a boy's world



releasedate: 2007, April 28th


1. School's Out
2. Gaming part 1: Battles are won and lost
3. Life around the Sand Castle
4. Gaming part 2: The Quest
5. Adolescent Behaviour
6. Nothing Lasts Forever

coverdesign: George Grie, Kees Aerts, Gert Emmens
mastering: Gert Emmens
optimized for CD by Ron Boots
Ordering and info: Groove Unlimited




This title: A Boy's World, might need some explanation. The music on this album was entirely inspirated by my son Frank. His presence is always of great importance for me and my wife. I hardly can imagine how life would be without him. Those of you who have children yourselves will understand :-) Besides that, our internet/gaming PC is in the same room as where my studio is. This means that Frank is often there, when I compose and record my music. Without any doubt his presence has an effect on my music. This effect is not something I’m always aware of, but in the case of this album it is.



Uwe Saße:

Genauso wie die eben vorgestellte CD von Robert Fox hift mir auch die neue von Gert Emmens - A Boy´s World - über meine derzeitige Lage sehr hinweg. Inspiriert von Gert´s Sohn Frank kommt diese Musik mit sehr viel Gefühl, Melodie und einem voluminösem Sound rüber, dass man die CD ruhig öfter hintereinander hören kann ... und sie hilft. Für mich eine der schönsten EM-CD´s überhaupt. Die Musik von Gert Emmens ist immer was besonderes und hat für mich einen sehr hohen Stellenwert in der Szene!
Lieber Gert, bitte bleibe uns mit Deiner Musik noch sehr lange erhalten . Danke!


Artemi Pugachov:

This is a very intimate work for Gert Emmens as it was entirely inspired by his young son Frank. "School's Out" hangs in the air like distant haze, with various tone clusters and gentle synth shimmers. After a few seconds a cheerful sequence appears along with a rhythm and a reflective melody. This is some of the mildest and brightest music Gert ever composed. Some great analogue soloing is used by Gert to great effect. Musically, this track takes over where previous album left, but with a much more sedate and I would say even mundane atmosphere. If you like Berlin School with a clear focus on the melody, you will find lots to enjoy here. The track ends in a reflective mode, with echoing rhythms, deep pads and melancholic synth textures. "Gaming Part 1" surprises with dark sounds and strange noisy sequence. Gradually, another pattern crawls to the surface - a one-note bass sequence. After a while Gert tweaks the sequence, changing the pitch of some notes, while the dark soundscapes do not leave even for a second. One can hear echoes of 1977 - 1979 period Tangerine Dream here, although as a whole the music sounds pretty fresh and unique. Typical Gert Emmens synth pads are then added, as well as reflective melodies. A high-register sequence is playing on top, along with some classic tron sounds. I also like the analogue drum pattern on this track - very 1970's (is that the Hammond Auto Vari?). After a brief atmospheric section, a new sequence develops, this time of a more aggressive character. Excellent distant sounds akin to some distorted guitar can be heard but after a while an "Oxygene"-like marching rhythm appears, as the track becomes more dramatic, with Mellotron choir and an analogue solo. This is pure, 100% melodic Berlin School with many classic sounds and great atmosphere. One of the best tracks I've heard from Gert and one of the best Neo-Prog EM tracks in general. The fact that it lasts for 20+ minutes is a positive thing too, because this way you can really immerse yourself into the great atmosphere this track conjures. I wish there were more tracks like that. "Life Around the Sand Castle" starts similar to the first track until the sequence is heard - a lovely analogue pattern supported by various melodic motifs. Gert uses all typical elements of his style in this track, including Mellotron sounds, analogue solos, slightly phased pads and soft electronic drum patterns. Of note is the final part dominated by Mellotron flute. "Gaming Part 2" is next. Synth pads give way for an analogue bass sequence. A solemn keyboard theme plays on top, as the track obviously becomes one of the most emotionally-charged pieces of this album. After a long section dominated by a relaxed rhythm, we get an atmospheric interlude before the sequences return - this time a two-note pattern is deployed to great effect. The sequence transforms into a more complex type of pulsation as Gert concentrates on pads and various other additional sounds. Not the best track in my book (i.e. no surprises and almost no new ideas or sounds) but still very nice. Let's see what "Adolescant Behaviour" brings. Heavy intro transforms into a somewhat wacky sequence / Mellotron flute combination. Excellent jarring rhythms like the ones used on the first track from "Waves of Dreams" introduce themselves. After a while the main theme is deployed - an excellent two-note motif. Terrific track! IMO, Gert is best when he has a main theme in his track, around which he builds his improvisations (another example that comes to my mind immediately is "The Voyage of Voyager" from "Wanderer of Time"). And you know what? This track here has even two main themes. The second one appears only for a few seconds and is similar to the afore-mentioned "Voyage of the Voyager". The somewhat busy solo is a nice asset as well. "Nothing Lasts Forever" is a nostalgic and very moving closer with a slow rhythm, gentle sequences and the ubiquitous pads / melodies of Gert. Some rocky touches are added as well. Overall, I tend to think of "A Boy's World" as a strong EM album with some outstanding tracks. Especially worthy of mention are "Gaming Part 1", "Adolescant Behaviour" and "Nothing Lasts Forever". Get this album if you love EM!

Sylvain Lupari:

Gert Emmens is a true value in the world of the EM. Since Wanderer of Time, the Dutch synthesist aligns opus of exceptional quality, combining the complexity of its long exploratory parts to melodious themes that hang.
Dedicated to the imaginary of his 12 year old son, A Boy' s World is a pure masterpiece of sequential constancy, in a musical universe at the same time progressive and harmonious. Wrapped in a marvellous jewel case artwork, created by the artist George Grie (which I strongly invite you to consult his works on his site www.neosurrealismart.com) , A Boy' S World transcends the imaginary with a hardly felt youthful approach.
The fantastic voyage of Frank begins after the school. The particles of ion encircling his imagination, fine atmospheric dusts surround the boy which transports him, as well as us, in a rich and heavy atmosphere; the beginning of a fantastic sound voyage. A beautiful sequential movement as heavy as slow, but with a hanging melodious thematic, founds a tempo which gallops, as on a plain full of small dunes. School' S Out becomes a kind of western galactic stuffed of sumptuous solos and mellotron breaths that cut out the musical horizon of a rebellious tenderness. The slamming percussions add a cosmic electronic dimension to a subtly modulated title. Percussions and sound effects are exploited admirably well by Gert Emmens. On Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost, the sequencer is heavy and threatening. The sound effects that circulate and ululate to nothingness are superb and encircle a strange eclectic world, guided by a sumptuous synths and sequencers with varied moods, on modulations in constant evolution. An excellent title, with amplifying tempos where furious sequences are rolled up with through the suave synthesized solos. About the 14th minute, an atmospheric escape settles, forging a new sequential structure which gives free course to a very libertine synth. Part 2, The Quest, is the most beautiful part on this opus. After a superbly melodious intro, the sequencer traces a wrecking rhythm, paving the way to a unique Emmensien mixture where synths, choruses and sequencers are linked to create a harmonious theme which sticks to the hearing and this, in spite of the many changes of orientations. Listen the synth whistled the melodious softness of the winds, on enchanting modulations, is a pure delight that makes the hair rise, the skin shivering and shakes the last melancholic thoughts of the soul. A brilliant title, of a complexity which equals only its sensitivity, once tamed. Life Around the Sand Castle, just like Adolescent Behavior and Nothing lasts Forever are more impetuous titles, being strongly sequenced. Each one present motley structures and passages, offering nuances more flexible and soft, in particular the brilliant mellotron of Adolescant Behavior Gert Emmens goes right to the goal and offers a picturesque and very powerful music, worthy of its former works. I liked it quite a lot, from beginning to it's the end, with in premium a handle of shivers of love for the music and his many bounces. In Boy' S World is an album to be gotten.


Dave Law (Synth Music Direct)

'School's Out' is all rather shimmering and dreamy, even when a playful sequence bubbles to the surface. Things become more syncopated but there is still an airy carefree feel to it all emphasised by wistful little melodies. 

'Gaming Part 1' has a radically different feel, much more like something from an Emmens / Heij album. An aggressive rhythm packs quite a punch then a rapid very 70s sounding sequence thunders above it all morphing wonderfully, creating a high level of excitement. Lovely thick, menacing, analogue sounding melodic motifs are tempered by softer synth washes. The sequence takes on a more positive feel without losing any of its blistering power. As the track progresses a softer feel is developed but with that wonderful sequence remaining as its backbone until about the thirteen-minute mark where we descend to a faintly aquatic sounding tranquil montage of sounds. Another excellent sequence emerges as excitement builds once more, with just a hint of menace shimmering from the backing pads. Rhythms strike up and are soon joined by a jaunty lead which takes us to the end.

'Life around the Sand Castle' is a lovely relaxed piece where two sequences bubble along nicely whilst soft, soothing, faintly melodic pads float through the ether. After the half way mark a strident, almost funky, lead line creates a rather sunny Sunday afternoon feel which contrasts markedly with the melancholy tron based finish. . 

A rapid sequence emerges out of gorgeous soft pads as 'Gaming Part 2' gets underway. Things become more syncopated, contrasted by dreamy melodies creating a rather laidback feel. As with 'Part One' we get an interlude of floating pads from which a fresh sequence emerges followed by a second. Even though the interweaving pulsations are quite complex, playful even, the pace remains sedate right until the end. 

'Adolescant Behaviour' starts quite darkly with low rumbling bass pads. Flutey synth mixes with a brooding sequence. Things become gradually more rhythmic with washes of mellotron being heard in the background. Faintly melodic washes of synth add a feeling of wonder as the drums become more forceful. This energetic feeling juxtapositions questing melodies full of intrigue and wonder which become more strident and confident as we get closer to the end.

'Nothing Lasts Forever' uses a really lovely sequence as its backbone. It has a much more positive feeling than the title might suggest, rhythms and surging melodies mixing together to give a bright, breezy atmosphere. There might be a touch of melancholy there but to me it seemed that we were looking forward rather than regretting the past. 

Even though this album does have its powerful moments it is overall one of Gert's more relaxed, even whimsical outings.