|the tale of the warlock
releasedate: 2006, October 1st
gear on this album:
Akai AX80, Arp Odyssey,
Boss DR-660, CRB stringensemble, Elektor Formant modulair synth, Elka
Solist 505, EMU E6400 Ultra, EMU Vintage Keys plus, Farfisa
Syntorchestra, Korg 700s, Korg Mono/Poly, Korg MS-2000, Korg Wavestation
EX, Moog Etherwave Theremin, Moog Minimoog, Moog Opus III, Moog Prodigy,
Moog The Source, Moog Taurus mark 1, Philips Philicorda GM751, Roland
M-DC1, Roland M-VS1, Roland RS-202, Roland SH32, Vermona ER9, 2x Yamaha
AN1x, Yamaha CS-80, Yamaha SY2, Yamaha SY85
A very moody beginning gets "Warlock Returns" underway - typical Emmens, although a bit different from what was heard on his previous albums. Soon a bass sequence appears, talking us straight to classic Berlin School territory. Great pads support the flow as we are flying on top of quite a stormer. Mind you, it manages to sooth while being extremely dynamic. Gert sure knows how to do it! A solo cries on top and what solo! Any analog sound enthusiast would kill for it! There's also a nice jazzy vibe to the sound that I found totally new in Gert's music. A highly welcomed change it is, I must add - I loved those reflective electric pianos coupled with synth pads. Of course, I need not remind you that the sequencing is, as always with Gert, simply stunning! "Warlock Meets the Young Princess" is somewhat dark at the beginning with long, drawn-out pads and whooshing effects. However, it's not long before a stonking bass sequence appears, supporting the track without dominating it. Everything changes once the lead line kicks in. No, no, it's still the same flowing / melancholic piece, and even romantic one, but this time it's a tad more intense. Now, I don't like to repeat myself but melancholy and sadness are the two nouns that could describe the mood of this piece. Sounds like a new direction for Gert. Although there has always been a touch of sadness to his music, here it's transformed into an all-enveloping nostalgia that grabs you by the heart. Some quirky synth-pop traits can be perceived after the 5 minute mark, once the sequences become more prominent, although then comes the Mellotron choir that takes us back to fantasy land. Excellent track! EM has rarely been so emotional. The melodies, the solos, the pads, the sequences - everything is a stroke of a genius. And do I need to tell you of that lovely female voice patch that closes this number? Oh boy, you've been told too much already, let's move on. "Myths And Legends As Told By the Storyteller" continues this concept album and... Hell! Just how this guy does it? Only God knows, as he churns out one great EM piece after another. "Myths And Legends..." does not disappoint and this time it's more typical Emmens, both in mood and in sound (the solos, the sequences etc). After a section dominated by pads, another lovely rhythmic construction manifests itself in the form a relaxed sonic trip into your dreams. If you haven't been carried away by now, nothing will help you. "The Dream That Came True" is a little interlude for Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer that shows you just what this beast can do. Excellent symphonic piece that reminded me on Vangelis (no big wonder here!). I wish this track would last longer. The intro of "Confrontation" is fittingly creepy, with rich sound blanket enveloping the dark sounds. Once again those "Emmens" sequences are the focus here with pads dominating the melodic content. I must admit that for a confrontation I'd expect a more aggressive piece but Gert seems to have imagined a more peaceful land - a place where one has the time to reflect, to recall and to feel, a land which is million miles away from everyday troubles, so even a confrontation here is imbued with a sense of unhurriedness, vastness and romanticism. Great analogue solos make this track a wonderful experience - Gert really knows how to coax those weeping sounds out of his synths. "Ghosts Calling From Yonder" has a spooky beginning with unidentifiable sounds, but after a while a high-pitched sequence appears that somehow reminded me on Jarre. A bass sequence joins it as we are heading towards the unknown listening to the beautiful song of the Theremin. This must be the most sequencer-heavy track on the entire album, with multiple pulsations forming a beautiful and intricate structure for the track, while classic Mellotron sounds add mystery and vigour. "Warlock's Death" is probably as dark as it gets on this album, with howling wolves and some samples. And even the death is conquered by optimism in Gert's land - the sequences, pads and solos are anything but dark and desperate. Just the contrary - they scream about hope and rebirth. There's no such thing as death in Gert Emmens' fantasy land. This great work, despite being drenched in melancholy and sadness leaves you hoping for another day. No mistakes tonight, Gert produces a great piece of art with "The Tale of the Warlock", introducing some new elements as well as refining his trademark techniques. Well done!
Howarth - Sonic Curiosity
As one might expect from this CD's title, these melodies possesses a mystical flavor. The electronics are eerie and celestial. Pulsations evoke a glimmering feeling as they swim in pools of vibrantly dramatic sequencing. Complex riffs are generated on nimble-fingered keyboards, belting out with relentless determination. Once created, cycles swoop and loop with carefree abandon, evolving with each successive turn and swelling to majestic structures of engaging appeal. Heavenly textures descend to melt with the dynamic flow. A powerful bevy of sounds are given epic proportions, so that each song throbs with magical charm. The melodies display a regal demeanor despite their earthy character. Compelling passages radiate with shrill verve as the keyboards create lavish patterns that cavort and spiral and collide.
The tunes flow with bouncy vigor. Rhythms are often generated by surging electronics instead of impact beats, bestowing the tempos with a slippery disposition. Conventional e-perc is employed too, providing demonstrative locomotion and tasty urgency to the grand tunes.
The compositions evoke a mythical air riddled with epic conflicts and grand castles of ancient construction. No elves or pixies here, just mature fantasy as the warlock's tale unfolds. Romance is threatened, and battles must be fought to win the maiden's life. Wizards duel over barren landscapes, the atmosphere shimmering with their cast spells. The resultant sense of wonder is contagious and thoroughly satisfying.
Paul Rijkens for E-dition - 4.5 (out of 5)
Tale Of The Warlock” is a conceptalbum and tells the fictional story
about the lives and times of a magician and druid. We could already
taste from it through a shorter version of the track “The Warlock
Returns” on the album “Kinections-The Progday Support CD” and that
was very promising. I have said and written it more often: Gert Emmens
is a master in creating traditional electronic music with a melodically
edge. This is not different on “The Tale Of The Warlock”. Stronger:
in my opinion it has become one of his most consistent and harmonically
albums and certainly the one that breaths most warmth. What I find very
strong again are the sequences. This, combined with nice solos,
wonderful atmospheric sounds en ingenious rhythms, make this extremely
enjoyable again. Emmens’ collaboration with sequencerspecialist
certainly has left traces on this album. It is a way of putting an echo
on a sequence at the right time. Emmens is very good in this. Excellent
is a piece like “Myths And Legends As Told By The Storyteller”, that
opens with atmospheric sounds and Mellotronchoirs, after which great
sequences are added and Emmens plays a soft solo. The following “The
Dream That Came True” is really something completely different: this
short piece is played fully on the Yamaha CS80-synthesizer, what
immediately remembers of Vangelis. But that is all comparing to the
Greek because the most part of the cd is filled with wonderful nostalgic
Berlin School-music. I find the highlight “Ghosts Calling From Yonder”,
in which the sequences almost reach Klaus Schulze-like proportions. This
is great class.
Fisher - Progday Society
Dutch composer Gert Emmens was
picked up on my radar screen in 2004 with his brilliant "Wanderer
Of Time" album. Offering a new twist on the tried and true
"Berlin School" brand of Electronica, Gert has evolved as one
of the truly groundbreaking artists of the EM genre. For Gert's eighth
solo record, he has a chosen to tell an album length story about a
Warlock, a Princess and a Battle. A concept like this is almost
reminiscent of a Progressive Rock album, but as with his previous work,
one must adapt to the direction Mr. Emmens wishes to take the
listener. As with all of Gert's work, this album will appeal to fans of Tangerine
Dream, Etherfysh, Redshift, Andy Pickford, Omega
Syndicate, Free System Projekt, Volt and many others.
This is a concept album with an outline of the story in the sleeve notes. Dark drones rise and fall punctuated by twittery effects creating something of a stormy feel. 'The Warlock Returns' doesn't take long to really get going however as a superb sequence rumbles forth. The feeling now is full of optimism. As the underlying string pads swell there is even a sense of whimsy. Things take a much darker turn for 'Warlock meets the Young Princess'. Initially it's as if we are out at night, half heard noises hinting at something unpleasant, far too close. As with the previous track the sequence materialises near the beginning and if anything is even better than the opener, all rather brooding. The lead lines however shine like rays of light lifting the mood. Just before the sixth minute mark we get crashes of sound signalling a shift in the sequences. It's as if there is now a sudden urgency. I'm reminded of 'Optical Race' period Tangerine Dream.
A couple of minutes later the sequences seem to develop an added snarl as the mood darkens once more, only to gradually fade away leaving us with a feeling of loss. Warm tones get 'Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller' underway. An optimistic questing sequence takes us forward, the lead lines echoing this sentiment. In the fifth minute things descend to soothing pads. A new sequence rises from the shifting waters. More pleasant melodic pulsations come to join it. We move on. I initially thought 'The Dream that came True' was referring to a nightmare as the sounds and effects brought up images of dungeons. A slow bass throb emphasised this feeling then in complete contrast those sunny lead lines come back making things now seem more like balmy summer afternoons!
'The Confrontation - Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark' begins in the same wonderfully grim way as the previous track, leading to a melancholy section. A sequence is heard low in the mix as if we are marshalling all our strength. It slowly rises, developing all the time into a very mid seventies Tangerine Dream style rumbling bass romp. Ethereal pads add a little softness. This time the lead lines are more forceful- maybe battle has been engaged. The sequences become even more intense before reaching a peak in the twelfth minute and slowly subside into mournful pads- perhaps the aftermath of battle. New sequences emerge with a couple of minutes to go but they are thoughtful, reflective even, as we drift along almost to the track's conclusion on the back of a lovely moody melody. We finish with one final twist of nightmare.
'Ghosts Calling from Yonder' has a very faint melody almost completely smothered by breathy / windy effects. An optimistic tinkling sequence becomes the main feature. A deeper one joins it as do rhythms and we start to bounce along at a fair pace. The sequences have become even more strident by the seventh minute and mellotron arrives to back them. 'Warlock's Death' begins with the cry of some wolf like creature then a metallic sequence bounds forward along with a jaunty rhythm. Given the track title (the Warlock is the goody in this story) it provides a rather positive and uplifting conclusion to the album.
Of all the Dutch synthesists, Gert is at the forefront in terms of making imaginative spatial/ sequential EM. His brand new release builds on his past works, adding an even darker and more conceptual thematic hook. The melodies are powerful, sequences varied, and arrangements full of layered synthetic undulations and pulsing vibrations. Not to be missed!
Ich freu´mich jetzt schon auf die nächste
CD....... seine Musik ist immer was besonderes :-)) Gert erzählt
musikalisch Geschichten , deren Bilder man sich beim hören sehr gut
vorstellen kann. Die Stimmungen , die Klangbilder kommen in der Musik
unheimlich toll rüber . Da stimmt alles . Und das schöne : Er bleibt
seinem Stil treu . " The Tale Of The Warlock " ist eine
wahnsinnig tolle CD , die mit Sicherheit einige Auszeichnungen erhält .
Mit “The Tale Of The Warlock” liefert der Niederländer Gert Emmens sein mittlerweile neuntes Soloalbum ab. Nachdem sich Gert auf seinem letzten Album eher mit einer Endzeitstimmung befasste, führt er uns auf der aktuellen Veröffentlichung thematisch ins Reich der Phantasie.
Doch schon bei den ersten Klängen des Openers „Warlocks Return“ fühle ich mich eher in die Zukunft, als in eine mittelalterliche Umgebung oder Phantasiewelt versetzt. Die Musik auf diesem Album ist wieder im typischen Gert Emmens Stil, also den Wurzeln der „Berliner Schule“ und der Art, wie sie Ron Boots spielt verbunden. Mir gefällt dieser Stil sehr gut, allerdings kann ich keinen direkten Bezug zwischen der Musik und dem Thema bzw. den Titeln herstellen, dazu hätten aus meiner Sicht andere Sounds gewählt werden müssen.
Nichts desto trotz liefert Gert auch mit seinem neuen Silberling wieder ein sehr solides Album ab. Es enthält sieben Tracks, von denen fünf jeweils über der zehn Minuten-Marke liegen. Gert zaubert in den einzelnen Stücken einen Wechsel aus Stimmungen, die er durch weit angelegte Flächen, die teils auf Sequenzerläufen liegen, erzeugt. Streckenweise platziert er dann sehr effektvolle herrliche Melodielinien auf diese Sounds.
Einen einzelnen Track kann man aus dieser CD nicht hervorheben. Für mich gehört Gert Emmens ebenfalls zu den Musikern, deren CDs man sich blind kaufen kann. Wer seine bisherigen Alben oder den Stil von Ron Boots mag, der kann sich diese CD bedenkenlos zulegen.
Lupari (Phaedream) for Guts of Darkness:
Depuis Wanderer of Times, issue en 2003, Gert Emmens s’est façonné la solide réputation d’écrire des opus très harmonieux, dans une faune séquentielle complexe. Que ce soit du futur ou de monde médiéval, le synthésiste Hollandais réussi toujours a faire sortir l’aspect mélodieux de ses merveilleux voyages musicaux. The Tale of the Warlock est le 1ier album concept de Gert Emmens. Une quête imaginaire dont la musique sculpte la vision, à la perfection. Une intro intrigante nous accueille avec The Warlock Returns. Un souffle des ombres, où se terre un PC, laisse un sillon sonore menaçant, comme une sirène au milieu de grondements dont la venue nous échappe. Une superbe séquence sombre, voltige dans une atmosphère où les chœurs et les cris de chauve souris nous confirme la dense obscurité. Une autre séquence plus courte, plus acérée la modulation sur un rythme plus fluide qui s’appui sur des battements uniques et des nappes synthétiques stagnantes. Un paysage morne et peu rassurant attend le retour du Warlock, même si le synthé harponne un mouvement ondulant, traçant une superbe mélodie qui reste ancrée comme un refrain thématique. Les percussions sont lourdes et accompagnent un synthé aux strates lourdes, dont le parcours harmonieux est constamment en évolution. L’évolution, la modulation sont les grandes forces de Gert Emmens. Malgré des structures sculptées à même la mélodie, le synthésiste Hollandais, explore toujours de nouvelles séquences, des nouvelles directions. Un séquenceur statique et obscur moule l’intro de Warlock meets the Young Princess, un peu comme si Warlock longeait un long corridor. Un coup feutré inonde ce tracé solitaire par un superbe segment de synthé aux accords souples et aux courts solos soyeux, comme une courte féerie lumineuse. Des tombées d’accord lourd annoncent les modulations à venir d’un synthé souple aux chœurs éthérés et aux strates soyeuses. Un faible dépit ascendant ouvre le rythme de Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller, qui fourmille de somptueux solos sur une séquence ondulante qui traverse un paysage aux mélodies synthétiques. À mi-chemin, la clarté disparaît, laissant une longue traînée résonnante qui foule le territoire des bruits ambiants. Une séquence en ressort. Galopante elle progresse sur des percussions au métal feutré qui voltige comme un insecte irréel sur un superbe synthé aux strates nostalgiques, aux cordes de violon blessées par des stigmates d’une guerre oubliée. Après l’hypnose progressive de The Dream that Came True, nous pénétrons l’intro céleste de The Confrontation – Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark. Une séquence tournoie dans une atmosphère qui se remplit de sonorités diverses sur une mouvance hypnotique séquencée. Des chœurs, des percussions feutrées et de beaux solos meublent cet univers hétéroclite, déchirée par l’indécision. Derrière un souffle spectral, la séquence de Ghosts Calling from Yonder atteint des proportions titanesques. Une superbe séquence feutrée qui tressaille sur des percussions métalliques tamisées, entreprend sa montée spiralée sur un synthé aux accords mélodieux. À mon avis, c’est le plus belle pièce sur The Tale of the Warlock. Un bel album qui se termine sur un titre triste, funèbre que Gert Emmens rend si sobrement bien. Comme le reste de The Tale of the Warlock, une grande histoire, si bien contée.
translated by the writer into English:
Wanderer of Times, issued in 2003, Gert Emmens built himself a solid
reputation to write very harmonious opus, in a complex sequential fauna.
That it is future or of medieval world, the successful Dutch synthesist
always successes to create the melodious aspect of his marvellous
musical voyages. The Tale of the Warlock is the1st concept album from
Gert Emmens. An imaginary quest whose music carves the vision to
intriguing intro welcomes us with The Warlock Returns. A breath of the
shades, where a computer is hiding deep in the ground, leaves a
threatening sound furrow, as a siren in the middle of droning from
unknown venue. A superb dark sequence flutters in an atmosphere where
choirs and bat cries confirm us the dense darkness. Another shorter
sequence, more sharp-edged modulates a more fluid rhythm which support
on single beats and synthetic stagnant pads. A dull landscape, not
reassuring at all await the return of Warlock, even if the synth
harpoons an undulating movement, tracing a superb melody which remains
anchored like a thematic refrain. The percussions are heavy and
accompany a synth with the heavy layers, whose harmonious course is
constantly in evolution.
and modulation are among Gert Emmens great skill. In spite of structures
carved within melodies, the Dutch synthesist, always explores new
sequences, new directions to target another musical direction. A static
and obscure sequencer mould Warlock meets the Young Princess intro, a
little as if Warlock skirted a long corridor. A felted blow floods this
solitary layout by a superb synth segment with flexible chords and short
silky solos, like a tiny luminous fairyhood. The falling of heavy chords
announces the modulations to come from a flexible synth to the ethereal
choirs and the silky layers. A weak ascending flow opens the rhythm of
Myths and Legends have told by the Storyteller, which swarms with
sumptuous solos on an undulating sequence which crosses a landscape of
synthetic melodies. Halfway, clearness disappears, leaving a long
resounding trail which presses the territory of the ambient noise. A
sequence got out. Galloping it progresses on metal felted percussions
that flutters like an unreal insect on superb synth with the nostalgic
layers, to the cords of violin wounded by marks of a forgotten war.
the progressive hypnosis of The Dream that True Cam, we penetrate the
celestial intro of The Confrontation - Warlock versus the Wizard of the
Dark. A sequence whirls in an atmosphere which fills of various
sonorities on a sequenced hypnotic mobility. Felted choirs, percussions
and beautiful solos furnish this heteroclite universe, torn by
indecision. Behind a spectral breath, the sequence of Ghosts Calling
from Yonder reaches titanic proportions. A superb felted sequence which
quiver on filtered metal percussions, undertakes its spiral rise on a
synth with melodious chords. In my opinion, it is most beautiful part on
The Tale of the Warlock. A beautiful album which finishes on a sad title,
funeral that Gert Emmens returns so soberly well. As the remainder of
The Tale of the Warlock, a great history, told so well.