well punctuated with a horde of percussion fanned by the echo effects of echoic castanets and wet pulsations that sparkle under the charms of a synth with melodies and plaintive solos, like lamentations of specters stuck in cyberspace. A line of sequences stands out to wave solitary and snake a rhythm of lead that forges an eye-catching tempo and whose cosmic melodies synths cover a bewitching worm-ear while quietly and too abruptly A Wider Perspective disappears in the 'oversight. Do you want others? Well I am Already There! This time the rhythm is more fluid with a bass line that ripples with its muffled pulsations, gauging the weight of cold chords that forge a cybernetic melody. As for the vast majority of the songs on his album, Johan Tronestam plays with his rhythmic approaches, giving them different that are attached in an astonishing symmetry. And these vibes are quite cosmic with ghostly solos, ethereal voices and silver mists encircling patterns of rhythms with sharp modulations, as if Kraftwerk would jam with Tim Blake. It's very good and very effective! The intro of Exoplanet offers a first atmospheric incursion with foggy and nebulous layers of synths whose visions always harmonic cooing in a cosmic corridor. Violent strikes of metal cymbals disrupt the brief atony, carrying this heavy cosmic worm to a line of sequences whose alternating agreements, which eventually become entangled, molds a circular rhythm and forges a beautiful harmonic approach under a rich feast of solos . We continue to swim in full rhythmic biodiversity with Discovering the Unkown Space and its synth lines to saxophone breaths and contemplative mists that follow a progression of a bubbling rhythm of sequences and percussion antipodes of their cohesions. Seen from a Distance contributes to this rhythmic diversity with sequences that forge a line of cosmic waves whose ripples roll under the weight of strong percussions.

Again, the percussions inject various strokes and tones that modify the axis of a rhythm always coaxed by a synth with cosmic essences. Silent Symphonies is a beautiful cosmic melody dressed in fascinating youthful ease. The arpeggios that whirl like snowflakes in a starry labyrinth recall the fragile harmonies of Tomita. It's simple, always cosmic and very catchy. And all along FAR AWAY our ears are confronted with the reminiscences which furnish the rhythms and melodies of this very beautiful album of Johan Tronestam which puts on catchy titles with a disconcerting ease. Pulsar is another beautiful melody that moves on percussion whose arrhythmic strikes hammer a slightly chaotic rhythm. The synth is delicate and infuses a sweet atmosphere spangled with romance with somewhat Iberian breezes that sing under a bed of mist while the rhythm, still in evolutionary mode, jolts of its circular jolts. Robotic tweets surprise the ears to initiate Nebula's synth pop approach, which offers a sustained rhythm with symmetrical percussions and sequences fluttering under the soft harmonic breaths of a melody that is whistled with innocence. It's a beautiful electronic ballad that is not trivial since Tronestam continually digs his compositions to surprise the listener with unexpected turns. Delicate, Distance and Time is the meeting point between Nebula and Silent Symphonies. Event Horizon is a very good cosmic down-tempo with a rhythm between two phases where the felted percussions and the circular sequences are cradled with distant voices and caressed by a sweet synth with Hispanic aromas. These synth breezes in the colors of the Iberian land heats up the robotic rhythm of Artificial Star Traveler whose primer awakens reminiscences of Kraftwerk on The Robot. Beyond the Horizon of Knowledge concludes with a rhythmic approach as fine as it is heavy with a spiral of sequences with brief rhythmic stops where the structure is revitalized to darken like a train on dented rails. Less cosmic, the structure remains as ethereal with stray voices that hum under the twists of a synth with shapes and solos as charming as melodic.

FAR AWAY is more than a pleasant surprise. It's a solid cosmic-rock album with contagious harmonies. Johan Tronestam finishes 12 good tracks here that flow with the same musical biodiversity as if we would merge Tim Blake and Jean Michel Jarre to revive the Michael Garrison era with more rhythmic heaviness. At this level, the percussion game and the sequencer lines sculpt rhythmic skeletons that are quite similar but just a little different for them to notice. This is the nice surprise of 2012 when it comes to a sequenced and rhythmic EM. To discover!

Sylvain Lupari (October 3rd, 2012) ***½**

Available at Johan Tronestam's Bandcamp

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