the nearest faraway place - volume 2



releasedate: 2009, April 10th


1. Part 8
2. Part 9
3. Part 10
4. Part 11
5. Part 12
6. Part 13
7. Part 14

Ordering and info: Groove Unlimited




All credits, as mentioned on the cover:

Music composed in 2008
Mixed February 2009, Mastered March 2009
Composed, played, mixed and mastered by Gert Emmens

Spanish voices: Cara and Natxo Asenjo-Fernández
Texts translated into Spanish by Cara
French voice: Eline Feldbrugge (improvised)

Painting 'A Yard in Toulouse' by Yuri Pugachov (1944-1998)
Painted in 1990 on canvas
Painting used by kind permission of Artemi Pugachov (son of)

Cover design by Gert Emmens, with help of Kees Aerts
Photo of Gert by Betty Ligtenberg

Eline Feldbrugge, Artemi Pugachov, Natxo & ainhoa & Tessa Asenjo-Fernández, Pierre Steltenpool, Bert Vermeulen, Chris Newman, Ron Boots, Kees Aerts, Michael Shipway, Gerry Quirke, Jan Dieterich

Special Thanks for friendship and love:
Mandy Paryanto, Peter Leijdsman, Karel van de Bel, Ruud Heij, Wytze (for coming back into my life after 30 years) and last but certainly not least: Betty and Frank

Very special thanks:
Cara Asenjo Fernández (for your friendship, being my ''collega van de eeuw'', and your work on this album)

Not mentioned on the cover are the instruments, used on this album:

Akai SGv01, Doepfer MAQ 16/3, 2* Elektor Formant modulars, Eminent Solina Stringensemble, EMU E6400 Ultra, EMU Proteus 2, EMU Vintage Keys Plus, Hammond Auto Vari 64, Hillwood Super Variation, Korg 700S (MiniKorg), Korg Lambda ES50, Korg MS-2000R, Korg Wavestation EX, Memorymoog Plus, Minimoog, Moog Taurus MK1, Novation A-Station, Philips Philicorda GM-751, Roland MDC1, Roland MVS1, Roland SG-32, Siel Orchestra 2, Vermona ER9, Yamaha AN1x, Yamaha SY85



Artemi Pugachov:

Just like the first volume of "The Nearest Faraway Place", this second installment of the series is divided into "parts" which run from Part 8 to Part 14 on this particular release. The eighth part begins with a lovely, gentle soundscape. Pretty soon, however, the first sequences appear, joined by heavy Mellotron choir. Romantic pads support the flow, in typical Gert Emmens fashion. A somewhat melancholic melody is heard. Then a vintage drum machine bubbles along, as Gert coaxes more sounds and melodies out of his synthesizers. This is Berlin School with a soft, romantic touch. The sequences shine in all their glory for the final stretch of this track, supported by thick pads. Simply wonderful stuff! I cannot explain how beautiful the intro to the next part is. What you get are basically spacey Floydian guitar tones and a few pads but they are arranged in such a beautiful way, it's uncanny. Some Spanish voices are heard, blending nicely with the music. Unique stuff. The mood is then broken by a strong bass sequence. However, the pads give some of it back, revealing the flowing, melancholic nature of this track, despite of it being sequencer-based. A nice analogue solo starts, supported by a clicking drum machine rhythm. It's Jazzy, improvised and yet totally focused. This track is quite simply the most beautiful music Gert has ever recorded to date. Deep soundscape serves as the perfect transition to the next track. The amazing droney pads and Mellotron voices for some reason remind me on Vangelis' "El Greco" even, as well as Robert Rich's "Gaudi" - the two works I revere. It really has that Mediterranean flair to it that I love so much. A rapid sequence begins, supported by nice flowing Mellotron strings. The pads then play an almost hymn-like melody before the sequences take over. Later in this track Gert experiments with various sounds and melodies, most of his trademark pads having that melancholic feel and restless quality. A rumba beat welcomes Part 11. This should be one of the most unusual tracks by Gert - a bit on the startling, eerie side of things, with weird effects and mournful Mellotron strings. Excellent combination, however weird it might sound. The track really remind me on those glory days of EM, with its clearly analogue nature and cosmic character. Some symphonic lead lines are heard as well (sort of "Force Majeure" / "Tangram"-ish). I should also mention the excellent vocoder effects. Perfect harmony, perfect atmosphere. This is what this track is - perfection. The mysterious choirs and pads return for the intro of Part 12. Multiple sequences appear and what sequences - gorgeous, melancholic pulsations. A mournful theme is played with synth pads. However, as always with Gert's music, there's a touch of brightness everywhere, it's nowhere near depressing. Another wonderful soundscape finishes off this piece. I have to wonder how good the atmospheric parts of this album are - really effective, imaginative and spot-on. An almost clavinet-like theme welcomes Part 13. My god, this is gorgeous. Very prog and very EM at the same time. This stuff gives me the goosebumps and sends shivers down my spine, it's so beautiful. A rapid sequence is introduced, more pulsations are added, a drum machine rhythm starts and then that French voice. Wonderful stuff. There's an irresistible solemn keyboard theme towards the end that I just can't describe. And, oh, those Mellotron choirs... heaven! Part 14 (the final part) begins with and intense soundscape before arpeggiated synths can just be heard beneath a bed of silky smooth Mellotron choirs and pads. Shattering analogue bass notes bring us back to 1976 as we travel through space and time on a music machine created by Gert Emmens. Echoing, noisy sequences are joined by more melodic pulsations. This is stunning sequencer music with a touch of symphonic grandeur - lots of brassy analogue synths on this one. The final soundscape ends on a brighter note and there's also that "restless" sound lifted straight from Tangerine Dream's Mellotron tape archives. Words fail me in trying to describe the cathartic experience I had when listening to some parts of this album. It's the most mature, cohesive and elegant album of his, the strongest work so far, without a doubt.


Paul Rijkens:

”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 2” is the second in a series of three albums. Gert Emmens has borrowed the title from one of his favorite bands the Beach Boys. The album was premiered and played in it’s entirety during a concert at the “E-Day-Festival”. This is one of the biggest festivals of electronic music in the world, organized by Kees Aerts and Ron Boots of Groove Unlimited. The public (a full house!) was very enthusiastic. And rightfully so! Because with this album the Dutchman has created his best work until now.

It has been said and written on more occasions: Gert is an absolute master in electronic music because of the mix he manages to create: this is a mix between Berlin School-sequencer based music, fine, warm, melodies, some ambient elements and even a little bit of progressive rock. This is a musical style Gert likes a lot.
”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 2” must be seen as one continuous piece of music, divided into seven parts (Part 8 to Part 14 because Vol. 1 also consisted of seven parts).

The album already opens with fantastic atmospheric sounds and then the sequences follows, as well as retrosounds such as Mellotron. The beginning of Part 9 could very well be used as filmmusic: it is melancholic and intriguing. Some words in Spanish are used here. A sequence comes that could be regarded as one of the best Gert has ever composed. His soloing is better than ever, though it must be said that there are less solos on this album than on previous albums.
The sequences in Part 10 are thrusting and the solo is soft. Recently, Gert has developed a love for antique drum boxes.
Part 11 starts with a rumba (remember Jean Michel Jarre’s ”Oxygene” and “Equinoxe”?). The Mellotronssounds (strings, choirs) are really wonderful here and the melodies memorable again.
The 12th part again opens with great atmospheres and then some of the most menacing sequences follow. Part 14 is very melodically again. Just listen to the sounds at the end!

After hearing ”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 2” one can only say: hat’s of for the fantastic piece of work Gert has brought to us. And the is still a Vol. 3 to go! The
writer of this text already has sleepless nights.


Stephan Schelle: (MusikZirkus-Magazin)

Gut ein Jahr ist es her, dass der niederländische Elektronikmusiker Gert Emmens sein Album „The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 1“ herausbrachte. Die Musik war bei seinem 2007’er Konzert im Gasometer in Oberhausen mitgeschnitten worden. Der Zusatz Vol.1 wies schon darauf hin, dass es einen Nachfolger geben wird. Rechtzeitig zum E-Day am 11.04.2009 kam nun die neue CD mit dem Titel „The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 2“ heraus. Dieses Mal handelt es sich aber nicht um einen Livemitschnitt, sondern um das Programm, das Gert beim E-Day live präsentierte. Wie zu hören war, wird es auch noch einen dritten Teil der Serie geben. Von dem etwas biederen Cover sollte man sich nicht irritieren lassen, denn man bekommt wieder sehr schöne sphärische Elektronikmusik geboten.

Hatte Gert noch bei Vol. 1 mit Gitarrist Jan Dieterich zusammen gearbeitet, so agiert er auf dem neuen Werk allein. Allerdings macht Gert da weiter, wo er bei Vol. 1 aufgehört hat. Das zeigt sich schon daran, dass die sieben Titel auch wieder durchnumeriert sind und mit Part 8 Part 14 numerisch an den Vorgänger anschließen. Die Stücke, die nahtlos ineinander übergehen, bringen es auf Spielzeiten von 5:42 bis 19:03 Minuten.

Die CD beginnt mit wunderbaren sphärischen Flächen („Part 8“). Schon nach wenigen Momenten lässt Gert den Sequenzer anlaufen und ein herrlicher Rhythmus bestimmt das Bild, auf dem sich dann die typischen weiten Harmonien entfalten, die man von Gert’s Musik kennt. Das ist Musik, in der man sich sofort verlieren kann. Einfach Augen zu und man wird aus der Realität hinfort getragen.

„Part 9“ beginnt sehr verträumt und weist in den Zwischentönen Spuren von Vangelis auf. Eine weibliche und männliche Stimme tragen einen in spanischer Sprache gehaltenen Text vor. Das klingt sehr stimmig und sorgt bei mir für eine Gänsehaut. Dann startet wieder der Sequenzer und es entwickelt sich wie schon in „Part 8“ ein hinreißendes Elektronikstück, das an einigen Stellen an Tangerine Dream erinnert.

Auch „Part 10“ beginnt zunächst sehr sphärisch und erzeugt mit seinen weiten Flächen eher Stimmungen. Doch sobald auch hier der Sequenzer angeworfen wird, geht es gleich viel harmonischer und melodiöser zu. Das ist wieder großes Kino, erinnert aber auch wieder ein wenig an Tangerine Dream.

Mit einer Art elektronischem Rumba-Rhythmus lässt Gert den „Part 11“ eher in die Ecke des großen Franzosen Jean Michel Jarre gleiten. Dieser Track ist sehr verträumt. „Part 12“ ist wieder mit Sequenzern bestückt, klingt aber auch etwas Jarre-mäßig. Auch „Part 13“ und „Part 14“ klingen ähnlich wie die zuvor genannten Stücke. Das wirkt auf mich aber nicht langweilig, sondern rundet das Bild in sich ab.

Wie schon beim Vorgänger zeichnet sich Gert’s Stil auch auf diesem Album dadurch aus, dass er Elemente der „Berliner Schule“ mit dem, ich sag mal „Eindhovener Stil“ verbindet. Wer den Stil von Gert mag, der kann auch diese Veröffentlichung blind kaufen. Ich jedenfalls mag seine Musik und kann daher diese CD auch uneingeschränkt empfehlen.


Sylvain Lupari from Guts Of Darkness

The French Magazine of Dark & Experimental Music



Here is the 2nd part of this trilogy to complete, which took shape during the E-Day festival organized by Kees Aerts and Ron Boots of Groove Unlimited label. Faithful to what Gert Emmens produced for years, this 11th opus of the Dutch synthesist is filled with sequences to varied rhythms, synths to ingenious solos and hooking melodies as well as mellotrons with touching arrangements. An album where Berlin School oscillates between the old one and its new generation.

Divided into 7 parts quite as the Volume I, Part 8 starts rather quickly. After a short cosmic intro, a sequence which hops with strength gives a constant tempo, surrounded by a mellotron which spreads its sweetness over a very lively cadence. Tinkled notes filter a sweet dreamy harmony, paving a new rhythmic direction. A rhythm forking under a fine synth with lyrical harmonies and a mellotron with sober choirs which flow into a syncretic ambiance. Slowly we cross towards the 9th part where a cosmic guitar offers its chords in a charming nebulosity with Spanish voices to repetitive incantations. Gradually we are submerged by an aggressive sequence which moulds a heavy and hypnotic rhythm, supported by a keyboard which coils up to the tempo. A heavy tempo, encircled by a mellotron choir, which bursts with electronic percussions sustained by good sinuous synth solos. A floating intro opens part10. Heavy cosmic vapours drop

a nervous sequence thus the movement it staccato give a echotic feeling which eases gradually, offering a rhythmic hypnotic structure drowned in a cosmic atmosphere with fine synthesized movements. But Gert Emmens doesn’t cogitate too long into minimalism spheres.

Around the 7th minute mark, the movement takes a full of life tangent on a more hatched rhythm, adorned by a pleasant mellotron choral. A finale of an unsuspected sweetness which guide us towards the delicious rumba of Part 11. A cosmic rumba with shimmering keys which flirt with a fine harmonious synth. The 12th part brings us back into an electro cosmic concept. A nebulous intro which engenders a sequence walking in a heavy and musical ambiance. Once again, Gert Emmens multiplies the sequential rhythms around a captivating mellotron, creating an unstable atmosphere under romantic harmonies. The part13 offers a noisy and colourful intro which gives way to a sequence à la Phaedra, wrapped by a mellotron to spectral breaths. Minimalism, the sequence accelerates the pace with kind of echoing percussion which hustles a soberly harmonious universe where a French voice is improvising words on a heavier rhythm with layers of mellotron. A beautiful title prints of a sentimental nostalgia, as a feeling of lost love. The14th part begins with a up roaring sparkle before settling down on heavy circular reverberations which float in echoes into a sonorous nothingness. Slowly, a sequence blinks as the wings of a metallic dragonfly, before marrying the Emmens style which restructures the movement with diverse rhythmic directions  under of big vaporous synth , creating a universe sometimes little inviting, sometimes more harmonious. And so goes on the musical universe of Gert Emmens. Once again the Dutch synthesist amazes, even if we are used to his style, with an imaginary approach which we can live as nebulosity always makes its way to iridescent beauties. Another great piece of EM art.



Wonderful, floating Electronic Music from one of the contemporary masters of the genre. Pulsing sequences, warm pads, spacey effects and Jazzy solos all combine into a captivating whole on this album. Mind you, this is not music of the cosmos, but rather the music of confined spaces - yards, squares, cathedrals... with a lot of reflection and human feelings. The album starts with the somewhat romantic "Part 8" and goes through several stages, only to end up on a mysterious note with "Part 14", where a lot of familiar analogue sounds are used to great effect. The Spanish and French voices and some textures give this a vaguely Miditerranean flair akin to that of Robert Rich's "Gaudi" and Vangelis' "El Greco". If you want to hear the romantic side of Berlin School, then this album is for you.