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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GERT EMMENS: A Boy's World (2007)

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

A Boy's World plunges us in a world of creative sequencers and great melodies on musical themes in continual movements

1 School’s Out 10:40

2 Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost 21:26

3 Life Around the Sand Castle 9:55

4 Gaming Part II: The Quest 20:32

5 Adolescent Behavior 10:48

6 Nothing lasts Forever 5:28

(CD/DDL 78:51) (V.F.)

(Sequenced Netherlands School)

Gert Emmens has become a sure bet in the EM world. Since Waves of Dreams, the Dutch synthesist has been lining up opuses of exceptional quality, combining the complexity of his long exploratory piece of music with melodious themes that hook. Dedicated to the imagination of his 12-year-old son, A BOY'S WORLD is a small masterpiece of rhythmic consistency with breathtaking sequenced movements that create poly-directional rhythms in a musical universe that is both progressive and melodious. Coated with a wonderful artwork, created by artist George Grie (whose works I strongly invite you to consult on his site, A BOY'S WORLD transcends the imagination with a barely felt youthful approach.

Frank's fantastic journey begins after school. The keys' particles encircling his imagination are fine atmospheric dusts which transport him and us to a rich and heavy ambience. It's the start of a fantastic musical journey. A good movement of sequences, as heavy as slow, welded to a catchy thematic melody establishes a galloping rhythm on a plain bumpy with light butts. School's Out becomes a sort of galactic western stuffed with synth solos and mellotron breaths to cut the musical horizon of a rebellious tenderness. The slamming percussions add a cosmic electronic dimension to a track with fine modulations. The percussions and sound effects form a bewitching contrast and are used admirably well. On Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost, the sequencer's rhythms are heavy and threatening. The sound effects which circulate there and which ululate to oblivion surround a strange eclectic world which is guided by these so good synths and sequencers with varied moods, cutting the rhythm on constantly evolving modulations. It's a very good title with rhythms which rise in a form of crescendo on furious sequences whose released keys are winding up through synth solos. An atmospheric phase settles in around the 14th minute, forging a new structure which gives all the space to a very libertine synth. The 2nd part of Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost, The Quest, is the most beautiful moment on A BOY'S WORLD. The sequencer traces a tumbler rhythm after a nice melodious intro, paving the way for a unique Emmens mix where synths, choirs and sequencers unite to create a harmonious theme that sticks to the hearing, despite the many changes of orientation. Hearing the synth whistle the melodious sweetness of the winds on permutations in those enchanting rhythms is a delight that makes raise the hairs and shake the last melancholy thoughts of the soul. A brilliant title and a complexity that is matched only by its sensitivity once tamed. Life Around the Sand Castle, just like Adolescent Behavior and Nothing lasts Forever are more fiery titles, strongly animated by sequences with unexpected courses. Each offers variegated structures and passages as well as softer and sweeter undertones, notably the genius Mellotron in Adolescent Behavior.

The universe of Gert Emmens is unique. We can hear rhythms and ambiences grafted onto contradictory avenues where melodies bloom like roses in tumultuous fields. A BOY'S WORLD is another solid album imbued with this universe of sequences and synths with astonishing evolutionary paths. I loved from start to finish with in added bonus a handful of thrills of love for the music and its many twists and turns. Highly recommendable!

Sylvain Lupari (June 18th, 2008) ****½*

Available at Groove nl

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