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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RON BOOTS: Ante Oculos (2011)

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Ante Oculos is a wonderful opus where fantasy goes alongside reality

1 Ad Temporum Sidelines. 7:55

2 Xenophobes and Other Weirdos!! 7:37

3 Ante Oculos 15:38

4 Can we Predict ? Part I 11:15

5 Can we Predict ? Part II 11:55

6 The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past. 7:40

7 Sole Novum 5:42

(CD/DDL 67:42) (V.F.)

(Berlin School)

According to the prophecies of the Mayans and Nostradamus, 2012 would be a year of cataclysmic events that would mean the end of the world. Other movements, both alarmist and philosophical, argue that 2012 would be a year of great climatic upheavals and transitions that would lead the world and its inhabitants towards a major awareness already undertaken in 2011. Immensely poetic and introspective, ANTE OCULOS rests in a very beautiful artwork in pastel colors where a fairy draws circles of life on a land that seems virginal. Has Ron Boots lost hope? Still, his latest opus is woven in the veins of a universe that seeks itself and is afraid. Always so musical, Ron Boots lies down a very lyrical concept album where EM rubs shoulders with a progressive approach with a zest of melancholy and apprehension. ANTE OCULOS is a superb album with intense, moving and powerful passages where reflection touches passion and which brings us closer to our values while questioning us about the prospects of our planet.

Being on a boat and cut through the water with the purity of the winds. It's the impression that rocks us when limpid synth waves crisscross under the lost chords of an acoustic guitar. Ad Temporum Sidelines. falls in our ears like a splendid electro-acoustic ballad where the soft riffs of an acoustic six-string scribble a woodland melody under choirs of mist and arpeggios streaming with limpidity, a bit like a stream of singing diamonds in the furrows of an enchanted forest. And the sweet rhythm amplifies its oneiric sweetness with melodic organ tones' synth pads, singing with a wounded voice the pains of a broken earth in the eclectic breaths of a synth with iridescent radiations. It's a superb, very poignant title. More percussive with a very nice fusion of echoic, metallic, slamming percussions and cosmic gas tones, Xenophobes and Other Weirdos !! flies on good orchestral arrangements whose violin envelopes harmoniously cross the chords of a drifting keyboard. Discreet, the synth is nonetheless very effective with its morphic and spectral layers which float and tighten a movement as slow as heavy. Shimmered particles of dust ring and float among the dark choirs blowing on the electronic arcs of Can we Predict? Part I. The ambience is heavy and lethal with powerful symphonic synth breaths à la Vangelis which ululate in a sound fauna with analog reminiscences. Dark and apocalyptic, Can we Predict? Part I waltzes into the void with heavy synth layers to futuristic fragrances of which multiple keys shine with a bluish iridescence and cling to dying breaths à la Blade Runner. It's incredibly rich and intense.

Can we Predict? Part II follows with subtle riffs which hiccup under heavy metallic breaths. Cymbals bring the tssitt-tssitt, awakening soft pulsations and shaking percussions which fall of a debonair carelessness. On a rhythm with funky jazz tendencies, the track escapes from its heavy hold to wiggle with a cool rhythm nourished by fine crystalline arpeggios which jump in a universe full of hoops with vocal resonances. Good, twisted solos are hovering over this delicate rhythm which is metamorphosed with the approach of percussions in tones of metal and glass. Percussions which put Can we Predict? Part II on its apocalyptic road with celestial choirs singing under industrial reverberations and synth layers heralding a darkness that will cover the earth of an immense veil of regrets. After this eschatological ode, The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past. falls in the ears with the virginal freshness of electronic ballads. Fine chords with tones of a medieval harp roll in loops, paving the way to FD Projekt's chiseled solos which sing solitary, awaiting the arrival of percussions and their felted resonances. Heavy and morphic, the rhythm waltzes with more mordant when more sustained percussions fall and pound this slow rhythm. Like the reflections of the sun after an ashen night, Sole Novum's first arpeggios dance with sweet orchestrations. The rhythm is lively, full of optimism. The synth solos illuminate with gaiety and the keyboard chords breathe of happiness, like a dance of innocent lovers without memories, nor remorse and without malice… none of that! A bit like our ancestors!

Over the years Ron Boots has gotten us used to solid albums and I have to admit that ANTE OCULOS is a notch above. The Dutch synthesist weaves a very intense cinematographic musical universe where several styles get entangled in superb harmonies, both meditative and apocalyptic. I love his powerful Blade Runner symphonic outbursts that feed Can we Predict? as well as this violin which weeps over torrents of percussions on the title-track. And what about Ad Temporum Sidelines. and The Sorrow Remains of Things that Past.? ANTE OCULOS has no weakness or downtime. It's a splendid album where fantasy meets reality and where musicality has nothing to envy to originality.

Sylvain Lupari (January 31st, 2011) *****

Available at Groove nl

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