RON BOOTS: An evening with Friends (2017)
Updated: Feb 21
“This is a solid live album with superb renditions and some new improvised tracks. A must for fans of MorPheuSz and Ron Boots!”
1 A Warm Place 11:25 2 Not yet There 19:46 3 Lea Hall Brawl 7:54 4 After 8 Hours 14:17 5 Acoustic Shadows 7:48 6 Franky's Floyd 9:43 GROOVE | GR-243
(CD/DDL 71:13) (V.F.) (Berlin School & Progressive E-Rock)
Following the Cosmic Nights 2018 review, AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS is another CD produced by Ron Boots which was available at the Hello 2018! @ Zeiss Planetarium event held in Bochum (Germany) on December 30th, 2017. The CD was given then to the visitors at the E-Live Festival in 2018. Divided over 2 shows, this 70-minute CD features 2 tracks played as part of the Schwingungen Party in Hamm (Germany) on July 1st, 2017 and 4 more tracks which were performed at the Awakenings Festival in November 2017 at the Lea Hall Social Club in Staffordshire, England. Two performances that testify to this complicity between Ron Boots, Frank Dorittke and Harald Van der Heijden and which also present the participation of Stephan Whitlan next to the trio for the concert at the Awakenings festival. On the program, Ron Boots' style of EM well wrapped in a vision of progressive rock unique to MorPheuSz'. And above all, a Frank Dorittke on fire!
A Warm Place will surprise many fans with a Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder structure à la Repelen series. The introduction is geared towards a vaporous approach with keyboard keys which sound pretty much like Rick Wright along with tribal ethereal percussions. The roarings of the synth suggest a wild structure. But it's more like a bohemian ballad with a nice acoustic guitar which makes duel to some hanging arpeggios from Ron Boots' keyboard. Harald Van der Heijden is the equivalent of Bas Broekhuis here with a very good acoustic percussion play which is as seductive as enchanting. But it's Frank Dorittke's agile fingers that steal the show here in a beautiful piece of music that's more acoustic than electronic, even with the good solos from Ron Boots, which in some places have this perfume of absent flute. A very charming title full of romance that is quite unexpected from the members of MorPheuSz. By the by, Not Yet There is in the pure tradition of this group set up by Ron Boots. The introduction spits out its nebulous vapors, I hear sordid meows, while the sequencer weaves the threads of a rhythm which gallops of its fluid oscillations. The guitar adjusts and the synth releases sibylline vapors and perfumes of flutes which float with harmonic designs. Harald Van der Heijden beats up the ambiences which are also supported by Frank D and his crumbled riffs here and there. The structure goes through an ambio-sonic phase around 8 minutes, there are strong fragrances of Tangerine Dream at this moment, before returning with more vigor thanks to the resonant steps of the sequencer which throws Not yet There in a huge heavy and lively progressive electronic rock.
Lea Hall Brawl leads us to the 2017 Awakenings festival with a new sound environment. I found the sound more limpid, less dark filtered on this second part of the CD. The introduction is made up of mists rushes which ripple with clinking prisms. A bass layer spreads a veil of intensity when the ambiances embrace a short moment of rumbling. A line of sequences emerges and twirls its keys which twirl on the spot. Another line of sequences, lower and heavier, traces an upward movement, quite characteristic to the Berlin School, which needs percussions in order to bite into a livelier momentum. Frank D's guitar is always so seductive with solos flying over a good phase of progressive electronic rock. We slide towards After 8 Hours, for after 8 hours straight of music, and its introduction inspired by the moments of romance and of wandering from Vangelis. Gradually, the music slides towards a kind of Jazz on a good tempo of Blues. The music is sweet and quite ethereal with Tangerine Dream perfumes, the Jive years, in the harmonies which get built and disintegrated between dense strata of vaporous mist. Let's say that it goes very well between the fury of Lea Hall Brawl and the very solid interpretation of Acoustic Shadows. A title which no longer needs presentation and takes a whole new dimension with the percussions and the guitar riffs. The synths, sequencer and keyboards of Ron Boots and Stephan Whitlan add a depth and give an intense and absolutely stunning character to the music. A whole interpretation my friends! Frank D shines brightly on this album and finishes it with a solid performance in Franky's Floyd which offers an amalgam of Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. The introduction is based on WYWH's wandering solos while the guitar gently flows towards the fabulous solos of Comfortably Numb. And it's as intense, if not more, than David Gilmour in the studio. That gives you an idea! But no matter, this is a solid interpretation of the quartet that gave me some chills. Shivers that I had also in the version of Acoustic Shadows! All and all, AN EVENING WITH FRIENDS is a solid live album with superb renditions and some new improvised tracks. A must for fans of MorPheuSz and Ron Boots!
Sylvain Lupari (February 6th, 2019) ***½**
Available at Groove NL