The term Compunctio|
- Intro [3:13]
- Loneliness [7:40]
- Between the lost and the coming [8:16]
- What is the truth [6:42]
- Rituals [6:56]
- Rituals Part 2 [6:32]
- The end and the begining [7:18]
- Ritual combinations [7:20]
- Recognition [8:19]
Gregory the Great (ca 540–604) spoke about compunctio, the holy pain.
The grief somebody feels when faced with that which is most beautiful is both a reminiscence and a fore-taste of the divine world.
Originally compunctio was a medical term that described intense
physical pain, but when Gregorius used the word he spoke
about a spiritual pain.
The bittersweet experience stems from human home-lessness in an
imperfect world, human consciousness of, and, at the same time, a
desire for perfection.
This inner spiritual void becomes painfully real when faced with beauty.
There, between the lost and the desired, the holy tears are formed.
– Owe Wikström,
professor in Psychology
of Religion at the
University of Uppsala
The beauty is often in the simplicity! We remember these years where the cosmic rock surfed on Teutonic percussions, of which the rattlesnakes' tones sat imposingly on robotics beatings, and lovely synth solos filled of dreamy coils? This is downright what we have with the universe of “Compunctio”. A meeting point between the fluid rhythms of Michael Garrison, and those more cosmic of Jean Michel Jarre, as well as Klaus Schulze's vibes of ether, this last Johan Tronestam's album is a real gold mine for those who like the lively rhythms of the cosmic rock in what it of more traditional there. Another electronic rendezvous wisely selected by the SynGate label which, undoubtedly, amazes more and more.
"Intro" throws us the first measures of an album where the rhythms are forged by a docile complexity. Lively percussions and line of jerked sequences a bit staggering, the rhythm is as melodious as lively with words effects that will remind the essays of Jarre on the use of voices in sound effects. The synth is magnetising with a soft ghostly melody which floods its obedience in synth pads filled of ethereal voices and electronic chirpings of which the alternations will stabilize the sonic fights of “Compunctio”. Except these ethereal cosmic effects, the synth embroiders some very pleasant lyrical solos which call back the beauty of the analog years. And down from its 3:14 "Intro" modifies subtly the axis of its rhythm, showing the unpredictable colors of an attractive album of electronic cosmic rock. The beginning of "Loneliness" let hear knocks of percussions which roam in wind corridors ventilated by hoarse breezes and twists. This start of ambient rhythm forms a strange carillon filled by knocks of percussions which flutter in dark winds. Moreover, the last groans expel a march of resonant sequences of which the sinusoidal knocks root a rhythm as heavy as tottering. A delicate melodious membrane is covering this rhythm which stuffs itself with percussions and of their fluttering knocks while that quite slowly Johan Tronestam spreads a melodious shroud that will be our first earworm of “Compunctio”. Set apart this melody, the synth, which will always be so charming, throws these effects of mist and voices of outer world that will channel all the cybernetic beauties of a work which aims to be the mirror of pain, as physical as spiritual. Each detail matters in this last album from Johan Tronestam. If the rhythms are at the effigy of the Teutonic cosmic rock, the ambiences are modelled on the interstellar model of the French school as established by Jarre himself. At this level, "Between the Lost and the Coming" shows off both models. And even more! The i ntro is embroidered in the mystery with percussions to the skin of rattlers which ring in somber moods. Twisted breezes adorn the mysteries while that quite slowly a Germanic rhythm spreads its hold with big staggering steps. This ambient rhythm is submerged by beautiful solos with psychedelic essences and cosmic gurglings, whereas that quite slowly pads of ether a la Schulze ennoble "Between the Lost and the Coming" which swings constantly between the rhythmic simplicity of “Compunctio” and the a little more progressive ambiences.
After this almost ambient interlude, "What is the Truth" skips in our ears with this meshing of sequences and percussions which forge the cosmic rhythms of “Compunctio”. Multilingual voices hold our ears on the alert, knotting a tiny link between the docile and melodic rhythms of Kraftwerk, while the synths are mixing mists and solos full of an oniric sweetness. And, a little in the greatness of “Compunctio”, the rhythms evolves in delicacy at the whim of percussions slamming in the winds of Orion and sequences which become a little more incisive. We enter into this phase where the influences of Tangerine Dream besiege the compositions of Johan Tronestam. "Rituals" presents a lively and very catchy rhythm. A rhythm which follows variable curves and which is submerged by a very creative synth among which the superb twists and solos pierce some very nice orchestrations as well as voices filled with mist. This is a 2nd crush which sticks on the very first listening. You have to hear these very sweet cosmic solos which infuse essences of Jarre. Splendid! "Rituals II" is somehow a bit dreamier. This is a kind of music piece which charms at each new listening. The mark of a good track which proposes a rhythmic structure as ambient as on "Between the Lost and the Coming" while the ambiences are kissing those of Jarre in his Ethnicolor. We remember the ping-pong fight on Concerts in China? It's what jumps to ears with the very ambiospherical opening of "The End and the Begining" which eventually adopt the structure of the sinusoidal sequences in "Loneliness". Except that this time the rhythm is clearly more robotic, a la Kraftwerk. It's a solid old vintage cosmic rock with electronic percussions which hammer a Teutonic beat covered of robot voices and good, very good, synth solos of which the hybrid tones don't get rid of their hold as ethereal as cosmic. We stamp of the feet! Here and on the superb "Ritual Combinations" which is, and by far, the most beautiful track of “Compunctio”. The fans of the analog rhythms of Garrison will be filled here. And the melody.... Hum, simply great! "Recognition" ends this Johan Tronestam's first album outside the lands of TeamQuasar with a rather ambivalent rhythm. Sometimes uncertain and sometimes incisive, it flutters between moods sometimes ethereal and sometimes rather cynical of a track which is the logical conclusion of an album which blurs ears with very beautiful structures in constant permutation and the logic of Tronestam with morphic ambiences a la Jarre on vaporous rhythms a la Garrison or robotic a la Kraftwerk. And sometimes we hear nebulas reminiscences of Schulze and even from TD, testifying of a very beautiful album which will reunite a whole generation of fans for an EM of the vintage years coated with a nice contemporary scent.
2014. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca