lundi 1 février 2016

RENE VAN DER WOUDEN: The First 10 Years (2015)

“This is a very good compilation, a very honest one which shows the various faces of René van der Wouden”
1 Prosa I 6:12
2 The Alchemists 10:28
3 Recreation III 9:42
4 Go Quiet 9:42
5 Sequential Tourism 16:06
6 Numerus Fixus Part VI (Extended version) 11:44
7 Gruga Platz IV 20:44
8 Kompass 6:04
9 Antartica Festivities 6:56
10 Panavision 7:26
11 Mosaic of Stars 7:02
12 Sketch Two 6:10
13 Red Moon passes the Earth 9:14
14 La Contradiction 6:56
15 Moon Movement 20:10

REWO Music (DDL 154:36) **** (Lire en Français ici)
(Mix of ambient and sequencer based EM)
It has been already 10 years since Rene van der Wooden satisfies our ears with a EM thought in the influences of Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Ten years for about 15 studio albums, between 2005 and 2015, of which a too much majority have passed beneath radars. A first compilation appeared in 2011, Sequential Mixed Up-The Best ofR EWO, that the Dutch synthesist offered, and still offer by the way, for a small contribution on his Bandcamp site or simply for free. “The First 10 Years” is a second compilation, also offered for a tiny contribution or totally free, which underlines those 10 years of Rene van der Wooden and which offers more than 2:30 hours of EM which oscillates between the phases of his influences and among which he also presents over 40 minutes of unreleased material written during the sessions of his last studio album, BauRauM.
The main quality of this compilation is undoubtedly its selection. Contrary to several labels and/or artists which are going to favor a selection of catchy tracks,
Rene van der Wooden offers rather a selection which is highly representative of his music. Of course there are tracks which seduce at the first tones! I think among other things of the floating rhythm of "Prosa I" and of its soft EM symbolic melody molded in the essences of Jarre. "Recreation III" is also a good piece of music with a jumpy structure of rhythm and with harmonic lines from a fluty synth. It's the kind of thing that will appeal to the fans of Tangerine Dream of their more contemporary era. "Go Quiet" is lively and cosmic. "Numerus Fixus Part VI" is unarguably the most known track of Rene van der Wooden's repertoire. And its extended version is always very appropriate. "Kompass" is another very track with movements of criss-crossed sequences which are also very jolly. There is also long more complex pieces of music which confirm this capacity of the Dutch artist to develop his rhythms, always very lively, in atmospheres of ether. And the melodies are always there. "The Alchemists", "Sequential Tourism", the very beautiful "Gruga Platz IV" as well as "Mosaic of Stars", this one I never heard before, are beautiful examples. Other tracks are more moderated, like "Antartica Festivities" and "Panavision". This last one shows the ambient side of Rene van der Wooden. In brief, it's a very honest glance throw over the career of the Dutch synth wizard. The new material starts with "Sketch Two". We are in the period of BauRauM. It's a very ambient track with a nice astral melody blown by chords which inhale the breaths of lyricism. I like that! It's very delicate and it's ideal to tame the insomnia, like "The Contradiction" which proposes on the other hand a more intense, a more dramatic environment which is always wrapped by the sigh of the Cosmos. "Red Moon passes the Earth" offers a nice sequenced melody which waves such as a sound snake through mists misted by metal and by electronic effects which are very near the repertoire of Vangelis. "Moon Movement" brings us towards a long, a more linear and a more convoluted movement with a concept of a sequence which skips in solo and whose variances in the tones and in the colors are pounding under a dense ambiocosmic coat. Sometimes the sequence unties some shadows to structure a short rhythmic storm which loses its breath rather quickly.

So as I said higher, “The First 10 Years” is a very good compilation. It's a very honest compilation which shows the various faces of Rene van der Wooden who, atmospheres or rhythms, always succeeds to create a little something which seduces. And often, they are melodies! And don't forget, it's free! But a small donation, however small it is, gives to all these artists the financial means to explore a little more the universe of EM and the uncountable possibilities of the instruments which forges it. Like in this “The First 10 Years”!
Sylvain Lupari (February 1st, 2016)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

You will find this album on René van der Wouden Bandcamp page here

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