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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RON BOOTS: See Beyond Times And Look Beyond Words (2008)

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

This is the kind of album where diversity does its charm while displaying the immense possibilities of EM

1 Hour of the Wolf 15:52

2 A Walk In The Rain 13:31

3 Boellistian 12:08

4 Storms Over IO 12:25

5 Harbours 2:27

6 Radar 8:24

7 We Are Off 5:44

(CD/DDL 70:56) (V.F.)

(Berlin & Netherlands Schools)

Dark minimalism loops sway in the misty corridors of a dreamlike hypnosis. Inundated with cosmic waves, these circles become more airy, wandering under a simple pulsation which wanders among smooth synth layers borrowing the scent of a soft vocal breeze. Leaving these very Klaus Schulze ambiences, Hour of the Wolf wakes up with a furious rhythm well installed on its mesh of lively percussions and stormy sequences. The solos that run and dance there belong to the fingers of Gert Emmens whose tones are no longer to be explained, just to be appreciated. The 12th minute sees a line of more scintillating sequences appear, dividing the charms of Hour of the Wolf between the skill of the sequencers, as well as Ron Boots' synth and the great skill of Emmens on the synth solos. A big title which sees its rhythm gradually decrease and which is a fabulous preamble of an artist who exploits an EM as harmonious as progressive, at times daring.

A science fiction enthusiast and prolific composer, Ron Boots is also the founder of the Groove label. As such, he is deeply involved in the productions of his label by producing the majority of albums there, with the same ardor and the same passion as his original works. SEE BEYOND TIMES & LOOK BEYOND WORLD is a quality album with a lot of musical research, as we discover several albums of the genre on Groove, that artists of the Dutch label, and friends of the Boss, came to show off their knowledge by participating in the composition of a lively and dynamic EM that explores both retro Berlin School and the new phases. Among the guest artists, we find the names of Harold Van Der Heijden and Henri Peeters who participated in the blooming of A Walk in the Rain. After a very electronic introduction, the rhythm follows a spasmodic gait creating a hesitant structure which is carried away in a long unbridled phase, because of HVD Heijden's percussions who beats an increasingly rapid measure. In fact, the rhythmic escalation is more of a challenge for Boots and Peeters to deploy synth and guitar solos, furious here, while forcing Ron Boots to play the sequencer in order to also challenge Van Der Heijden's octopus arms. A big title for those who like a corrosive electronic rock! With its heavy buzzing spatial intro and tape-delay effects, Boellistian, owned by Ron and Paul Ellis, is in the fine tradition of an Ashra-style Berlin School. The structure is minimalist and very edgy, not to say jerky, and serves as the basis for countless synth and guitar solos, while the impression of hearing Harold Van Der Heijden on drums is more than likely, but not mentioned. Paul Ellis is very good at the guitar. His solos are dizzying while his talk-box effects take us back to the heart of the 80's with Talking Head in mind.

Storms over Io goes from galactic calm to electronic frenzy with an intro tinted with a cosmic grayness à la Klaus Schulze. A nervous bass line activates the rhythm which wanders under a mellotron's chthonian choir surrounded by cymbals fluttering with electric energy. The rhythm rolls and oscillates in cascade, multiplying its speed with aggressive percussions and a daring keyboard that propels countless solos with sonic arcs that are both complex and musical. A dull industrial hum surrounds the cosmic, and oceanic, ambiences of Harbors which is a short introduction to the very progressive Radar. A crazy and wild track in a progressive space rock, its piano runs there in a vision out of phase with respect to the rhythm. Ditto for the guitar! The synth solos are languidly slow on a structure that reminds me of the best moments of K-Prism, this daring album made by Richard Pinhas and Georges Grumblatt. I'm telling you, it's the kind of title that will charm you for weeks! Ron Boots is accompanied by Frank Van Bogaert, Harold Van Der Heijden and Henri Peeters on this totally crazy track. We are Off concludes with a lighter approach. From beautiful synth pop to futuristic arrangements and catchy melody by a keyboard sequenced in legato chord and good guitar solos, or whatever looks like it.

BEYOND TIMES & LOOK BEYOND WORLD is this kind of album where diversity, one could even say its lack of homogeneity, does its charm while displaying the immense possibilities of computer-assisted music. A name of snobs to describe EM. A very beautiful album by Ron Boots which transcends the genre in a creative framework without borders.

Sylvain Lupari (October 18th, 2008) ****½*

Available at Groove NL

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