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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

RON BOOTS: Standing in the Rain (2014)

“This is another Ron Boots' strong album who goes out from Signs in the Sand's complexities in order to give us a strong and very inspired album of e-rock a la Dutch School”

1 A Good Day to Live 10:54 2 Chasing the Rabbit 6:39 3 Closed Eyes 4:20 4 Desolate Station 5:11 5 A Bright New Day 10:23 6 Lament for the Lonely 4:51 7 Of Wolves, Lannisters and Dragons 7:22 8 Longing For 4:37 9 Running from Walkers 7:30 Groove | GR-124 

(CD/DDL 61:48) (V.F.) (Dutch E-Rock)

Two years separate this last Ron Boots' album and the very complex Berlin School style à la Klaus Schulze; Signs in the Sand. Nevertheless, Ron Boots wasn't inactive! Between a delicate surgery, an ambient album and his diverse appearances in festivals in Europe, the big boss of Groove Unlimited worked on a project which meant a lot to him for a long time. In spite of its 9 tracks scattered towards different essences, STANDING IN THE RAIN is a concept album. An album inspired by a multitudes of television series and movies that have left an imprint on Ron Boots' imagination. But it's especially a music tinted with melancholy, as shown very well by the artwork, that has seized the feelings of the spiritual guide of the Dutch School EM during the last two years. And it's flanked of Harold van der Heijden on drums and Frank Dorittke on guitars that Ron Boots has decided to express his feelings, as his passion for life and his world of fantasies on a music which embrace by moments some tints of funk, jazz and, most of all, dark romance. Above all it's a real jump in time, I think of Dreamscape or Acoustic Shadows, that Ron Boots invites us to. Him who has known so well how to get out of the complexities of Signs in the Sand in order to offer us another album which is still as high as our expectations.

A brief wave of melancholy invades our ears as soon as a synth perfumed of sadness and with a sigh which floats like a soul soaked by a saxophone is tipped over by an uncertain movement of bass pulsations. Another line of livelier and more palpitating sequences seizes the opening of A Good Day to Live which rolls now with quick orchestral saccades. While a line of bass is cooing in the background, a superb synth spreads its charms with a too beautiful whistled melody. Everything is in the details! And there are a lot those first 3 minutes of A Good Day to Live. Lines of criss-crossed rhythms, electric mist, an elastic bass line, hidden percussions, dancing jingles, an Oboe tone perfumed of tenderness and wonderful synth solos. Such is the backdrop of this opening track and all those other structures of rhythms, because there are small jewels of tenderness here, which mark out STANDING IN THE RAIN. And this setting leads A Good Day to Live towards a solid e-rock with the drum of Harold van der Heijden and Frank Dorittke's guitar which spits some very incisive solos, making of this track a classic to come in the repertoire of Ron Boots. Chasing the Rabbit is a more electronic track with a bit funky tendency. The rhythm is lively and catchy. That reminds me in some of the best Tangerine Dream in their Sonic Poem Series but with very good synth solos. Lament for the Lonely embraces a little the same kind. It's a nice ballad which nests on a good meshing of agitated and nervous sequences/percussions. The effect gives a slightly tremulous structure. A rather penetrating structure with tears of synth made up by tones of Oboe and beautiful arrangements. This is also some great music from Ron Boots. Moreover, everything in STANDING IN THE RAIN is very appealing. A Bright New Day flirts a little with the same moods. The approach is even a little more in the free jazz style with a zest of blues due to six-strings of F.D. Project. Furthermore, this guitar combined to the solid percussions of Harold van der Heijden add a clearly more musical dimension to the electronic approach of Ron Boots, so much that we would believe to hear MorPheuSz but in a shadowy dimension, a more romantic one. Of Wolves, Lannisters and Dragons, which is very intense by the way, and Running from Walkers are feeding on the same essences but with a more moderated game plan where the slow intros are switching into rough and heavy finales centered on Frank Dorittke's six-strings. There are softer and more melancholic moments with Closed Eyes which is a very dark title with a shower of synth lines which draw an almost apocalyptic soundscape. It's rather melancholic with a lonesome Ron Boots on piano. Longing For is in the same vein, except that the piano cries downright there. It's a very moving track, just like Desolate Station; an intense ballad on a slow rhythm where the trumpet of Onder Nomaler spits superb very nostalgic harmonious solos. These are nice moments of relaxation in STANDING IN THE RAIN which aims to be another Ron Boots' strong album who excels at the art to enhance the standards of EM with an approach which mixes intensity, complexity, ambiguity and musicality. This is great EM we have here to which we listen to with images at full ears...

Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2015) *****

Available at Groove nl.

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