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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Psicopompo, Lorenzo Abattoir, Hermann - Synchronicity (Theory Of Carl Jung) [4iB - 2015]

4iB has been on quite a roll with quality releases this year. Perhaps the most intriguing is this new CD by PSICOPOMPO, entitled Synchronicity (theory of Carl Jung). PSICOPOMPO means Psychopomp in Italian, a guide who accompanies the dying to the afterworld. A fitting moniker for this collaborative effort from Hermann Kopp and Lorenzo Abbatoir. Kopp is a long-running German composer, known for, but not limited to, his soundtrack work on the Jörg Buttgereit films: Nekromantik & Der Todesking. Abbatoir is perhaps best known for his dark HNW project Nascatari. Both are accomplished in their own respective crafts, but together they’ve created something quite special.

Synchronicity, the Jungian concept of coincidences that are acausally connected, is the driving theme of this collaboration. This concept and how it relates to the music presented is articulated far better on the insert than I can reiterate. The collaborative parts were recorded by each individual, in different geographies, as several 8 minute improvisations. One collaborator recorded the rhythmic parts, and the other recorded the melodic parts, not knowing what to expect once combined. The results came together quite synchronistically.

Synchronicity (theory of Carl Jung) offers 6 organic compositions that sound melodic at times, eerie at others. The album is produced using the following instruments: a violin, tambourine, a shurti box, timbal, and electronics; with the violin and shurti box (akin to a harmonium) really being the stand out sounds for me. The album starts with a solo track by Abattoir entitled “Blackfrock.” It’s a short affair of somber, shurti box drone with a broken electric signal that comes in and out intermittently. Kopp’s solo piece “Trovatore,” offers a uniquely different take using the same equipment as Abbatoir’s track. His piece is more melodic than droney with lots of sweeping parts that just drift and wail.

Now onto the collaborative portion of the disc. ”PP1” sounds like a death march, with its monotonous thumping of the timbal and eerily plucked and played violin parts. “PP2” offers somber harmonium-like melodies, some obscured vocal work, and thumping percussion. “PP3” sounds like the interplay of quasi 60’s psychedelic organ sounds, which melts into some thick guitar-esque plucking melodies. It’s all very dreamy and mysterious. The final track “PP4” really showcases the violin and shurti box. It begins with some beautifully stroked violin parts and melodically played shurti box. It takes a course turn in the middle with some erratically plucked chords and strokes, giving the piece a much darker vibe. However it all wraps up it a beautiful bow.

Synchronicity is a real gem of an album. I have no idea how these two got together (Kopp says that he may never meet his collaborator in person), but the end result is no mere coincidence. Synchronicity: a wonderful coupling divined by the universe’s weird alchemy.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Hal Harmon
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