REMY: The Return of Planet X (2017)
Updated: Jan 8
“This is what I call a real masterpiece in contemporary EM with a right balance between the orchestral and electronic instruments”
1 Movement I: Orbits of Planets 11:48 2 Movement II: Apogee 6:55 3 Movement III: Nibiru's Orbit 13:05 4 Movement IV: Anunnaki 11:38 5 Movement V: Perigee 15:47 6 Movement VI: Nibiru Cataclysm 12:40 Deserted Island Music | DIM-006 (CD 74:06) (V.F.) (Netherlands School, Schulze circa 85-90)
For most great pleasure of my ears, Remy has hung his feet in the digital era of Klaus Schulze from 85 to 90. Therefore, his music oscillates slowly between the long nightmarish corridors of the endless nights and the structures of rhythms which refuse any abdication. Recorded during a concert where all the fans of Remy and Ron Boots, because he was there, would have liked to be, THE RETURN OF PLANET X is a whole work that could be inserted among the strongest opuses of contemporary EM. This delicious duel between electronic music and symphonic music, played here by stringed instruments, grand piano and a choir, was recorded in front of a public on May 19th, 2012 at the Grote of St.Bavokerk in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Conceived and composed according to the observations of Remy Stroomer on the theories and the prophecies of the Mayas people who predicted a global cataclysm in 2012, the music remains charmingly frozen in time, a little as if the Dutch musician is still roaming again and again in the labyrinths of his incomparable Exhibition of Dreams. Except that for the first time since Different Shades of Dust, produced in 2004, Remy succeeded in making up a work which survives to EOD which, let's remind it, was written in 1999.
Movement I: Orbits of Planets puts us at once in the moods with a delicious slow introduction. The movements of the violins from Dick Bijlsma and Wouter de Ruyter and of the cello by Martine de Ket are like some long anesthetic sighs which extend these shadows of worry which, for several of us, are like purveyors of insomnia. There is a binary complex in these harmonies with a violin which cries in a higher octave. Darker, this movement explains all the power of Remy to create ambiences tinted by the Gothic romances of the darkness! Lost steps in these tears organize the genesis of a quiet rhythm which little by little exhorts the electronic percussions to flirt with the latent liveliness of the sequencer. It's around these slow and minimalist structures that the creativity of Remy Stroomer reaches his pinnacles The Dutch musician multiplies the percussive effects which lean against a structure built on the bases of the sequencer to which are grafted a panoply of groans and frozen arias which are drawn from the depth of his synths and, when possible, in the slow impulses of the stringed instruments. From uncertain to zigzagging, the structure of Movement I: Orbits of Planets reaches a good mid-tempo which aims a techno for amorphous souls with the addition of good bass pulsations and the electronic percussions a little more freed from the rigidity of the Kraftwerk style. With its series of 3 chords lost in the mist, Movement II: Peak exploits an approach a little more in the psybient vibes. Strange organic murmurs escort this solitary walking towards God only knows where. The stringed instruments weave a surrealist decoration that a synth supports with good solos. It's a segment in the career of Klaus Schulze by wasn't exploited a lot by the latter. And Remy is paying back, note for note, the rights to the German master of ambient and of suspenseful music between 85 to 90. While the chant of a real choir adds to the weight of the alarming immoderation, an avalanche of percussions comes down on Movement II: Peak a little before the door of 5 minutes, forging a tumult in the quietness with a spasmodic breakdown. When the tragic and the upheaval meet!
The choir, very abyssal, pulls the finale towards the slow passage of Movement III: Nibiru's Orbit which is the witness of an uneven duel between a piano, in mode romance for darkness, and pretty nervous percussions. The duel runs away in the half-time, revealing the charms of a good mid-tempo with sequences and zealous percussions. The orchestrations behind these rhythms of a tribe from a secret and vanished society, and which nevertheless seems quite ahead of us, add a weight of discord with lento movements that are rejected by a meshing of percussions and frenzy sequences. This bipolarity in the rhythm and the ambiences continues with Movement IV: Anunnaki which reproduces, with nuances and subtleties in the effects and in the chants of the synth's solos, the slow evolutions of the two previous titles. After the mist which follows the explosion of its finale, chords of a synth guitar throw an aura of romanticism to the introduction of Movement V: Perigee. If some of you are making a link here with the very solid In Blue from Klaus Schulze, you are right on it. The movement lays down its 16 minutes with a latent velocity. Remy takes good care to decorate each second here with organic effects, discords here and there among the stringed instruments and chords which increase the intensity of the music. A music that turns into a big evolutionary symphonic electronic rock a bit after the door of 7 minutes. Movement VI: Nibiru Cataclysm ends this ode to disaster with a kind of radioactive outdoor Mass. The choir is of sweetness and calms down a contradictory piano that we hardly hear behind this nuclear veil. A priest recites a barely whispered homily, a little as if the life which resists is shameful of its endurance. The hummings make vibrate my eardrums and remind to me all the intensity of this work which didn't need Movement VII: After The Deluge that is a little like the musical prologue of THE RETURN OF PLANET X. That's what I call a real masterpiece in the chessboard of contemporary EM. You don't to miss this one!
Sylvain Lupari (November 17th, 2017) *****
Available at Deserted Island Music