RON BOOTS: Awakening At Booth's Palace (2014)
“Ron Boots' music lost in the boldness of MorPheuSz, Awakening At Booth's Palace is a solid album of progressive electronic rock!”
1 Morphology 11:25 2 At the Booth Palace 28:39 3 DGF 16:29 4 Sometimes it Works 10:45 Groove Unlimited | GR-215
(CD/DDL 67:18) (V.F.) (Progressive Electronic Rock)
Ron Boots is a central character in the universe of contemporary EM. The one that we can easily compare with big names such as Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese opened the barriers of EM in his native Holland by setting up a prestigious label, which aligns constantly works and artists of high quality, and by organizing major festivals of EM; E-Dayand E-Live, two events which underline the spring and the autumn one of Ron Boots' favorite seasons. At the same time, he takes part in other festivals, bringing with him the fresh sound breezes of the Netherlands School. This is how he finds himself in the famous The Awakenings festival in Burton upon Trent in England on September 13th, 2014. A special evening which stars some big names of the Dutch EM of which the road was laboriously opened up by Ron Boots. Flanked by Eric Van Der Heijden on keyboards, Frank Dorittke on guitars and by Harold van der Heijden, superb on drums, Ron Boots offered excerpts from Standing in the Rain in a musical approach which included the magic of MorPheuSz, in particular the elements of the very good Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams. The encore, Sometimes it Works, regrouped all the Dutch artists present in this evening, either MorPheuSz, Beyond Berlin, Rene de Bakker and René Splinter in a moment of pure magic with a great minimalist Berlin School track. Offered in a limited edition, and possibly in a download format, AWAKENINGS AT BOOTH'S PALACE is the audio witness of this great special event.
Confused murmur of voices behind a microphone, waves of synth twisted by melancholy and metallic noises which clink behind a wide bank of sizzling smoke, the introduction of Morphology shakes these atmospheres in order to merge all these elements in some hoops of metal which clash their circles in a figure of rhythm as much charming as abstract. Floating riffs of keyboard get out from these mists while Frank Dorittke's guitar wakes up quite slowly and take the harmonic control of a lively and spasmodic phase of rhythm. His six-strings is riding on the rhythm which is supported by a good drum and by the fluty airs of the synths. Effects of synth add a touch of psychedelism with loops which roll on a structure of which the anarchy will never have been so melodic. Morphology turns out to be a very nice electronic rock with a good drum and good guitar solos while that Ron Boots and Eric Van Der Heijden assure the electronic part with good effects and a sober sequencing pattern. Between the melancholic and melodious approaches of Standing in the Rain and the progressive lanes of MorPheuSz, the breezes of Tantalizing Thoughts at the Dawn of Dreams are floating all around here, AWAKENINGS AT BOOTH'S PALACE is an album at the height of From the Forgotten Rooms of a Lonely House; a split album where Ron Boots and MorPheuSz divided the 60 minutes of music in it. Except that here, the four artists are together on stage all the time in the MorPheuSz outfit. At the Booth Palace exploits completely its 29 minutes to develop an introduction misted by nebulous fog which is pierced by a waddling movement of sequences. The guitar lets float some chords which get mix to the dark pulsations while a synth shapes a kind of a suspended brook and whereas the other one frees harmonies gently whistled. Little by little At the Booth Palace weighs down its atmospheres with a line of bass sequences which climbs an invisible peak and a synth which plasticizes a sound wall braided by placid waves and by drizzle. Slow and heavy, it is rather lively. We wave of the neck. It's more electronic with some very present synths which create warm atmospheres on a rhythm where the bass sequences gallop slightly on a sober play of percussions. The music becomes more silent at the 13th minute point where the effects of brook remain and where a breeze of flute amazes our more attentive ears. Frank Dorittke is seasoning this moment of serenity where the fragrances of the 70's (Stratosfear on top) embalm our senses. And quietly At the Booth Palace wakes up to reach a finale which will switch its heavy rhythm for ambient phases and a cosmic blues fed by good solos, and by the guitar and by the synths. After a slow and very electronic introduction, DGF proposes a rather lively rhythm which is sculpted by slow circular undulations. The structure reaches a wall of atmospheres in the halfway, where the shadows of the initial structure always roam, before taking back its flight with a more steady structure. There are perfumes of Pink Floyd here, and that smells the improvisation at full nose. But not as long as on Sometimes it Works where the guest musicians are joining MorPheuSz for one encore which comprises all the perfumes of the EM from the analog years and the strength of the electronic progressive rocks of the Dutch quartet. The introduction is magnetizing with lines of synths perfumed of the trumpets of Jericho which shout on a hypnotic down-tempo. The guests add their touches on this slow rhythm which is bitten and thrown by the guitar of F.D. towards the galloping tops, a structure of rhythm which returns constantly in this album.
I don't know if there are copies left at the moment I wrote these lines. AWAKENINGS AT BOOTH'S PALACE was printed in a very limited edition. I saw some copies left on the Groove web shop. If so, I suggest to the fans of a wild and heavy progressive EM a la Porcupine Tree and Ozric Tentacles to jump on this occasion because I am convinced that the fans of MorPheuSz have jumped at both feet on this rather creative album for an evening where the music of Ron Boots gets melt so smoothly to that of MorPheuSz, and vice versa. This is solid progressive electronic rock!
Sylvain Lupari (November 20th, 2015) *****
Available at Groove nl