1 Climbing the Beanstalk 11:12
2 A Reflection on Possibilities 8:48
3 A New Discipline 7:58
4 Arthur went Above the Clouds 8:46
5 The Kármán Line 6:44
6 A Journey of no Return 9:26
7 Magnitude 7:48
8 Mining Operations in the Solar System 8:36
9 Anti-gravity 8:46
SynGate – CD-R JT04 (CD-r/DDL 78:04) ***½
(Classical cosmic rock)
After an ambiospherical introduction which clocks the 150 seconds, "Climbing the Beanstalk" reveals a good electronic rock which gets closer to The Long Journey's opening. The rhythm is supported by sober percussions which hammer a soft but lively pace and a line of sequences which scatters shining shadows. We hear synth waves which copied the mooing of sirens and which also throws some very nice aerial solos which bath in a tearful harmonious approach. We are in the lands of Tronestam and we already like it! "A Reflection on Possibilities" is more lively, more punchy, with motorik percussions, jumpy sequences and synth layers which float with a bit of mystery in the harmonies. It’s a catchy tracks which set fire on our feet and which does very Michael Garrison with a beautiful sonic decoration where the cosmos challenges e- rock. The 2nd part offers a beautiful fight between sequences and percussions which restructures slightly a rhythmic approach wrapped up in celestial humming. The feet bite the beat! The opening of "A New Discipline" reminds me that of Voice from Alan Parsons' Robot album. Although a little more livened up, it’s between a mid and an up tempo, the structure of bass sequences calls back memories. Little by little, Johan Tronestam decorates his approach with sequences which flicker under the soft waves of a synth loaded of floating and melancholic harmonies, especially with the appearance of a choir of spectres. The title-track begins in an ambiospherical mood with a kind of funeral march where the synth lays down plaintive harmonies. The rhythm settles down gradually to reach a good pace with a play of nervous sequences which skip in a chaotic approach. Always very present, the synth scatters melodies and effects between nice small soloes and layers of voices. The approach is very progressive and it makes of it one of the most interesting titles of Johan Tronestam's repertoire. "The Kármán Line" offers another good electronic rock with a mid-tempo fed by a structure of sequences of which the mixed leaps give an approach as fluid as jerky. One would say a train which rolls quietly on summits decorated with voices and with cosmic effects. The harmonies, set apart the voices maybe, are absent here. I like the soft and wave-like rhythm of "A Journey of no Return" where the synth amazes with its very melancholic approach. It's my small very fave because of its melancholy which does very French movies of the 70’s. Very good! "Magnitude" goes between the both poles of "The Kármán Line" and "A Journey of no Return". "Mining Operations in the Solar System" is a very catchy cosmic rock which is smothered in its envelope of bass sequences which oscillates with the fluidity of its heaviness. "Anti-gravity" ends this last work of Johan Tronestam with a soft and hopping rhythm coated by layers and astral solos.
How not to like the music of Johan Tronestam? Navigating on the influences of 2 big actors in the field of the electronic cosmic rock, the Swedish synthesist always offers a catchy music which is stuffed of beautiful harmonies, good intergalactic sound effects and good solos. An EM where the synth and the sequencing pattern live freely without overshadowing one or another. And “Arthur Went Above the Clouds” is molded in this style. A very good album which is going to please undoubtedly to the fans of Tronestam. And to those who miss Michael Garrison's style. If it’s your case, you should follow then the artistic path of Johan Tronestam.
Sylvain Lupari (November 8th, 2016)
You will find this album on the SynGate Bandcamp shop here