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Rene van der Wouden: Masterfully Engaging Electronic Music

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Rene van der Wouden is a newcomer to the EM field, but his initial releases reveal him to be a composer of immense depth and fertile promise.

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RENE VAN DER WOUDEN: Pro Sequentia (CD on Van Der Wouden Music)

This release from 2005 offers 67 minutes of thrilling progressive electronic music.

With the first track, majestic textures sweep overhead, ushering in peppy percussives and nimble keyboards. An orchestral flair accompanies these elements, lifting the tuneage to vertiginous altitudes with breathtaking passion. The electronics convey a masterful air that is commanding and engaging.

The second track begins with an extended airy intro that leads to a passage of classically tinted keyboards. Tubular bells join in with astral effects, conjuring a celestial mood of dreamy demeanor. E-perc enters the mix, injecting a lively disposition that is suitably mirrored as the keyboards grow more demonstrative.

The third piece is the longest (at 22 minutes), and here van der Wouden's sense of composition flourishes. The tune matures slowly, reaching a state of regal wonder as keyboard riffs interweave and combine, resulting in a fluid grandeur that gradually moves from progressive into pop laced tuneage as percussives emerge to lend a bounciness to the pulsating harmonies. Crystalline passages bestow a chill to the piece. Pensive stretches develop, stepping down the velocity for a ruminative turn...tat leads to a return of the music's previous state of agility.

The next track utilizes a surging quality to capture the audience's attention. Keyboard riffs throb and quiver, building in conjunction with swelling rhythms.

The last composition fuses a heavenly manner with an earthy stability, combining van der Wouden's nimble-fingered keyboards with a jovial sense of celebration. Moving from flutish strains to darker passages, the music refuses to stop mesmerizing, delivering inventive developments with determined exposition.

Highly recommended.

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RENE VAN DER WOUDEN: Alchemia (CD on Van Der Wouden Music)

This release from 2006 offers 60 minutes of thrilling progressive electronic music.

Delicate tapestries of feathery electronic textures unfurl, spreading to fill the sky overhead with regal splendor. The tonalities waft with fragile vigor, trembling with ambient restraint as they soothe the ears of all within reach. After an extended intro of nebulous calm, notes sweep into the mix, coloring the heavens with stately cycles that generate the genesis of greater things to come. These tentative chords usher the listen along into a corridor of celestial proportion, one rich with astral pulsations and mounting energy. The pace accelerates as notes cavort with auspicious jubilation.

As the music progresses, its promise takes root with an accretion of stamina oozing from the embrace of the heavenly airs. Power surges and the melody becomes swept up in a cascade of nimble-fingered keys creating a regal disposition of infectious quality.

Deeper notes enter the flow, seasoning the high altitude harmonics with an earthy foundation. The audience finds themselves stretched between land and sky, and fanciful chords tickle the torso as they scamper into existence, coalescing into riffs of congenial demeanor. Gradually, these midrange melodies conquer the environment, transforming the soundscape into a terrain of dynamic pulsations peppered with twinkling embellishments. The currents of sound thicken into luscious layers that stream with vibrant animation.

Sparkling chords rise through a region of sparse sedation, preparing the listener for a deluge of glistening fashion. The notes vibrate with sincerity, generating a soft buzzing undercurrent that lifts the melody to stratospheric majesty. Only during the CD's finale does percussion enter the mix, providing a lasting propulsion that will imbue the audience with a velocity that outlives the music's last endearing chord.

Van der Wouden's music is steeped in grandeur, the type that strives to open intangible doors inside the audience's heads and grant consciousness access to the incredible imaginative resources contained within.

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