jeudi 7 juin 2012

GERT EMMENS: An Artist’s Stroke (2012)

"An Artist’s Stroke is one of the best works of Gert Emmens, if not his best, and undoubtedly one of the jewels of 2012"

1 Cossack Temperament 13:53
2 The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea) 13:14
3 Paintings-The Themes 16:44
4 Paintings-The Spirituality behind It 7:19
5 The Leningrad Years 12:2
6 Darkness Unfolds 11:40
7 Yuri Pugachov-In Memoriam 3:07

GROOVE: GR-189 (CD 78:30) 

Inspired by the life and works of the Russian painter Yuri Pugachov, from whom one of the paintings (The Garden in Toulouse) decorated the front artwork of The Nearest Fareaway Place Vol.2, An Artist’s Stroke unfolds in 6 musical paintings of which the beauty equals the most beautiful creations of Gert Emmens. The Dutch synthesist has dug at the bottom of his emotions to deliver us a superb album where his sequences and synths, unique to his poetic universe, weave the main lines of an album to rhythms floating in the breaths and lines of synth as harmonious as misty.
Divided into 3 segments "Cossack Temperament" goes out of the limbos with an oblong breath of a nasal synth which loses its threatening character in the voices of a cosmic choir. The rhythm begins with sequences which skip into fine undulations, drawing a rhythm emerging beneath nice foggy synth pads. These flickering sequences harmonize their indecision to undulate like snips of scissors in space and bind at sober percussions, structuring a rhythm oscillating into the layers of a synth to angelic vocalizes. An atmospheric passage smothers this first rhythmic flight with the ephemera threatening lines of the introduction. This time they darken the horizon of a heavy ochre veil which lowers one's guard and let go a sinuous bass line which awakens sleepy sequences in layers of ether. They skip in deep oscillating loops, dissipating morphic clouds which draw a bewitching melody as abstract as discreet before that the rhythm takes back its rights with some furious sequences which bounce and pound in a linear whirlwind. A lively tempo that percussions harpoon of incisive strikings and that a synth dresses of a strange serenade to nasal solos. This structure of "Cossack Temperament" is the skeleton of the titles which compose An Artist’s Stroke, where the intros and atmospheric passages engender some evolutionary rhythms which progress and float like planes carried by winds. Choirs wandering within electronic tones, threatening sequence which gallops slowly around hesitating chords and fleeting synth lines; the intro of "The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea)" is as much scheming as fascinating. The percussions fall and go astray into sequences which skip finely under a synth injected by an iridescent fog. The rhythm fluid but delicate, "The Long Walk (Towards the Black Sea)" hangs on to a bass line to a slow gallop, shaping a strange sensual blues of which the cosmic environment makes it simply unreal. The chords of an e-guitar add a surprising and fascinating dimension of a western where we imagine a cowboy roamed in a plain full of living monoliths. The rhythm kicks back after a rather long atmospheric moment. Hardly more fluid it gallops in a plain with a fog as harmonious as symphonic, drawing a superb floating tempo which supports its delicacy into fine percussions of which the metallic jingles resound in a foggy angelic choral.
With its long structure to unpredictable outcomes "Paintings-The Themes" is one of An Artist’s Stroke's jewels. An apathic sequential line pierces the dark introductory veil. Its keys waddle, leading sweet carillons which espouse the slow tempo and sparkle beneath a dense cloud of a synth to hybrid tones where some nice angelic voices roam in ethereal mists. A bass line emerges from it and makes dance its notes beneath the gyrating eye of a synth to threatening waves, while slowly the rhythm takes the shape of oblong oscillating curves to wave under the spells of a synth with musical solos. The sequences are isolating to dance in solo, bringing "Paintings-The Themes" towards a brief atmospheric passage where thunders and cosmic tones prepare the entrance of a heavier bass line. Its agile notes pulsate frantically on a long intro before bursting with sequences which the alternate strikings dance beneath rippling synth layers. These sequences which skip in lanes of mist are the core of Gert Emmens' works. They shape a soft melodic rhythm on "Paintings-The Spirituality behind It", dancing a spiral ballet which gives itself to a superb synth with celestial harmonies. Sequences flickering with velocity pop out from the introductory fog of "The Leningrad Years". Like the wings of dragonflies they dance of a stationary movement before being harpooned by a beautiful line of percussions, bringing "The Leningrad Years" towards a tempo made languid. A rhythm which increases its intensity after a brief sequences solo where the harmonies and breezes of the synths move us closer to the melodic rhythms of TangerineDream and Paul Haslinger era. Always agile the sequences beat of their frenzied wings a tempo which wanders in the thin filets of a melancholic synth whereas that slowly the musical painting of "Darkness Unfolds" opens in an ambience tinged with nostalgia before espousing a rhythmic curve slightly more livened up, plunging this very beautiful title to dreamy nuances towards a kind of cosmic blues rocked by a superb synth to harmonies as contemplative as dark. "Yuri Pugachov-In Memoriam" closes with a beautiful electronic ballad inspired by shadows and lights, rhythms and ambiences which embroider the wonderful universe of An Artist’s Stroke, one of Gert Emmens' beautiful albums, otherwise his best, and undoubtedly one of the jewels of 2012.
Sylvain Lupari (June 6th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream:

* You can watch a very good video trailer of An Artist's Stroke on You Tube:

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