vendredi 14 octobre 2011

EMMENS/HEIJ: Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (2008)

1 Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (Overture) 10:06
2 Elements in Decay 12:59
3 Liquid Ore Finding its Way 13:02
4 When Night Falls 8:28
5 Point of no Return 7:55
6 Setting the Wheels in Motion 18:12
7 Silent Witnesses Of Industrial Landscapes (Finale) 8:04


The Emmens/Heij association just gave birth to a superb musical odyssey. The union of Ruud Heij’s heavy and nervous sequences to rhythms imagined and weaved by Gert Emmens shapes great EM which transcends the Berlin School and forks towards the heavy style of the Netherlands School where the influence of Ron Boots and Tangerine Dream can be heard on enchanting evolutionary structures. Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (what a title) is the 4th witness of this fruitful association. It’s an album where the musicality is comfortably sits on superb sequences, good percussions and bass sequence lines which undulate and twitch beneath great solos of a synth which also drops nice mystic mists. Elements which charmed fans of Berlin School, but this time the approach is devastatingly heavier.
"Overture" propels us in the tight-fitting spheres of Emmens’ last opus; The Nearest Faraway Place Vol.1 with a somber intro, less metallic, where we hear sequences wound in a cosmic nebulosity. A solitary keyboard punches this nervous sequential movement of its morose arpeggios, while "Overture" continues its slow ascension and ties to sober percussions while muffling oneself up under nice solos of a dreamy synth. Solos immersed by a strange nostalgia and which whistle in a beautiful melodious approach until the semi-darkness of the cosmos. Limpid sequences skip and crisscross with fineness to open the long and mesmerizing "Elements in Decay". A fine chthonian mist sprawls over this zigzagging movement and gets heavy with dense synth pads which cover sequences became more intense and which remind unmistakably the work of Chris Franke. Weighty and enchanting, "Elements in Decay" progresses underneath a sky darted by solos to wide sinuous arcs and grave under the yoke of percussions which espouse marvellously a revivified sequential approach as well as more incisive synth solos. Solos which find refuge in synth pads with tones that are very near Tangerine Dream’s soils, to re-appear in soft spectral breezes and conclude one of the great tracks on this album. "Liquid ore Finding its Way" presents an intro stuffed by very eclectic tones coming out of an abstract animal kingdom which crosses the howling streaks of a spit-fire cosmos. A great hyper active sequence comes out of this colourful atmosphere. It waves with velocity among sober and melodious keyboard keys, slow percussions, heavy sequenced momentums and spectral solos, drawing a subtle paradox between rhythms and ambiances. It’s a real whirlwind of sequences that encircles our ears when the rhythm permutes towards a solitary sequential ride, of which feverish chords alternate with a dithering speed which is dwindling beneath synth breaths as mysterious as unpredictable. Beautiful, dark and ambient, "When Night Falls" releases keys of a lonely keyboard. They lag in a cosmos full of a melancholic iridescent mist which drops fine dreamy solos among the soft shimmering of a delicate carillon to melodious ringings. Everything there is beautiful and perspires Emmens’ sensibility with these hesitating keys and these sidereal laments which merge in a taciturn cosmic landscape.
A nice ascending sequence emerges from an atmospheric intro, and a very electronic one of the vintage years, to pull "Point of no Return" out of its cosmic nest. It rises and comes down, surrounded of an iridescent mist, stars and other electronic sound effects, to bind itself with good percussions and pound a heavy and slow tempo, irradiated by curt pads. Under the thick coat of a dense mellotron, percussions and sequences bicker and shape an impermeable rhythm and a very beautiful cosmic melody. A rhythm which continues its ride under a sky filled of running streaks, cosmic mist and suave solos of a synth always so oniric. "Setting the Wheels in Motion" begins with a heavy and somber mellotron veil which releases a range of electronic tones. A sequence bass line pulses in an arrhythmic way, while another sequenced line frees crystal clear arpeggios which skip slowly under beautiful strata of quixotic violins. Sequences unite to create an untidy rhythm where chords alternate with more swiftness, in a movement which is not without reminding a mythical Berlin trio, and find refuge under intense twisted solos which came out from this huge mellotron mist. A little after the mark of 9 minutes, percussions come to assist this hypnotic oscillatory tempo. The rhythm becomes then more complex with the addition of another sequence which winds in high speed a structure always coated by furious solos and a quiet iridescent mist. "Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes (Finale)" enclose this 4th effort of Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij with a similar structure as on "Overture", but with a more fluid tempo and a more present melody.
A very beautiful EM album where stormy and progressive sequences join superb melodious approaches, Silent Witnesses of Industrial Landscapes deserves a place of choice in any good discotheque of contemporary EM. The duet Emmens / Heij plunges in height rhythms on heavy and powerful structures which are the privilege of Netherlands School and which make relive the beautiful years of Tangerine Dream, Baumann, Franke and Froese era.

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

Here's Emmens/Heij Website, where you could hear some MP3 snippets:

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