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Ron Boots: The 80s Box

Since the late Eighties, Ron Boots has been one of the crispest and most engaging electronic composers to export his music from the Netherlands. Boots' style of electronic music is deeply rooted in the Berlin School, but it reaches far beyond those influences, to achieve a sound that is uniquely his. Fusing elements of contemporary electronics, pop, and film soundtrack scores, Boots' music is as rich and powerful as it is atmospheric.

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RON BOOTS: The 80s Box (6 CD set on Groove Unlimited)

Released in 2000, this set contains: reissues of five long-out-of-print cassette releases by Boots from the Eighties ("Dream Weaver", "Wind in the Trees", "New Dream", "Moments", and "Bookworks"), a disc of rarities, and a 56 page booklet detailing Boots' history in great detail. It all comes in a tasty oversize jewelcase.

Let's examine each disc individually:

"Dream Weaver" features 71 minutes of music. This music was Boots' debut official cassette release in 1987. Ambient tones lead into gripping melodies that combine intricate keyboard riffs with dense background electronic textures. Some percussives appear, but their presence is minimal and generally muted. The structure of this music is dreamy, achieved through gradual accretion and wandering cycles. This CD features two bonus tracks from Boots' "Linear Waves", a private release cassette that predated "Dream Weaver". One of these "Linear Waves" tracks displays a highly rhythmic melody.

"Wind in the Trees" features 70 minutes of music originating from 1988. Arctic winter plays a strong part in this music, producing a prominent chill with these intertwining of ambient textures and more active keyboards. Most of these tracks feature lively E-perc that attributes a joyful quality to the freezing tunes. The melodies are similarly infused with more pep, as rhythmic riffs command more of the mix, drowning the ambience with their emotional harmonies.

"New Dream" features 73 of music originating from 1987. With the acquisition of an Atari computer and a multi-timbral sound module, Boots' music evolved into a denser sonic animal. Layers of sequencing give this music a very Klaus Schulze edge. As the CD continues, Boots' own style seeps through, taking control of the music with delicate melodies and a soft percussive presence. Although these compositions are quite complex, the overall effect of the music is one of thick drone.

"Moments" features 69 minutes of music originating from 1988. Two bonus tracks have been added. This time, the music possesses a more personal, human touch, as Boots captures significant memories with his heavenly electronic compositions. Romantic tenderness, whimsical impressions, sad losses, powerful accomplishments...he presents specific memories in a manner that transcends details, evoking similar events in all of our lives with this sentimental music.

"Bookworks" features 69 minutes of music originating from 1989. A single bonus track has been added. Here, Boots mixes sedately meditative tones with somber, almost haunting tuneage, generating a rich flow that calms with a touch of expectancy. E-perc again plays a part, but continues to remain unobtrusive.

"Odds & Ends" features 73 minutes of tracks from numerous sources: samplers, collections, and a few left-over pieces from the other CDs in this box-set. One is an alternate, livelier version of Boots' track from the Hypnos collection "The Other World", while another is a live song from 1999.

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