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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JOHAN TRONESTAM: Space Collection (2017)

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

“Following his last 2 albums on cosmic themes, Johan Tronestam offers what he knows best; a good collection of lively beats beneath great synth plays and effects”

1 Redshift 8:27 2 Distance 8:14 3 Next Steps 7:30 4 A Ninth Member 7:20 5 Neptune 8:36 6 Arthur's Journey Continues 9:14 7 The Change 7:58 8 Deep Field 7:04 9 Pulsar 6:04 10 The Viewer's Mind 7:57 Johan Tronestam Music

(DDL 78:25) (V.F.) (French School, Cosmic Rock)

It's with percussive effects that bang with the precision of a metronome as big as a clock wall that Redshift gets opening. Effects sizzling and reverberating, conceived with an organic touch, as well as hollow breezes feed the abstruse vibes, whereas a line spreads a harmonious approach which spins and floats like a sheet taken between two layers of wind. A like of sequences over another one, Redshift develops a slow rhythm on which gets grafted a melody blown by a dreamy synth. And throughout these fine nuances in this structure which limps with promptness, the synth weaves veils of sound effects and sculpts good solos in the 2nd part which accompany a rhythmic pattern became more convincing. Flirting on Jean-Michel Jarre's harmonious momentums and the dynamism of sequenced rhythms as Chris Franke knew so well how to build in the 70's, Johan Tronestam and his SPACE COLLECTION has gone slightly under radars during its release last June. It's just so baffling! Composed on the heels of Arthur Went Above the Clouds, this album develops structures of rhythm which are alike, and which are not exactly similar in a cosmic environment which seduces more and more since The Long Journey's release. On that purpose, this collection of 10 tracks clocking an average of 8 minutes ends this trilogy, dedicated to his father, commenced by this album in 2016. And the music here inhales the main lines of these two albums with atmospheres sewn in an unlimited imagination and which draws its resources from the secrets of cosmos. And the rhythms! Sometimes slow and sometimes livened up of a marathon runner's pace, they remain polyphased with binary and creative movements of the sequencer which, hung onto sober electronic percussions, become some real addicting treasures. This is some very good Johan Tronestam!

After an introduction stolen in elements of cloudiness, Distance offers a good structure of rhythm built on a movement of alternation from the sequencer. This rhythm skips with a beautiful fluidity on where insert good nuances. The synth multiplies the effects, which are rather in the spectral genre or a horror movie and reserves us some good solos towards finale with a touch very Jean-Michel Jarre who is a strong source of inspiration for the Swedish musician. Simple, lively and effective, one hooks on the very first listening! We can say the same thing of Next Steps, which offers a slightly livelier rhythmic while the synth is more in mode; decorate your environment with effects of esotericism. Survivor of an introduction of breaths and hollow breezes, the structure of A Ninth Member makes varied the rhythm of the sequencer in mode lento. Lascivious and mesmerizing, with these layers of mists blown by these breezes from the void, the rhythm gallops pleasantly with a little more excitement before heading towards a finale slightly too hasty. Ambient with light rhythmic breezes, the music of Neptune reflects faithfully a sound decoration to which get fed our imagination. It's not too ambient! The rhythm is slow and floating, while the layers of ambiences are dividing the galactic effects from the layers of faded voices. The longer title of SPACE COLLECTION, Arthur's Journey Continues extricates itself from its dense cocoon of ambiences to offer a good mid-tempo wrapped up in cosmic elements. The IDM style is not really far from this title. The Change is another one very good title. Its rhythm starts point A to point Z. Layers of voices caress the hybrid movement of the sequencer, which is well supported by sober electronic percussions, while the synth loosens good harmonious solos that we can whistle with ease. And if the effects of cosmic gases are appreciated, those of stroboscopic felted elements are just as much. The movement of Deep Field is situated between Distance and A Ninth Member in a livelier and steady proportion. And no introduction of ambient elements. But the primary charm of this title is situated in its very melodious approach. It's the kind of thing which sticks deeply in our ears, while the cosmic effects and its very big diversity reminds us of the ingenious moments of Jean-Michel Jarre. Pulsar also succeeds in getting loose from other structures of rhythm with a mid-tempo which flirts with an up-tempo. Some great IDM here! Johan Tronestam offers beautiful harmonious phases whereas the structure of rhythm gets organized to charm us even more with developments always so attractive. It's doubtless the most sober title of this album which ends with The Viewer's Mind and its energetic approach which plunges us literally into what Jarre should have done right after Magnetic Fields.

With a little more boldness and creativity in the way of developing these electronic rhythms, Johan Tronestam always manages to unite his fascinating rhythms with ambiences and melodies which surprise and seduce constantly. A very good album of poetic and romanced cosmic rock of the French School style.

Sylvain Lupari (November 9th, 2017) *****

Available on Johan Tronestam Bandcamp

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