RON BOOTS: Ghost of a Mist (91-02)
“This is the meeting point between lunar atmospheres and passive rhythms evolving with a minimalist approach drawn in the shade of angelic melodies”
1 Ghost of a Mist (The Sleepwalker) 15:16 2 In Timeroom Spirits 9:29 3 Ghost of a Mist (Ring Mist Mountain) 15:34 4 On the Field 5:28 5 Flowing Forces (Bonus track) 9:20 6 Desert Clouds 18:47 GROOVE| GR-073
(CD 73:55) (V.F.)
(Ambient, ambient beats)
Here's an album that has passed like a blow of wind in the world of EM and yet equal to the quiet works of Steve Roach and Michael Stearns. Quiet, but not too much! GHOST OF A MIST abandons the pure and static rhythms of Dreamscape for dormant rhythms that swarm with passive sequences. This second opus of Ron Boots on Groove is an incursion into the clannish ambiances of American deserts, as the Australians' ones or simply in the mind of Ron Boots and as put into music by artists like Robert Rich and Steve Roach for years. Flanked by Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock on Desert Clouds and with a splendid bonus track (Flowing Forces), GHOST OF A MIST is one of those albums that time can't erode its fragile astral beauty.
Ghost of a Mist (The Sleepwalker) plunges us into these phases and lunar rhythms with unctuous synth layers that float on a sound fauna stained with quirky sounds. They hover over the horizon, between the Earth and its stars, with fine contrasts in their musical hues, passing from foggy to iridescent and discreet to ostentatious to increase their velocities or idleness. Like clouds floating in the infinite, these contemplative strata draw invisible hands that caress the void while light-metal-toned percussion tinkles in an ambiophonic delirium from which emerges a seductive unrealistic gallop that sways like a lone cowboy in dunes from another planet. Equal to himself, Ron Boots envelops his structures, both abstract and rhythmic, of a melodic veil unique to his signature that continues to seduce with a horde of sequences with different tones as ambiguous. Hypnotic sequences that pulsate and wriggle barely touching the ground. They shear a mystic haze covered with distant voices with shorter and incisive movements of the sequencer and a fingering that doesn't disturb at any moments this song of crystal arpeggios that sing like the reflections of Klaus Schulze on Mirage. Nasal synth layers with apocalyptic and philharmonic sonorities fill our ears, spreading the full depth of Boots' harmonic approaches, which, with ambient or rhythmic music, always manages to draw these melodies that wander between the atmospheres of Roach and Schulze without getting lost like breaths in the winds. In Timeroom Spirits drops a thin line of Berber synth, initiating a dance of shimmering arpeggios that tinkle with scattered tom-toms with mesmerising tribal trances. Another synth wave spreads its charms, awakening arpeggios of glass that tinkle and draw a bewitching contemplative melody, of which each key sounds out of balance in front of percussions. Completely captivating, this first part of In Timeroom Spirits loses its sweet rhythmic and melodic approach to stumble towards a heavy ambient passage where the synth layers hoot to the moon, crystallized in a cold whose collateral damage suggests space murmurs. Delicate shimmering arpeggios climb the sides of a musical mountain to weave a hypnotic cosmic melody that enters our ears like vestiges of the clanic works of the intergalactic deserts imagined by Steve Roach.
Another excellent title in GHOST OF A MIST, Ghost of a Mist (Ring Mist Mountain) begins with a delicate oneiric approach of spiritual dances and trances of the nomads from a planet with clay deserts. Light chords of glass flutter and dance in warm winds, like petals blown by ocher breezes. The first part is enchanting while the second part, which starts around the 8th minute, offers a more rebellious approach where the percussion strikes replace the glass arpeggios. They harpoon an elusive rhythm that only fluty breaths seem to contain the idle mutiny that explodes for a stationary rhythm sprayed by breaths of a synth with Hispanic aromas. With its heavy approach hesitating between rock and a techno fed of jerky spasms, On the Field seems out of place in these delicate ambiences of GHOST OF A MIST. But like everything that Ron Boots touches, the harmonious envelope of the synths (which breathe so much the elegiac breaths of Mark Shreeve) that wraps the heavy and curt percussion strikes and the lascivious purring of a bass line is of a breathtaking tonal richness. Flowing Forces is the bonus track on this reissue and it's very good. Fine sequences and/or percussions resound in the wake of their echoes, tracing a tasty minimalist approach that is very close to the tribal serenades of Mike Oldfield, I think in particular of Incantations' percussions. The synths display misty veils and their angelic voices murmur in the harmonies of soft harmonic solos, juxtaposing a layer of additional emotions to this track that has a profound oneiric range. Desert Clouds puts on an intro similar to Ghost of a Mist (Ring Mist Mountain) but with a slower rate. It's a slow morphic procession with arpeggios that ring at each corner of our ears and whose emotional crescendo is cradled on unctuous strata with shrouds of mist. The movement was lost in its mists in the 6th minute to explode violently in the incisor’s bites of Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock's guitar whose violent solos tear up the dreamlike texture. His solos with twisted and angelic bruises are gradually exhausting, renewing the morphic approach of Desert Clouds which skips timidly towards a finale where the angels chant in a seraphic universe.
GHOST OF A MIST is the meeting point between lunar moods and passive rhythms that evolve with a minimalist approach traced in the shadow of angelic melodies. Less striking than Dreamscape, this second effort by Ron Boots on Groove remains an intensely musical work where the Dutch synthesist amazes by his mastery of tribal atmospheres in a musical envelope where the synths predominate over passive sequences but all the same strongly present. This is another interesting album that reveals another side of Ron Boots who, as usual, has the art of wrapping his music with a delicate and good harmonious envelope. To dream with your eyes open!
Sylvain Lupari (September 29,th 2012) ***½**
Available at Groove