Sequences #26 (March 2002), by Carl Jenkinson
If the title
to mind the ancient arcade game (which I was never very good at!) then you can
think again as this second release from a memeber of the growing Netherlands
synth contingent (and, on this showing, certainly one of the best.) claims the
name for his own with a quite superb release.
Paul Rijkens (Klem #107 (October 2001), IO Pages #33 (August 2001))
Gert Emmens is not a stranger anymore in the world of the Dutch Electronic Music. Asteroids is his second CD-R and he performed at the Alfa Centauri festival. A pleasant thing about Gert's music is that he is not only influenced by the so called ''Golden Age'' of the electronic music (the second half of the seventies) but also performes his music on instruments that are partly from that period. The music of Emmens is a melodic variation of the Berliner Schule. The six tracks on Asteroids are all build up and played on a capable manner and have many variation and excitement. The first track, Ceres is a good example of that: at first a dark intro after which sequences are starting, accompanied by Mellotron-choirs. This is typical for the whole CD-R. Especially Juno is a very strong track. When I listen to this song, I get overwhelmed with very pleasant memories. Just as when I heard Moonwind from Wavestar for the first time, because Juno is related to that music. The solo's are also good. I think the most brilliant song is the closing track Geographos: again Mellotron-choirs, excellent sequences, nice rhythms and relaxing melodies. This is one of the best Dutch Electronic Music productions ever, as far as I know.
Spacemusic · Discussion of space-music and floating ambient
ASTEROIDS is an album of tightly arranged serious
David Law of SMD (Synth Music Direct):
I must mention the packaging and artwork. This is one of the best presented CDRs
I have ever seen. In fact its only when you inspect the playing surface of the
CD that you would know it is not a 'conventional' CD. The artwork looks as if it
has been professionally printed on good quality paper, not just run off an ink
jet and even the CD is directly printed on rather than use a transfer. Superb,
well done to all those involved.
begin the first track 'Ceres' rather appropriately with dark cosmic sounds then
after a couple of minutes a rapid sequence abruptly bounces from the speakers.
It mutates beautifully and a splashing high hat line shimmers over the top. The
music gains power as the track progresses but there is a sudden change in
direction at the seven minute mark as the sequence first mutates one way and
then another. A slow rhythm gives the track further momentum and takes us to a
very satisfying conclusion. From that excellent start we move on to the second
track 'Pallas'. Again we start with cosmic sounds, this time with a sort of
sighing vocal quality to them. At five minutes a bouncy rhythm becomes the main
focus with melodic pads playing a supporting role. By the end of the track I did
find my attention beginning to wander a little but on the whole a good track.
is a great little track - excellent and contrasting sequences combine together
to form a really appealing pulsating brew that got my whole body bopping to it.
Even the melodic detail was well done. 'Vesta' begins with laser type noises,
dark drones, cosmic effects and strange animal noises. It easily takes the mind
to strange alien worlds but then brings you back to reality again as the first
sequence forms. It is a gentle one providing some structure rather than shaking
the foundations. When the rhythm comes in it plods along with the sequence and
was a little under produced or 'thin' sounding to these ears but it doesn't play
a major role and soon disappears as does the sequence. We enter another short
cosmic section out of which a very laid back sequence and rhythm emerges. Sort
of easy listening retro if you like.
uses bells to accompany more cosmic noises. The track starts nicely, the
sequence working very well with some deep reverberating stabs but again the drum
sounds just didn't really do it for me and the lead line that came in around the
four minute mark was much too high in the mix and again the sound chosen didn't
really work. Its a bit frustrating as there is much about this track that works
very well, the sequences and melodic pads for instance are always very
satisfying. As we are beginning to expect by now the final number 'Geographos'
has another cosmic start and this one is absolutely fantastic, sounds and
effects picked being some of the best I have heard in a while. A lovely rapid
sequence break through and in classic retro style in comes the mellotron- works
for me every time! The pace quickens momentarily at the five minute mark adding
interest to an already excellent track.
Nearer the end we get a laid back lead line which calms things down somewhat. Up to this point this has certainly been the best track on the disc but again its the drums that come in during the last quarter that were just a bit too easy listening for my tastes but other people might like them. Let me know.