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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GERT EMMENS: The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 1 (2008)

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Thus goes the poetic and extremely musical universe of Gert Emmens

1 Part I 10:40

2 Part II 5:08

3 Part III 7:28

4 Part IV 14:38

5 Part V 9:36

6 Part VI 16:05

7 Part VII 7:19

(CD/DDL 70:52) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM Netherlands School)

A dark and metallic wind brings sound effects with resonant arche forms. The opening of THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE Vol.1 is a floating movement where barely perceptible voices drag among mournful tribal breaths and whistling laments. An introduction worthy of a musical fiction where everything can be heard, as well as imagined. A distinct flute wanders through this intriguing universe, awakening a chiming sequence whose echoes multiply in a prismatic stream, flowing to another sequence hemmed in by an undulating bass line. The rhythm takes shape on a movement that gallops with hesitation under a tinkling firmament of chimes. A synth/guitar fusion and percussions embellish this cadence that loops over a dulcet structure before embracing vaporous waves, celestial choirs and elusive strata that adorn an ethereal musical constellation. Thus goes the poetic and extremely musical universe of Gert Emmens. THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE Vol.1, whose basis was conceived for a concert in Germany on November 10, 2007 (the Gasometer in Oberhausen), is a long piece of 71 minutes segmented into 7 parts. The Dutch synthesist continues his ambiguous exploration of galactic universes with dark and intriguing forms. An unreal world sculpted in the versatility of his rhythms and tones, as well as his sequenced sculptures with those sonorities so unique to Emmens' musical world, and his mellotron synths with variable astral aromas which crosse the darkness and the limpidity of harmonies. Part II is heart-stopping with its emotive mellotron enveloping a sequenced rhythmic pattern supported by guitar riffs. The rhythm is fluid and sprinkled with guitar and synth solos. Part III groped its way through a cascading sequence. This rhythmic, more theatrical than musical, is pounded by metallic percussions and enveloped by a synth with spectral odes and heartbreaking solos.

Part IV is pure Emmens as we know it since When Darkness falls Upon the Earth. A complex sequenced structure with heavy resonant jolts hops over a keyboard with flickering waves and lyrical breaths, creating a coherent strange and melodic fusion where the jerky rhythm waltzes with a melancholy mellotron. The sequence becomes more nervous around the 6-minute mark when it confronts heavy percussions that slows down an already unsure rhythmic pattern. Synthesized veils envelop this now anemic cadence with hazy odes that draw us into the cosmic storms of Part V. This part offers a pulsating and nervous sequenced rhythm under a synth with spectral breaths and a guitar contrasting of lucidity which fades in a fluty astral nebulosity. Part VI emerges from it to re-initiate this atmospheric heaviness with the disjointed rhythm which makes the splendor of this Gert Emmens 14th opus on a nervous and hesitating sequence. A movement more psychedelic than electronic which grows on a synth with chthonian waves, very sinuous solos as well as slamming and interlocking percussions. Another very good track that exploits the dark areas of the analog years. Part VII proposes a nice finale where guitars and synths oppose their lyricism on a good hypnotic and musical sequence, as Gert Emmens knows all the tricks before crossing the quietude of a morphic synth. A final that opens the door to a possible Volume 2.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2008) *****

Available at Groove nl Bandcamp

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