RON BOOTS & SYNTH NL: Refuge en Verre (2010)
Updated: Mar 2, 2021
“In short, a beautiful album, very melodious and full of charm that can be listened to like if to take the time to live”
1 Refuge en Verre 12:16
2 La Roche en Ardenne 8:37
3 Orage d'Été 8:07
4 Coucher du Soleil 10:24
5 Contemple du Ciel 8:13
6 Rosée du Matin 5:15
7 Combat des Coqs 11:21
8 Soleil Levant 6:22
(CD 70:39) (V.F.)
REFUGE EN VERRE is the name of a chalet located in the Belgian Ardennes. It's also the place where Michel van Osenbruggen, better known as Synth.nl, and Ron Boots sealed a friendship following a family weekend where synths and laptops were in the middle of the food and, above all, where the panorama was conducive to an inspiration that precisely nourished these synths and laptops. Family meeting in an absolutely magnificent place, according to the description given by the two friends, it didn't take more to compose an album that soaks in a friendly ambience. A REFUGE EN VERRE where the rhythmic and melodious duality that inhabits and differentiates the musical universes of both accomplices is completed throughout this sweet opus made in different tangents and musical visions.
A distant synth breath with cosmic flavors opens the title-track. Layers roam along a galaxy where children's voices are nevertheless heard. It feels like a morning when life awakens behind a dome of fog coming from a mellotron and where nature comes to life with butterfly wings which beat on nervous percussions. Waves whistle in this chimerical firmament, crossing a morning stillness. And slowly, as if not to wake up the whole universe, the rhythm settles down with a syncopated line which supports the percussions and the belt the mellotron layers. Synth solos fuse with density and acuity on a melodious line of dreamlike and poetic sweetness, thus enveloping the first half of Refuge en Verre. The rhythm gets isolated from his solos around the 5th minute to take a less dreamy approach, but just as warm, where keyboard chords sculpt a soft jazzy approach on a structure always agitated by a spasmodic line of rhythm. The long forms of solos return to twist around Refuge en Verre, witness of the rhythmic and melodious duality of Ron Boots and Synth.nl. Small sound particles whirl around the opening of La Roche-en-Ardenne. A brief atmospheric introduction that a good blow of percussions turns off abruptly to ignite a street-gang beat with hammering which are pounding a sturdy stroll where synth solos twirl around a heavy bass line à la Patrick O'Hearn which bites in the pace. A title very close to the melodious rhythms of Synth.nl, just like the furious and very rock Combat des Coqs. A fine shower crossed by distant thunders and rocked by the sweet scents of a solitary synth opens Orage d'Été. The synth is soft and sings on a light rhythmic split by bursts of percussions and hooves which crisscross a road for souls in search of a refuge. A beautiful atmospheric title which transcends a little the ambiguous and static rhythms of the sounds of desert fields by Steve Roach and Rudy Adrian.
Very languid, bordering on sensual, Coucher du Soleil presents a prismatic intro where synth breaths weave an ocher veil. A subdued veil, like the faint light of a sun which embraces the twilight of the day, on a soft rhythm drawn by electronic percussions with hypnotic bounces. Tender mellotron layers, inundated with wandering choirs, waltz with beautiful synth solos. They awaken weak bell chords and crisscross a duality of rhythms with a syncopated line which dances back to give a warm and unique dimension to one of the very beautiful titles of REFUGE EN VERRE. Also presenting a very atmospheric introduction, Contemple du Ciel awakens on a structure that swirls in harmony between layers of synths that exchange solos and harmonies on light percussions like sequenced handclaps by Jean-Michel Jarre. Synths and mellotrons dance lasciviously around an undulating structure that winds the sky like a staircase to the stars. A soft and very harmonious track with the Arabic scents of good synth solos. Rosée du Matin is the most ambient title of the album. A solitary synth concerto which mourns its loneliness in the morning dew. A very beautiful title which recalls Vangelis and his Opera Sauvage. Soleil Levant concludes this first Synth.nl, and Ron Boots collaboration with a heavy track stuffed with long twisted solos. A bouncy cadence envelops an intro which floats in the mellotron mists of a contemplative wandering. A spasmodic rhythm line flutters between heavy percussions and a beautiful bass line which weaves the rhythmic frame of Soleil Levant whose ascending rhythm is riddled with strident, but superb, synth solos.
Heavy rhythms, poetic ambiences, a fusion of synth with harrowing solos and harmonies on a background of Vangelis and Steve Roach (not to say Ron Boots), hybrid sequences where the percussions marinate wonderfully with the chords of sequencers; Here is the recipe for REFUGE EN VERRE. A good EM album which has no weak moments and where the presence of Ron Boots in the universe of Synth.nl adds an incredible depth to his Jarre rhythms' influences and Vangelis melodies which inspire too the panoramas of Michel van Osenbruggen. In short, a beautiful album, very melodious and full of charm that can be listened to like if to take the time to live.
Sylvain Lupari (November 23rd, 2010) ***½**
Available at Groove NL