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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RENE VAN DER WOUDEN: Alchemia (2006)

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

Alchemia is a slightly more progressive album that requires some listening in order to better capture all these nuances that bring it to other levels

1 The True Glass of Alchemia 20:16

2 Far Across the Heavens 8:38

3 Golden Dreams of Silver Elements 14:28

4 The Alchemists 10:30

5 Gone to Earth thru the Book of Minerals 5:57

(DDL 59:58) (V.F.)

(Analog cosmic rock)

After the superbly melodious Pro Sequentia, René Van Der Wouden offers us a slightly more different opus. Significantly more complex, ALCHEMIA is an album with slow movements, sometimes bewitching, that one listens to, the body and the mind at zero. Not that it's in mode relaxation music! I would rather say that the many reversals and points of evolution constantly attract a listening which is done with more enchantment. Listening after listening! There is a lot of romanticism on these movements marked by tenderness and nostalgia, like on The True Glass of Alchemia, an ambient title endowed with a strong power of attraction… just like the album!

Divided into 2 parts, its introduction is a slow movement that develops with subtle variances in its semi-impulses. The synth and its waves float in a fairly harmonious nothingness. In this space where silence is lulled by fluctuating strata, brief melodies are hidden which go out and hide, leaving melancholic traces at each celestial impulse. This ambient movement reveals its weaknesses with floating streaks which stand out with surprising sensitivity. At halftime, the rhythm slowly awakens with a series of limpid notes which draws a hypnotic sound arc. A new series of notes is added to those in place and stimulates a more complex sequence which insistently winds a minimalism rotating sphere. This sequence modulates its intonations and its axis of ambient rhythm among sound effects and explosions before taking its sequenced momentum where the keys pile up and create a harmonious confusion. Far Across the Heavens has a more than variegated intro with its vaporous jets blowing on melodious segments and on mystical manual percussions which are finely scattered. Cosmic waves fill the almost silence of a dull universe where a looped sequence is formed which undulates among a dark choir and the spectral acute lamentations of synth. Ideal music for a horror film. Like a goblin, the sequence rolls with frenzy accentuating the minimalism impulse which is fragmented in the invasive strata of a melodious synth.

Chords are twirling, with a tone of xylophone, to form a serpentine movement of the sequencer which will sail in harmony throughout Golden Dreams of Silver Elements. Synth pads are floating and prolonging their breaths on other chords that flutter around fine pulses. Floating, this rhythm is like a roller coaster on a heavy sequencer which swirls on its axis in an ambience flooded of small melodious segments which come and go in this weakened droop. The title-track is one of the good titles in 2006. It extends its melody with a superb harmonious sequence which has pierced a short atmospheric intro. Agile and limpid notes gracefully wind with grace an impulse activated of multiple loops, good snapping percussions and a beautiful synth with solos that make us dream. A long atmospheric breath, to which are grafted discreet choruses, prepares the rhythmic intro on slamming percussions of Gone to Earth thru the Book of Minerals. A very electronic title with this essence of great rhythmic analog impulses from the 70's. The synth here pours some superb melodious lines.

ALCHEMIA is a slightly more progressive album than Pro Sequentia. It's this kind of music that requires some listening, and some with a more attentive way, in order to better capture all these nuances that bring it to other levels. A small click is made with each new listening, captivating our hearing even more to listen to it again. Indisputable sign of a particularly good album!

Sylvain Lupari (January 2nd, 2007) ***¾**

Available at REWO Bandcamp

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