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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GERT EMMENS: Triza (2015)

Soft, ambient, motionless and slightly lively rhythms, Triza is without any doubts in my mind Gert Emmens' best album since a very long time

1 The Shelter in Sector 5 13:31 2 When Twilight Announces the Night to Come 10:52 3 Where is Triza? 12:41 4 Nightlife 10:37 5 Wanderers of the Streets 25:36 Groove | GR-218

(CD 73:17) (V.F.) (Ambient beats and Netherlands School)

Electronic effects and slow synth layers which float in a seraphic sky are opening the soundscape of TRIZA. Already, Gert Emmens' sound envelope infiltrates, and our ears and our senses. A delicate movement of sequences makes clink its keys in hollow winds. The first rhythmic figure of The Shelter in Sector 5 is weakened by these keys which skip in a slow undulatory movement where the nuances of tones are outdone by a wall of electronic fog and these solos so dreamy and so near those fragrances of a saxophonist solitary. Our friend Gert's trademark. And we swim at full in his signature, with this floating structure rich in effects and so well fed. Along with a movement of hypnotic sequences and with these solos which go straight to our soul. And suddenly, like a threat, these elements fade at the edge of 6 minutes. Only some slow ochred layers are floating and travelling for 90 seconds between two horizons. And it's there that pulsating sequences play the tom-toms before developing a splendid pattern of floating rhythm where the keys will inter change the beat over a structure built on two elements of sequences which skip and wave in seraphic winds and in these beautiful nostalgic solos. That my friends is pure Gert Emmens! When I begin the analysis of an album, I always do it while reading. When my ears pull me of the book, I understand that there is something very interesting that is going on. Gert's last albums had left me on my appetite. I found that it missed that this little something which had seduced me so much in his earlier opuses. Well... I was delighted by TRIZA!

Soft, ambient, motionless and slightly lively rhythms. Atmospheres rich in tones and high in colors of sounds. A very elevated sound aestheticism. And these solos always so exhilarating as penetrating! This is without any doubts in my mind Gert Emmens' best album since a very long time. And it's also a return to basics for the Dutch musician/synthesist. Abandoning his approach of electronic progressive rock and of ambient music to return to the style of Netherlands School, which opened him the ears of so many fans of EM around the world, Gert Emmens signs here his best album since A Boy's World in 2007. And to my tastes, since his wonderful Wanderer of Time in 2003. Faithful to his artistic values, the friendly Gert always stays in the approach of concept album and in this framework this one reflects the various aspects of suffering. We hear it and we feel it throughout the 5 tracks and the 73 minutes of the album. And it's also very visible in the opening of When Twilight Announces the Night to Come where nasal breezes, metallic woosh and wiish as well as hollow winds are whipping a very melancholic piano. A fine movement of sequences makes its keys waddle. Keys which skip with so much pimpernel in the rhythm that the tears of synth which squeak in the background seems to us joyful while we guess them derisive, otherwise venomous. The notes of piano get back haunting these roarings while the rhythm, always so calm, seems to win swiftness. Especially when it feeds its strength with some good bass pulsations and with the addition of another line of sequences which sculpts another of these ambient rhythms so dear to the Emmens' signature. And this synth so gloomy which sings! The symbiosis of all these elements is fascinating while that When Twilight Announces the Night to Come will remain threatening and floating without ever exploding. This explosion will come with Where is Triza?. But not really as we imagined it! Its opening structure is cut in the silk with two lines of riffs of guitar, one minimalist and the other one more harmonious, which float slightly in winds of Orion. A line of sequences makes its keys gallop which stir nervously and eventually undulate in a motionless ambient movement. Percussions pecked by effects of rattlers are added, as well as layers of synth fed by caresses of ether. That becomes very seraphic, even if our hand taps slightly the thigh by following the curve of a rhythm which we guess wilder. Nasal solos offer themselves in the harmonies, drawing a contrasting parallel with all these elements which make of this introduction a kind of musical sexual intercourse which will reach its nirvana with a wonderful Stratosfear movement at around the 7th minute. WoW! Awesome! The flutes, the electronic effects and this pulsating structure slightly zigzagging are jewels which will get lost in an ambiospherical finale eaten away by insanity. What a track my friends!

Nightlife is as much appealing as The Shelter in Sector 5 whereas Wanderers of the Streets offers a more worked structure which binds itself in all the vessels of an EM of the 80's. After a very ambiospherical intro where the woosh are pushing sound particles which chirp with an informatics language, a pulsatory line of sequences made skip its keys and their copies which are tinted with a more metallic tone. Afterward the rhythm deploys itself more into a long undulatory skeleton which winds electronic atmospheres perfumed of cosmic effects and electronic effects of the Hyperborea years. I like this fusion of Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream so discreet it is, where solos and Gert Emmens' harmonies maintain his sonic identity with solos which are so much soft and which follow the curve of this rhythm a little bit soft which pushes its momentums of swiftness temporary. Faithful to these long structures of EM, Wanderers of the Streets approaches a more ambient phase at around the 11th minute. This passage is strongly supported by very enveloping synth layers and by distant hummings, setting the tone to a second part which will display a more fed structure of rhythm with a circular movement of sequences where the keys skip with their shadows. The ambiospherical envelope is denser and is fed by a thick cosmic fog where wander layers of voices and effects which are as much richer as in the first moments of Wanderers of the Streets. A piano emerges from this fog, bringing a dose of melancholy which will be accentuated by good solos as much nasal than a saxophonist having a cold, and which are also perfumed of astral trumpets. It's some very good Gert Emmens. And this TRIZA is one of the completely unexpected pleasant surprises in this end of year. To buy without hesitation!

Sylvain Lupari (November 26th, 2015) ****½*

Available at Groove NL

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