RON BOOTS: Current (1997)
“A solid album crammed with sometimes neurotic and hypnotic rhythms where the harmonies carve out a dreamlike universe”
1 Current (Part 1) 16:08
2 Ambiguity 9:22
3 Alignment 9:02
4 Below Paradise (Current Part 2) 9:20
5 Close Call 11:30
6 Reciprocal 10:32
7 Smiles 5:15
(CD/DDL 71:09) (V.F.)
Although CURRENT is Ron Boots' 16th album and is over a dozen years old, it has aged very well. It's a hard-hitting album with lively and heavy structures which are in constant permutations. An opus which proves above all the impact of the Dutch synthesist on the evolution of contemporary Berlin School. A particularly good album crammed with sometimes neurotic, sometimes hypnotic rhythms where the harmonies carve out a dreamlike universe. Harold van der Heijden lends his help on drums, giving this so much hard-hitting appearance to those electronic rhythm parts that fill the album with just what it correctly needs. A good presence from Harold that keeps us on the beat.
Current (Part I) gets the ball rolling with short and intriguing whispers. Quietly this epic title settles its foundations with a sequencer which skips nervously, accompanied by a discreet synth with fluty tunes. Without wasting time, Ron handles the rhythms, adding a bassline which drags on a livelier sequencer and a synth with delicately ringing notes, drawing a captivating melody that revolves around a constantly evolving structure. The rhythm is heavy, especially with the enveloping layers which coat this melody which is intended as a hypnotic semi-rhyme. Subtly, the rhythm gets circular with intersecting sequencer lines and a heavier synth which plunges into an atmospheric universe where everything is slowed down and hesitant. A vague sound universe, and its magnificent synth layers, which awakens with a heavy galloping sequencer which skips with more strength. Current (Part 1) is heading towards a superb Berlin School's trotting structure with good drum hits and solos which accentuate the rhythmic cadence as much as the sonic acuity. A great fiery track, just like Below Paradise (Current Part 2) which is an even heavier, more rhythmic and explosive suite.
After a heavy and slightly variegated atmospheric intro, Ambiguity comes alive on a floating bass line and a synth whose reverberating circles pile up on another synth source with its short spectral breaths. The structure is activated on an electronic drums which arranges a semi-disco cadence with bursts which strike in a very syncretic electronic universe. Alignment is our first atmospheric meeting. A heavy title which feeds on its reverberations and which struggles to hide a synth, so the solos finely pierce this charged ambience. Without noticing it too much, Harold van der Heijden sets up a lascivious cadence forming a sensual rhythm. A slow pace which revolves around a synth with more frank solos and which is felted by discreet choirs. Close Call starts curtly! Percussions on sequencer's keys skipping among clear keyboard chords, Close Call is wrapped around a synth with atmospheric layers and where strange voices multiply behind a slow rhythm, which will constantly accentuate its pace, with chords pounding on waltzing synth. Reciprocal opens with a thunderstorm and a bass line that blows a slow rhythm. Ringing notes are dropping multi-sonic prisms under a thin resounding layer, while the tempo takes shape on a hesitant structure. A nervous cadence with jerky movement which is trapped in an almost atonal and hypnotic musical static on a distant lyrical synth and fine scattered percussions. A good title of cosmic sweetness which reveals some pretty nice crystalline sounds. Smiles is a short energetic track with a whistling synth, a strong drum and a nervous sequencer. Ideal for a dance floor!
Sylvain Lupari (July 19th, 2011) *****
Available at Groove
(This is one of my oldest reviews that was never published in English)