2 Evidence of life beyond Earth 7:04
3 How to Answer 5:24
4 Response 5:08
5 Reflections 5:46
6 The Star Arpeggiator 6:52
7 They have been Here Earlier 6:40
8 Closer to Knowledge 7:06
9 The Linguistic Gap 6:44 (Bonus Track)
10 Beyond our Intellect 4:48 (Bonus Track)
(Cosmic Rock Music with a scent of French School)
**Chronique en français plus bas**
Composed in the wake of The Island, “Planet X” gets a new sound skin that satisfies a little more the musical vision of Johan Tronestam in 2018 than in 2010. And we can easily understand this need for remastering and the feelings of the Swedish synthesist because the sound fauna of this album, as much at the level of its evolutionary rhythms than its ambiances, is nourished of a diversity which is clearly heard in the different passages of this album proposed in downloadable format and in 24 Bits remaster. As the title suggests it, the listener is immersed in a cosmic universe with a series of titles focused on the concept of communication with aliens. At this level, the game of synths is quite in the tone with tasty extraterrestrial intonations while the ambio-cosmic decor is firmly established by good effects whose research is undeniable. In summary! A very good album of intelligent cosmic rock with subtly evolving rhythms which are not alike from one title to another but are nevertheless from the same genes.
Lively and melodious, "Contact" starts “Planet X” in mode dance. The rhythm is sharp and jerky with a series of spasmodic sequences which flow in a hatched cadence. The ambiospheric elements consist of stroboscopic filaments slightly harmonious and fascinating electronic trumpets which sound very Jean-Michel Jarre. "Evidence of life beyond Earth" follows with an ambio-cosmic introduction where a synth sings an ectoplasmic alien chant. The rhythm structure emerges after 60 seconds. A space-rock rhythm which is soft, but dangerously catchy and reminiscent of Batman's music, with a bass line which digs oval shapes zigzagging under the bites of sober electronic percussions. The synth always throws these extra-terrestrial songs in another cosmic setting very close to the influences of Jarre again. Between rock and dance music, "How to Answer" offers an approach which is difficult to pin down, both for its rhythm and its strange vocal melody, as well as its ambience elements. It's a good track which rolls in a rather melodious setting and a good bass line whose flow rides on a good mesh between percussion and sequences. "Response" follows with a very beautiful lunar ballad as moving as cinematographic. A very beautiful title! More in mode Cosmic Blues, "Reflections" follows with a hyper slow rhythm where are succeed harmonious synth solos. "The Star Arpeggiator" takes back the road of electronic rhythms with fire arpeggios flying in orchestral position, a bit like Tomita in Snowflakes are Dancing. The rhythm is more rock on the other hand. Knotted spasms of sequencer and vivid percussion, it hits our eardrums with beautiful synth pads which turn into good solos, always very melodious, and sound effects still in mode cosmos is strange.
"They have been Here Earlier" is another good cosmic rock with a fascinating panting rhythm and synth pads in the colors of Twilight Zone. The color of the rhythmic arpeggios is of glass whereas the songs of the synths remain foggy, always close to extraterrestrial incantations. "Closer to Knowledge" offers an evolving structure. The rhythm is disjointed with percussions, which do secondary tam-tams, and sequences forged in an organic language. Synth layers blow a warm mist wind, as well as cosmic jets which constitute the essence of the ambio-cosmic elements of “Planet X”. Electric arpeggios are added and tinkle from everywhere while the language stammers on a rhythm which goes for good soft and lively cosmic rock around the 3 minutes. Here as elsewhere, Johan Tronestam waters good solos always very harmonious. "The Linguistic Gap" is the first of the 3 bonus tracks in this new version of “Planet X”. It's an ambient title carved around lush synth layers and effects knotted in a cinematic intensity vision. "Beyond our Intellect" is a nice piece of music. A kind of cosmic ballad with a slow pulsating rhythm and some nice melodies from both the synth and a harmonic approach finely strobe. The conclusion of this album comes with its title song still composed in the late 2000's which is a solid cosmic rock as melodious as very catchy. The influences of Jarre dominate this superb structure and end another solid album from an artist who remains at the top of his art.
Sylvain Lupari (July 12th, 2018) ***¾**
Available on Johan Tronestam's Bandcamp
"They have been Here Earlier" est un autre bon rock cosmique avec un rythme fascinement haletant et des nappes de synthé aux couleurs de Twilight Zone. La couleur des arpèges rythmiques est de verre alors que les chants des synthés restent brumeux, toujours près des incantations extraterrestres. "Closer to Knowledge" propose une structure en évolution. Le rythme est décousu avec des percussions, qui font des tam-tams secondaires, et des séquences forgées dans un langage organique. Des nappes de synthé soufflent un vent de brume chaleureuse, ainsi que des jets cosmiques qui constituent l'essence des éléments ambio-cosmiques de “Planet X”. Des arpèges électriques s'ajoutent et tintent de partout tandis que le langage bafouille encore plus sur un rythme qui se met en bon rock cosmique mou et entraînant autour des 3 minutes. Ici comme ailleurs, Johan Tronestam arrose le tout de bons solos toujours très harmonieux. "The Linguistic Gap" est le premier des 3 titres bonus de cette nouvelle version de “Planet X”. C'est un titre ambiant sculpté autour de luxuriantes nappes de synthés et d'effets noués dans une intensité cinématographique. "Beyond our Intellect" est un très beau morceau de musique. Un genre de ballade cosmique avec un rythme pulsatoire lent et de belles mélodies tant du synthé que d'une approche harmonique finement stroboscopique. La conclusion de cet album vient avec sa pièce-titre toujours composé à la fin des années 2000 qui est un solide rock cosmique aussi mélodieux que très entraînant. Les influences de Jarre dominent cette superbe structure et termine un autre bel album d'un artiste qui reste au sommet de son art.