GERT EMMENS: Metamorphosis (2010)
Updated: Feb 4
“Great melodious patterns on ambiguous rhythms on sequences in movements, this is a very good Gert Emmens album”
1 Strategem of Morality 14:16
2 Collision 17:55
3 Empathy 7:07
4 Emotive Disparity 2:26
5 Pace of Voyage 15:36
6 Opaque Divergence 16:06
(CD/DDL 73:39) (V.F.)
(Progressive Netherlands School)
METAMORPHOSIS is the reflection of a translucent wall on development and its culmination of a model of a lifetime designed according to the will of nature. For his 10th album on Groove, Gert Emmens does not cut corners and offers a concept album where melody is the message of consciousness. And his latest album is full of those. Melodies anchored in heavy sequences which like to drift in an analog sound environment. Stirred by a new faith and a new passion, Gert Emmens is a messenger of his new values by offering us a solid album whose music draws a marvelous tale on magical thought.
Strategem of Morality opens METAMORPHOSIS with a weighty atmospheric intro. A dense sound broth simmering hybrid synthesized lavas whose layers crisscross among sinuous synth solos. Solos dancing lasciviously in a dark electronic Genesis drawn by slender twisted waves, hesitant pads and reverberating streaks which fly over stationary synth layers as well as a distant line of the sequencer. A felted line which gradually animates the static larvae of Strategem of Morality. Another sequence skips overhead, leaving its reverberating traces forming a cadence which delicately amplifies its rhythm under a nebulous mellotron mist. Around the 7th minute the rhythm sets in with a sequenced movement with hybrid chords and tones which is supported by electronic percussions. These percussions hammer an increasing measure under a firmament stuffed with fine twisted synth solos. The rhythm progresses with this sound architecture and delicately deviates towards a more ethereal structure with delicate keyboard chords which ring among those of the sequencer. This furtive, skipping movement is the cornerstone of the intersecting rhythms on METAMORPHOSIS. Collision is a good example. After an ethereal intro, the rhythm undergoes a transformation by a sequenced movement coming from nowhere. The chords skip with a kind of hesitation, accompanied by a synth with suspended strata of glass and flowing solos. The cadence becomes more insistent and modulates an ascending structure from which escapes soft chords sounding like a guitar. And so goes Collision! Between sustained rhythms and atmospheric passages, the sequences of the Dutch synthesist create minimalist and hypnotic rhythms. Rhythms that bring Collision to a finale decorated with splendid solos that twist around the arrhythmic measures of the sequencer unique to Gert Emmens. Empathy is cast in the same mold, except for its spectral solos which whistle above the nervous bouncing sequences of the introduction. Shorter, it evolves from rhythms to ambiences with synth solos which flutter above a universe of sequences in constant inversion.
After the soaring Emotive Disparity, Pace of Voyage initiates its musical tale with a frantic race of the sequencer which is spiced with solos of a poetic synth. A strident solo throws off the rhythm, plunging Pace of Voyage into a brief undecided passage with a heavy and slow sequence which waddles under the layers of a thoughtful synth. Slower and heavier, the rhythm embraces an ethereal structure with cymbals fluttering alongside the chords of an equally pensive keyboard. The sequencer tries to resume its mad course under the breaths of a ghostly synth, except that the rhythm subsides and plunges us into a soft cosmic ambience with strata which waltz in the darkness of nothingness. A short ambient moment that nervous and hectic sequences abrogate with a circular and stationary rhythmic structure. This rhythm pulsates under the waves and solos of a sorrowful synth which is also accompanied by a choir and a mystical mist of a dreamy mellotron. Floating in this ethereal haze, the synth whistles and sings catchy solos, while Opaque Divergence pulsates from its earliest stages. The solos and synth breaths waddle like padded sequences, gradually increasing a cadence which subtly gallops with discretion in a cosmic mist. Heavy, the sequence staggers to create a slow rhythm which undulates with heaviness among spasms of a hesitant synth and fluid chords which flow like those of a guitar. A strange electronic march follows, flown over by tiny streaks and brief solos before the heavy rhythm takes shape. A bewitching rhythm hammered by good percussions, while the structure deviates like a cosmic ballet under the sweet solos of an enchanting synth that has lulled our imagination since we became attached to the sweet musical universe of Gert Emmens.
Ambiguous rhythms on sequences in constant permutation and besieged by beautiful melodies, METAMORPHOSIS is a very good Gert Emmens album. A complex album due to its unpredictable rhythms and where melodies stick to sequenced movements sometimes circular and sometimes progressive. One of the good albums of 2010! But are you surprised?
Sylvain Lupari (January 1st, 2011) *****
Available at Groove nl