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Electronics: Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij, New Composers, Frank van Bogaert

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GERT EMMENS & RUUD HEIJ: Return to the Origin (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2004 features 71 minutes of galvanizing electronic music.

A haunting opening strongly evokes vistas of cosmic proportion seething with astral elements to which even spacier aspects are introduced. Drifting electronic textures establish a sense of overwhelming awe. Distant blooping sounds herald the emergence of imminent sequencing of sparkling disposition.

Once this harmonic flow gives way to a melodic presence, the thrills begin with ecstatic results. Keyboard loops interweave with increasingly more complex chords, generating a lush mood of compelling electronics. An urgency is quite evident, stirring the audience's soul with dancing notes that spin and spiral with enormous enthusiasm. Pinnacles are achieved with alarming frequency, each peak surpassing the last and lifting the listener to higher altitudes of quantum mesmerization. Touches of heavenly airs hide in the surging euphonies, lending a reverent touch to the constant sonic ascension.

Subtle e-perc plays a vital role here, creeping from the tonal morass to flourish amid the melodies with shining effect. These rhythms propel the tuneage with engaging tempos that blend with the whirling electronics, merging to form a cohesive gestalt of synthetic rapture.

These compositions are superb, capturing attention and emotion with their emphatic sonority. Sound transmutes into instant bliss, then immerses the audience in a stimulating soundscape of active riffs and energized sedation.

Ruud Heij has played with Kubusschnitt, Free System Projekt, and Patchwork.

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NEW COMPOSERS: Advanced Indigo (CD on Fax Records)

This release from 2003 offers 62 minutes of versatile contemporary electronic compositions.

New Composers is V. Alakhov, Igr. Ver, and S. Gasanov.

This music features a variety of instruments (albeit synthetically generated), as harp and flute and sitar and horns join the electronics and percussion, generating a well-rounded sonic palette that is refreshing and rewarding.

Ethereal textures unfurl as a foundation for these alternate instruments, while auxiliary electronic riffs lend their enunciation to the mix. Effects appear, frolic, and then fade as the main melody pushes forward. Sometimes keyboards produce delicate passages, other times they submerge their resonance in the thick of things, enhancing the flow in a subtle manner.

The percussion is quite versatile too, never remaining staid or predictable. Beats are derived from a plethora of sources, from bongos to traditional drums to overtly synthetic. The rhythms are a strong aspect to this tuneage, but not overpowering. The beat occupy a contribution stance, mixing agreeably with the harmonies and edging the mood along with their affable propulsion.

Sampled vocal snippets accompany a few of the pieces, lending human punctuation to the otherwise instrumental template.

This band mixes numerous genres to create their electronic compositions, blending classical, jazz and pop elements in his contemporary EM. This produces a lush sound that refuses to be limited by expectations. More cerebral than ambient, and definitely more appealing than usual dance-fare, this music is full of pleasant surprises. With tracks averaging six minutes in duration, there is a profusion of different styles presented by New Composers, revealing a sincere depth and range.

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FRANK VAN BOGAERT: Colours (CD on Groove Unlimited)

This CD from 2004 is a reissue of van Bogaertís rare debut release from 1997. It features 56 minutes of energetic electronic music.

Rapid-delivery chords and frenetic e-perc make the listener sit up and take notice with the CDís initial track. This attraction does not fade as the music continues. With each subsequent track, van Bogaert draws you in with captivating melodies and an engaging performance.

Lavish keyboards generate enticing soundscapes that are rich with vibrant emotion. Notes are born to evolve into splendid chords that mingle to produce dramatic melodies. Background textures expertly establish atmospheric foundations for these more demonstrative expressions. Clever embellishments flesh out an already generously endowed harmonic presence.

Versatile e-perc contributes driving force to each song, adding pep and flavor to the already powerful disposition. The rhythms are enthralling and compelling, refusing to allow the audience to sit still. One might not be impelled to get up and dance, but there is strong inducement to bob and sway along with the inventive tempos.

Mixing ambient, ethnic, Native American, and pop roots, van Bogaert compresses all these elements together with his discerning talent, transmuting influences into fresh sonic entities with his hyper sequences and inventive samples.

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