Hermann Kopp has managed to make a somewhat remarkable name for himself over the years. Due to his involvement in the score of Jörg Buttgereit's highly acclaimed low budget film “Nekromantik”, the various releases on the German cult label “Galakthorrö” and the uniqueness of his style, Hermann is one of those artists who are always sure to attract attention with whatever they do. Lorenzo Abattoir, on the other hand, is an up and comer whose work seems to have remained under the radar, although he has been doing releases under various monikers for some years.
Together, they form the project “Psicompo”. In the enclosed texts, this term is defined as “a guide who accompanies the dying to the underworld” and the theme of their first CD release “Synchronicity (Theory of Carl Jung)” is exactly what the title states: the concept of synchronicity as researched by said psychologist. The album features four collaborative tracks and one solo track by each artist.
Lorenzo Abattoir's track starts the CD off in a worthy fashion. “Blackfrock” is a pretty subtle and well-conceived blend of atmospheric, musical sounds and murky, warm noise (somewhat reminiscent of some Swedish artists). Especially the noisy parts turn out to be very pleasing and ambitious, but the effect is probably a result of the interaction between the two different types of sound, most of all. One can only hope to hear more work of this ilk by the artist in the future. In the next track “Trovatore”, Hermann Kopp utilises a style similar to the one known from albums like “Zyanidanger”. Dreamy synth-sounds mixed with Hermann's semi-dissonant, intense violin playing and some shrill noise frequencies in the background add up to a neat sound-package, which evolves nicely throughout its running time. Together, they make a great introduction to the core tracks of “Synchronicity (Theory of Carl Jung)” - although Lorenzo Abattoir's song may be the superior one.
The four collaboration tracks which are to follow mix the melodic aspects from the respective solo tracks with rhythmic percussion. Whereas the latter remains subtle at all times, the melodies are definitely the centre of attention. The sounds in “Synchronicity (Theory of Carl Jung)” are extremely well crafted (as is always the case with virtually everything including Hermann Kopp) and are allowed to flow freely, resulting in a very special and rare atmosphere. It is important to note that Psicompo is definitely more rooted in experimental music territory than in stereotypical “noise”. The sounds are varied, but, despite their improvised nature, never seem sloppy or like uninspired, pointless doodling. There is always something going on, always something to sink your teeth into. Those few moments in which the quality appears to drift off are always prevented instantly, also due to the rhythmic elements. Although it is hard to name a stand-out track, “PP2” and “PP4” maybe manage to incorporate the spirit of the project most of all. It may take some time to figure out the aesthetic mechanisms of Psicopompo, but once that deed is done, the two musicians leave no doubt that this vision works out exactly as it is intended to.
Hermann Kopp and Lorenzo Abattoir's collaboration album is truly great. “Synchronicity (Theory of Carl Jung)” is definitely a challenging listen and demands a lot more than merely one spin, but if the listener gives it the necessary attention, it gets better and better with each rotation. Psicopompo has a lot of positive traits that many releases lack, especially nowadays: an intelligent concept, a real soul and a feeling of freshness that enriches a level of quality known from some old (and new) classics by an established artist. As is always the case with 4iB Recordings, the presentation is also marvellous. Terrific!