gert emmens - outland



releasedate: 2014, October 18


1. A First Encounter
2. Discovery Of The Lost Civilization
3. The Temple On The Scared Mountain
4. Return Of The Warrior
5. Exploration Flights Over Forbidden Area's
6. Departure 6 AM

ordering: Groove Unlimited
more info

The music was composed, played and recorded by Gert Emmens from May 2-13 until April 2014 at studio Gert Emmens in Arnhem, Netherlands with the exception of track 3 and 6, the basics of which were recorded in Ruud Heij's Infinite Echoes Studio in Utrech, Netherlands by Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij, mostly based on improvisation. Over dubs on both tracks were done at Gert's studio by Gert.

Ruud Heij is co-composer of track 3 and 6.

Gert Emmens: synths, piano, guitar, radio
Ruud Heij: synths (on track 3 and 6)



Outland - the story
Since decades not a single sign/signal has been received anymore from the most faraway planet of the Federation. A mission, consisting of only one human being, assisted by skilled humanoids is being sent to the planet to find out what is wrong.
After a journey of months the spaceship lands on the outland.
The tracks on this album describe adventures, encounters, discoveries and more that take place once the ship has land with the one-man crew involved.




Bert Strolenberg (Sonic Immersion) **** (out of 5)

An assortment of typical Emmens-sounds makes up the sound pallet of "Outland", an album which excels especially when it comes to sequencing.

Although there are some melodic passages present on the 78-minute sonic narrative, the accessible outcome is far less song-structured while it contains lots of interesting, fresh details. Moreover, it features a fine range of free form atmospherics and gentle piano parts along evolving and tweaked sequencer-patterns, which both make "Outland" a fine sonic treat to my ears while it spreads its cinematic wings.

From the 6-track album, the emotive "The Temple on the sacred mountain" and the 18-minute extravaganza "Exploration flights over the forbidden areas" made the most impression on me.
"Outland" simply airs tasty and captivating atmospheres from begin to end.

Sylvain Lupari (Synth & Sequences)

here is a history of camaraderie, of intimacy which binds the music of Gert Emmens to the soul, to the senses and to the ears of his fans. Since the dawn of his career, his music, and especially this sound, has weaved a link of complicity with his admirers. An indissoluble link which gets stronger since Wanderer of Time and which increases up to The Day After's territories. Even if sometimes Gert goes out of a comfort zone by knitting his musical stories in the nets of the progressive music (Memories in 2012) and of the ambient music(Signs in 2014). “Outland” is a story of science fiction told in music with these movements of sequences which sculpture these delicate permutations of the floating rhythms unique to Gert Emmens' style and with these synths which flood our ears with breezes tinted of nostalgia. Written on the heels of Signs, we clearly perceive here the roots and the ambient influences, this last Gert Emmens' album receives the collaboration of Ruud Heij who co wrote two tracks
Some sonic cracklings generate a thick cloud of reverberations from where escapes a warm movement of sequences which makes dance its keys weakly. Another line of bass sequences lifts up the structure of ambient rhythm of "A First Encounter" which zigzags, rises and comes down beneath the tears of a very melancholic synth. The Emmens seal seizes then our ears. Initially mid-ambient, the rhythm is pulsing delicately in the motionless harmonies of the sequences and in the breezes of a synth rather discreet up to here. A line of sequences escapes a little after the mark of three minutes, pulling the track towards a more cosmic passage. It's a bridge that Gert Emmens sets up to redirect the rhythm of "A First Encounter" to a more accentuated phase where the sequences gallop such as dark percussions in a plain flooded of breezes and of cosmic fogs. A synth scatters some solitary notes which beautify the firmament of nebulas stars while the rhythm sustains its swiftness with sequences which flicker such as the wings of big bumblebees trapped in linear winds. After another ambient phase, the rhythm increases its kind of stationary swiftness with a thick cloud of sequences which sparkle and shine on the undulatory curves of a line of more pulsating bass sequences. This duel of sequences is decorated with percussions of which the felted tones go and come to peck at this soft oscillatory rhythm which rocks its obedience in some slim filets of bright astral voices. Violent? No! Soft and surprisingly enveloping, "A First Encounter" flows with the color of our dreams which imagine this space cowboy who quietly drifts in the “Outland”. It also puts up the parameters of this last album from Gert Emmens where the ambient rhythms change constantly of skins in cosmic ambiences with a sound quality which details aptly the scenario and the visions of his author. Reaching the goal of his mission, the astronaut and his Cyborg subalterns observe the disappearance of the civilization. "Discovery of the Lost Civilization" depicts with wonder the feelings of dejection, as well as the internal anger, which eats away at the cosmonaut. The synth here is more present. It blows some very good ambient solos and sweet evasive harmonies, dragged out by this feeling of abandonment which torments this hero whose purpose of his mission will remain forever unknown. The structure of rhythm evolves constantly with lines of sequences which interchange the debit always unctuous, while the synth splashes these permutations of internal violence with soft solos to the aromas of jazz and solitude. Composed with Ruud Heij, "The Temple on the Sacred Mountain" is purely ambient and follows the paths undertaken with Signs, just like the finale "Departure 6 AM", also written with Heij, which is darker, while the delicate solos and the soft harmonies of a synth and a guitar enhance these sweet visions of exile which surrounds "The Temple on the Sacred Mountain".
Although always ambient, the rhythm of "Return of the Warrior" is more incisive. The sequences are bright and cut out the ambiences with curt and lively hits, drawing the lines of a harmonious structure that a synth is decorating of evanescent melodies and with soft solos to the fragrances of saxophone worn out by its solitary airs. The rhythm reveals a more lively structure after a good ambient passage, drifting and fluttering with a velocity unequalled so far in this album where the nuances dominate the moods. "Exploration Flights over Forbidden Area's" is a long musical act, and the best imho on “Outland”, which presents a structure of rhythm in constant progression. A structure which rises and comes down, dies and reborn in schema of zigzagging and galloping rhythms from which the lines of bass sequences stride along corridors of ambiences adorned by other sequences and by their shadows which sparkle and flicker in abyssal waves. A piano comes to haunt these moments of blackness with a very melancholic presence which serves as passage between the crystal clear rhythm of the introduction towards a heavier structure. It sounds like the aircraft is lacking gasoline and has difficulty in overcoming the obstacles of the winds from Orion. Riding silky in the corridors of a cosmos now freed from its dark breezes, "Exploration Flights over Forbidden Area's" cavorts with a bit of sadness in the organic resonances of its steps and in the luminous beams of more melodic circular sequences. The progression of the rhythmic phases is quite smoothly made. Gathering in its evolution the ambient ornaments which roam on this long polymorphic structure where everything seems to be in suspension. Some elements of threat, as of tragedy, encircle the phases of "Exploration Flights over Forbidden Area's" which concludes its odyssey with a superb mid-tempo approach where bass sequences are waving in the fields magnetized of eclectic mist and adorned of soft solos from a synth became again dreamy. A synth which sometimes unearths souvenirs of a melancholic Vangelis, a rather unique synth which adds this fascinating scent of obsession which surrounds “Outland”; yet another small jewel which should appear unmistakably among Gert Emmens' good works.
Sylvain Lupari (December 29th, 2014)

Mariusz Wojcik (in Polish)

                                                               W dziesięć lat po ukazaniu się bardzo dobrej płyty Gerta Emmensa Waves of Dreams (2004) fani doczekali się równie melancholijnej i bogatej w czarowne dźwięki muzycznej opowieści, dosłownie ….nie z tego świata. Album we wkładce ozdobiony jest fotosami, które przypominają mi tajemnicze odlegle światy.  Jest to muzyczna opowieść w stylu science fiction. Przeżywamy muzyczną wędrówkę bohatera, który ma misje odszukać nowe życie, nowy ląd. Frapujące ilustracje we wkładce i to co najważniejsze, czyli sama muzyka Gerta, swoją futurystyczną koncepcją niemalże odrywa nas od ziemskiej rzeczywistości. Niczym sam bohater poszukujemy nowych wrażeń, przeżywamy emocje i wytężamy zmysł słuchu by głęboko penetrować to coś co nie da się opisać słowami, to duchowa uczta dla wrażliwego słuchacza.

Już sekwencyjny początek w utworze „A first encounter” nastraja nas bogactwem dźwięków, do których się fani przyzwyczaili, ale wielokrotne wsłuchanie się w ten album pozwoli na wyodrębnienie piękna w tej muzyce artysty z Holandii.

W kolejnej części odkrywamy zagubioną cywilizację. Niesamowity fragment albumu jakże potężnie brzmiący, siarczysta, wręcz kąśliwa sekwencja w tle, oraz minorowe brzmienie mellotronu i frapujące ozdobniki syntezatorów, wprowadzają nas na obce tereny zagubionej cywilizacji. Znakomite spotęgowanie dramaturgii wzbogaca dodatkowo wokaliza kobieca, która niczym meteor w przestrzeni kosmicznej, gdzieś oddala się i zamienia w elektroniczny pogłos. Basowo dudniące pady jeszcze bardziej wzmagają uczucie niepokoju - tak to zagubiona cywilizacja pełna tajemnic świat, który jest nam obcy ale dzięki muzycznej komunikacji jednak… dostępny nam.

Chwile ukojenia i odpoczynku daje nam utwór „The temple on the sacred mountains". Już początek to tęskne wokalizy, które jawią się nam jak zjawa ukryta gdzieś na świętej górze. Cudowne, kojące dźwięki, które oplatają nasze zmysły niczym ezoteryczna niewidzialna pajęczyna, która pobudza nasze astralne Ego. To muzyczna podroż w nasze marzenia i tęsknoty, oraz ziemskie sprawy, to świątynia medytacji gdzieś daleko poza naszym domem, gdzieś w międzygalaktycznej odchłani zapomnienia.

Kolejny fragment daje nam kompozycję pełną ciepłych barw syntezatorów mistrza Emmensa, a w tle galopująca sekwencja. Fragment ten przypomina mi przelot samolotem gdzieś nad górskimi terenami. Czuję tu atmosferyczne dźwięki: świsty i turbulencje wyimaginowanego statku powietrznego, który gdzieś znika z horyzontu.

Najdłuższa suita jest upstrzona w chropawe sample i kwieciste sekwencje, które wraz z bohaterem przeszukują obce tereny. Sama muzyka znakomicie wplata się w opowiadanie science fiction. Jest jak soundtrack, jednak sama muzyka pobudza naszą wyobraźnię, a cała reszta to tylko dodatek.

Czas spędzony na obcej planecie dobiega końca. Nasz bohater odlatuje ( Departure 6 AM), czuję tu coś w rodzaju nostalgii. Być może ta jakże uduchowiona, pełna zadumy muzyka, wzbudza w nas te prawdziwe cechy człowieczeństwa, a może ludzkość powinna skupić się na egzystencji tu, na Ziemi? Czuć w tych ostatnich minutach jakieś ukryte przesłanie dla rasy ludzkiej i zarazem uczucie niepokoju o dalsze jutro naszej pięknej planety… Ziemia.