1 Vortex 17:36
2 Return to the Origin 14:13
3 Solaris 8:34
4 Life in Motion 18:06
5 So Long 12:09
Emmens/Heij | EH001 (CD 70:38) ****
(Netherlands & Berlin School)
It's in the depths of cosmic horizons that start this first Emmens/Heij collaboration. The first 7 minutes of "Vortex" are bared of rhythms, but are rich in sonic ambiospherical textures with bohemian synth layers which roam in the shapes of interstellar spectres among psychic whispers and starry lines which derive among asteroids of quirky tones on invisible continents. Different compared with other works of the genre, the sonic painting of "Vortex" depicts an artistic signature which will be the trademark of the Dutch duet. We feel a disturbing presence which is hypocritically outlined between these interlacing lines of synths. A metaphysic presence which opens a breach and unties a line of sequences whose keys jump furiously, structuring a static rhythm which winds and oscillates in the labyrinths of "Vortex". The whole thing is setting up. The synth and its breaths of mellotron caress a sequenced rhythm from which the mathematical power enlists another line with more crystal clear sequences. These keys bounce with more anarchy in a fluidity which divides a rhythmic approach and which harmonizes, as much as it can, the duality of the always motionless rhythms, while that the soft solos of Gert Emmens stroll of their shrill singings all over the esoteric mood. Strongly inspired by the years of Encore and Ricochet, from Tangerine Dream, “Return to the Origin” opens out its dense ambiospherical layers over melodic and ambient rhythmic patterns where the sequencers are modulated into Chris Franke's strikings, while the synths wrap up of their unique nasal sonic layers a universe of harmonious seduction where the lunar melodies float like sighs of nostalgia.
The title-track starts with more spontaneity. A line of sequences pulses heavily and pushes aside a veil of drizzle tinted of seraphic singings. The rhythm is heavy. Coated of a smooth layer of iridescent mist, it oscillates with strength into sinuous corridors, grabbing robotics cymbals so as to don't escape from the vertiginous horizontal spirals. Synths are drawing some auditive acrobatics, borrowing tones of spectres with singings always so sharp. Singings which became Gert Emmens' signature, as much as the polyphased structures of Ruud Heij's sequencing which quietly vanish in order to lead "Return to the Origin" to its port of mist, there where interstellar mermaids give a concert for souls mislaid in mists sprinkled by metallic drizzle. "Solaris" presents this sequenced approach unique to Ruud Heij's with keys skipping and flickering in some symmetric intertwining and where the rhythms are never humdrum. It's a melodious, alive and lively sequenced approach that Gert Emmens waters of delicate solos to timbres harmonica which whistles into cosmic moods with tones which challenge imagination. "Life in Motion" breathes of a pattern similar to "Vortex" before bending the rhythm with a structure of sequences which reminds of Chris Franke's rhythmic attacks on Cherokee Lane from Encore. The synths weave a very restful foggy cosmic painting where are holding onto some very musical solos which parade lazily on a movement of rhythm that we feel is increasing, even if some fragile glass keys try to dilute the velocity of it. This is a good piece of EM which caresses a certain approach of progressive cosmic rock, the best way of describing the universe all in colors of Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij. "So Long" concludes" “Return to the Origin” with a mysterious ambiospherical approach which grows quietly with vocal pads which float on deaf threatening pulsations. A fascinating layer of vampiric organ cuts the mood which explodes of bouncy furious sequences which alternate their keys with frenzy in a sound whirlwind which spits cosmic lines of which the trails get lost in this mist which sometimes whistles for solos but decorates especially the cosmos of dense morphic layers.
“Return to the Origin” kicks off a fascinating collaboration between the harmonious rhythms of Ruud Heij and the synths filled of dreamy solos and melancholic mists from Gert Emmens. It's a beautiful album where the long structures release rhythmic kicks, linked to a sequencer with keys as much agile than heavy, which melt themselves with a surprising harmony to cosmic fragrances which have the virtue to bring a new tone to a kind which began to get out of breath. At that time, we spoke about a breath of fresh air in the world of EM. It's still is.
Sylvain Lupari (September 14th, 2013)
Cette chronique est également disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: