releasedate: 2007, April 2nd
coverdesign: Ed Unitsky
produced and mastered by Gert Emmens.
Guts Of Darkness: The French Website of Dark, Ambient & Experimental Music
beautiful sequence takes shape, on the reverberations of a space intro to
arcade noise. As of the first breaths of Journey, we are wrapped in the
cosmic aura of Dutch duet who offers his 3rd
opus, quite as harmonious as its predecessors. Synthetic
choirs add a cordial depth to a synth that forms this circular and
undulating movement, as a cascade with austere intonations. Fluids, synths
flow in the shape of beautiful solos to typical sonorities of Emmens &
Heij. The Endless Running Messenger presents a more prolonged intro where
floating environments cross the cosmic sound effects. Under the metal
water drops, the synth waltz with nothingness causing a consistent pad
from where a rotary sequence appears, in the shade of the celestial voices
to the serious intonations. This sequence becomes animate on rich sound
textures thus a synth with flexible harmonies, on a movement which follows
an ascending curve. The rhythm, slow and one-dimensional, is sprinkle
strident solos which are ventilate in a heavy atmosphere. Hypnotic, the
sequential movement of A City Awakens is hopping with a shimmering
tonality. Synth is wrapping and dances with hitch on an aggressive
sequence which multiplies the loops on a harmonious fluidity. Though
linear, the movement takes its charm on the depth of synth and the solos
that escape from it, as of the sound effects which glean here and there.
you like big heavy sequencers, Rolling Thunder in the Mountains of Hope
has something to satisfy your expectations. A powerful title, on a
moderate rhythm, with superb flowing and enveloping pads that mould a
suave and throbbing tempo on an unbridled sequencer. A mix of Redshift and
Tangerine Dream, with an excellent synth solo. After such a heavy title,
which makes raise the floor tiles, Red Clouds over a
is a splendid album. An opus inspired with aggressive sequences and
consistent synths. Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij fill up our ears, and
imagination, on evolutionary structures with sometimes unexpected outcomes.
There are No weak moments, nor of breakdowns of inspirations. There are
some juicy winks of the eyes to the analog prowesses of Tangerine Dream on
blows of heavy sequencers, as Redshift. In short, a creative, powerful and
extremely pleasant album.
The title track gets things going with
strange effects that are soon replaced by a classic sequence, joined by
another one and yet another one after a few seconds. Mellotron choir plays
a chord typical of Gert - somewhat melancholic, emotional and a bit
"romantic". A piercing analog solo then joins the flow. Great
Berlin School track in typical Emmens & Heij style.
Dave Law (Synth Music Direct)
In just two albums Gert and Ruud established themselves as one of the most important Berlin School inspired acts currently around. Ruud really is the king of the sequencer. I have always thought of him as a cross between Chris Franks and Redshift style Mark Shreeve. Gert also knows how to handle sequences but he is more of a melody man who I think of as the Dutch equivalent to early John Dyson.
The title track gets the album off to an excellent start. Wonderful deep bubbling alien sounds provide a short introduction before a brace of very rapid sequences surge from the speakers. A third, more bass laden one provides a further salvo of pulsation, all underpinned by Heavenly mellotron. A searing lead, which would sound excellent live, flashes forth like lasers bouncing off a series of mirrors. 'The Endless Running Messenger' has a dark atmospheric beginning full of swirling shimmering metallic drones. These are punctuated by dripping effects. The whole thing has a rather subterranean feel to it. Soft pastoral pads lighten the mood as if we are nearing the surface and can feel a gentle breeze from above. A four-note sequence strikes up accompanied by more tron. The pulsations become increasingly complex as a melancholy melody hangs in the air.
'A City Awakens', certainly gave me a jolt of energy as first a lovely rumbling bass sequence then a rapid staccato one surge forward feeding off each other exquisitely. Yet more pulsations join the fray as things become even more intense. As with the opener, when the leads come they are of the type that would get the pulse racing in a concert setting - so of course also ideal for air keyboard! 'Rolling Thunder in the Mountains of Hope' (the long winter nights must just fly by coming up with these titles) uses some wonderful sounds to create quite a spooky atmosphere. The sequence of course isn't far away and this time it's a lovely deep chugger that would have been well at home on 'Ether'. It becomes more devastating by the second (with mellotron backing of course- I mean why alter something that works so well!). I found it impossible to keep my head and hands still as I lost myself in the wonderful cascade of notes. After the half way mark things become even more syncopated, a pitch bending lead line mixing with oomph laden virtual guitar. This is awesome, the best track on the album so far.
'Red Clouds over a Misty Swamp' (I blame TD's 3 AM at the border....') gives us a break from the sequences for a short while. Cataclysmic crashes subside to an excellent collage of electronic effects and crystalline shimmers which then mutate into lovely ethereal pads. Nicely calmed we plunge into the final track 'Regaining Breath in the Eye of the Storm' (I'm saying nothing). Initially it's all rather eerie stuff. The mood changes to euphoria instantly on the arrival of the sequence - and what a fantastic sequence it is, reminding me very much of AirSculpture. In the seventh minute things are really cranked up so I responded in kind by increasing the volume on my amp to truly irresponsible levels - the shaking floor turning to a near earthquake as they increased the intensity of the sequences still further- fan bloomin' tastic! Things did subside a little in the tenth minute but the sequences still do their wonderful thing- just a little subtler than before