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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GERT EMMENS: The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3 (2010)

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

Still predictable but still so amazing

1 Part 15 10:59

2 Part 16 11:35

3 Part 17 11:08

4 Part 18 11:37

5 Part 19 12:43

6 Part 20 11:22

7 Part 21 3:23

8 Conclusion 4:03

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

(Progressive EM Netherlands School)

THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE Vol. 3 is the last part of this cosmic trilogy that the Dutch synthesist started in 2008. Once again, Gert Emmens covers his sound galaxy with a plethora of synth lines with sonorities so unique of his, and where the abundant strata wrap their cosmic haze around suspended sequences that intertwine their metamorphic lines. Sequences sometimes hesitant and sometimes biting, but always constant, that crisscross a cosmic tale under weeping solos. A musical universe signed Gert Emmens with a good complicity between the analog and the digital where the borders belong as much to the imagination of the listener as to its creator.

A distant synth line wavers lazily at the opening of Part 15. One believes oneself in a cosmic fair where mechanical streaks tear the firmament under subtle pulsations of bass sequences. A sequence comes in. It waddles along at a good speed, enveloped as it becomes by a nice layer of a lyrical synth that drops soft solos through its synth haze. The rhythmic gets activated in a universe where the blasts of synths with multi-colored sounds embrace its languorous walk that ends its course under the cosmic droplets and thunders. Over the years, Gert Emmens has left his sonic mark on the wonderful world of electronic music (EM). Everything the Dutch synthesist touches inevitably turns into a musical fairy tale. A long 77-minute movement divided into 8 portions, THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE Vol. 3 presents structures with morphic and soaring introductions that dive into progressive rhythms with ever-piercing sequences. Part 16 offers a more cosmic intro with Jan Dieterich's guitar dropping its soft vaporous layers in a most heterogeneous sound universe. The mellotron strings lead a strange ethereal waltz, guiding us to the steps of a wriggling sequence that nervously hops around in order to sculpt a cadence that undulates on a good bass line. Part 16 then becomes a big cosmic rock, much like the finale of Part 20, where Gert Emmens deftly controls the pace with rising and falling sequences that crisscross vaporous waves and gorgeous synth solos. After its heavily cosmic intro, Part 17 bites into a sequential movement that can't help but remind us of the good old days of Tangerine Dream. A heavy and nervous sequence that runs out of breath under the wandering vapes of a hazy synth up until the rhythm explodes and deviates under the strikes of an electronic drum. Beautiful and peaceful solos float above this rhythmic incandescence where we can easily recognize the sound universe of the Dutch synthesist. His handling of the synth never ceases to amaze with his solos, loops and breaths so personalized that bicker between the permutations of the sequencer. Some great Gert Emmens!

With its peaceful rhythm that has escaped from the morphic entrails of its introduction, Part 18 is the most accessible track of the 3 parts of THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE. A great title set on a sober movement of the sequencer where guitar and synth exchange solos on vaporous layers. A threatening movement of the sequencer pounds the still undecided rhythm of Part 19 after a superb cosmic introduction where the synth lines undulate above the stars. An incessant race where the sequenced impulse undergoes subtle modulations before exploding under the twists of the languorous synth solos. Part 20 offers a corrosive and threatening intro before softening with a nice wave of a synth both nostalgic and protective. A good and soft intro hit by increasing sequences that draw a soberly jumping rhythm under a synth with ghostly breaths. Structured in three beats, the movement becomes more rhythmic with the appearance of electronic percussions which are engulfed by synth solos which undulate and contort over a heavy vitaminized cadence. Then, we close our eyes and contemplate the end of this long cosmic journey in three parts with a floating finale where the strata confront and clash in a Cosmos of ether in Part 21 and are lovingly molded in the good orchestrations of Conclusion.

THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE Vol. 3 is in the continuity of the first two parts. An album where Gert Emmens may sound predictable but continues to amaze with a subtlety in tones and rhythmic modulations that makes his music as unique as his sound. Like with each of the Dutch synthesist's albums, the music flows between a wonderful complexity in the rhythmic structures and the melodies that cling to them. The synth releases its long twisted solos in a surprisingly poetic cosmic haze. Some great Gert Emmens, as always.

Sylvain Lupari (August 5th, 2010) *****

Available at Groove nl Bandcamp

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