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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RON BOOTS: Once the Dust Settles (2018)

“Once the Dust Settles is a supeb album imagined in the abysses and that will certainly please the aficionados of the sequencer-based style ...”

1 Once the Dust Settles 7:47 2 A Sense of Turmoil 14:49 3 Orbital Paths 22:37 4 Solar Flares Burst with Magic 14:10 Groove | GR-259

(CD 52:23) (V.F.) (Berlin School with ambient beats)

When was the last solo album of Ron Boots? I would go for Standing in the Rain at the very end of 2014, although that he was accompanied of Harold van der Heijden, Frank Dorittke and Onder Nomaler. And yet, the master of the Dutch EM movement has been at all times since 2015. Collaborations with John Kerr, both on records and shows (the Juxtaposition album), convincing Stephan Whitlan to make a come back, same thing for John Dyson! In addition to mastering some of Groove's albums, Ron Boots has set up a series of collaborations that have been all well received by his fans and the fans of his ever-lively style. Between these collaborations, these appearances at prestigious EM festivals and the organizations of the main events of EM in Holland, E-Day and E-Live, Groove's boss has found a way to compose new music that is found on this ONCE THE DUST SETTLES. The result? Well, like everything he touches turns into an album that must be bought, this one is in the tradition of Standing in the Rain and Signs in the Sand, but with a darker touch which establishes a chthonian climate quite close of Tangerine Dream's 74-77 years.

A dark shadow, torn by filaments sizzling like a ball of static electricity but just as cajoled by murmurs of flutes, invites our ears to a fascinating disorder where many lines of synth stir like a knot of waves to take as many shapes than tones. Reverberant roaring or percussions that make roaring the ambiances, the title track of ONCE THE DUST SETTLES plunges the listener into an abyss of darkness electrified by parasitic filaments where floats the sparkling song of a sequencer that shines between synth blades with those cataclysmic perfumes from Vangelis. In its sonic envelope obscured by so many disparate elements, Once the Dust Settles opens the doors of a universe that wobbles between 2 probabilities. One of ambiences and the other of rhythms, but in a state of darkness that does quite Ricochet. A good opening track! It may be that A Sense of Turmoil sounds familiar to you. It's indeed a reworked and shortened version of the title Dream but not of Today from the album Signs in the Sand. Thus, A Sense of Turmoil has a more rock and more suitable to be performed in concert with the usual acolytes of Ron Boots, as well as in a more intimate setting like the one in the Cosmic Night of 2018. But whatever it be, the music is washing our ears with a high level of intensity which is more palpable here. The line of ascending sequences in the background is more present and more sustained, while its finale sparkling of cosmic tones overflows up to the introduction of Orbital Paths. This epic title of nearly 23 minutes is the ultimate peak of ONCE THE DUST SETTLES. Its opening is also dressed in this harmonious tumult which covers the music of this last opus of Ron Boots, whereas the rhythm develops slowly in its progressive envelope doped of intensity. Fragile arpeggios frolic and freeze a sequence weaver of earworm which remains suspended in a stable electronic climate where woosh and waash are pushing sound particles which glitter on the back of a slow symphonic movement filled with emotion. Filaments of sequences get grafted and one of them sculpts a cosmic rodeo whose minimalist approach circulates in continuous circles between the woosh and waash, as well as synth lines whose sinister harmonies dream of the universe of Vangelis. The orchestrations weave a poignant universe and gradually, ambiences and rhythm, deliciously hypnotic by the way, embrace a velocity under huge and intense synth pads stolen to the darkness. The rhythm reaches a stationary phase and flutters like an armada of metallic dragonflies on these layers which position themselves into pillows of mists and violins. Throughout its journey, the structure of Orbital Paths increases its velocity and intensity with the addition of self-taught shadows of sequences and a good throbbing bass as well as breezes from a synth which perfectly scatters its effects and its singing solos. This is a very good Berlin School which is the tradition of the good tracks from Ron Boots and of Klaus Schulze's style with a more contemporary imprint! And it's not over! Take the discreet rhythmic skeleton of A Sense of Turmoil, give it more tone and presence. Graft it then to Solar Flares Burst with Magic and you have another great title from Ron. Its introduction is sewn into a form of nebulosity which is similar to the atmospheric masses of ONCE THE DUST SETTLES. The upward movement of the sequencer hits early! Like a spiral staircase that rises constantly towards the heavens, it climbs relentlessly while being pecked by fickle castanets. The lines of sequences abound here with a vision of tumult, like these balls of lead rolling on a conveyor and these stroboscopic effects in the unfolding of certain lines of sequences which fatten the chaos of this vertical structure, whereas the turbulence of the ambience clings onto the orchestrations, the harmonic solos and pockets of sound effects that surround this circular procession emerging undoubtedly from darkness. And like the other tracks of this album, the rhythm and the ambiences sail with intensity to reach a wilder last part, an even violent ending.

Without flattering too much the pride of our friendly Ron, ONCE THE DUST SETTLES shows that the genius of Ron Boots continues to shine, even with a schedule as busy as his'. His music is always heavy and lively, though more frenzied here and this in both of rhythmic structures and atmospheres, while being surrounded by creative synths rich in effects, orchestrations and solos which are also singing. A great album imagined in the abysses and that will certainly please the aficionados of the sequencer-based style ... Sylvain Lupari (November 21st, 2018) ****¼*

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