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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Sequential Mixed Up - The Best of REWO (2014)

What we have here is a fair compilation of nice music which shows all the facets of REWO

1 Gruga Platz 4 20:51 2 Numerus Fixus Part 6 (Extended) 11:53 3 Golden Dreams of Silver Elements (Remix) 14:26 4 Go Quiet (2011 version) 9:44 5 Sequential Tourism 16:11 6 Far Across the Heavens (2011 version) 8:42 7 Get Quieter (2011 version) 9:44 8 Arcadia (2011 version) 18:17 REWO Bandcamp

(DDL 109:53) (V.F.) (Sequencer based Cosmic Rock)

The holiday season and the end of the year are often synonymous with avalanches of CD boxes, remixes and / or compilations for record companies as well as independent artists. The year 2014 was not spared with gifts from DiN music and Ultimae Records, without forgetting these artists who offered a selection of their best songs at more than affordable prices in order to make their music better known. SEQUENTIAL MIXED-UP (The Best of REWO) has exactly that goal. And we can say that René van der Wouden hits the nail on the head. This Dutch artist / synthesist makes no compromises! His music, strongly inspired by the sequenced model of the Berlin School and by the cosmic approaches of the French School, makes a snub at the more melodic rhythms and the more ethereal atmospheres of the Dutch School. The synthesist likes to exploit long structures, establishing slow ambient intros which gradually pour out in rhythms which become more and more ferocious. At this level, Gruga Platz 4 with its heavy and sustained rhythm, which foments in a long introduction nourished by metallic screeches which exceed the bar of 6 minutes, will throw you on the ground with a rhythmic rhythm of an incredible violence which will recall that of Bernd Kistenmacher in Let it Out. Superb! I also scheduled it for the program 5 of Murmure du Son. This compilation is focused on the albums Alchemia, 2006, Universal Quiet and Sequential Tourism, released in 2008, and finally Numerus Fixus, released in 2009. Each title has been remixed, remastered and even reworked with the addition of sequences and new tones. Only Gruga Platz 4 is a new track, having been composed and performed during a concert at Gruga Park Essen on June 4, 2011.

After this powerful track that washes the ears, Numerus Fixus Part 6 lands with a version lengthened of almost 4 minutes. The sound is more current and clearly more detailed with pulsations which resound more. And the addition of sequences brings another dimension, as rhythmic but also more melodic than on the original version. Golden Dreams of Silver Elements and Far Across the Heavens are two tracks which take advantage the most of these benefactions of a new remaster with a new sequencing and cosmic tones. Golden Dreams of Silver Elements keeps its approach of static rhythm which swirls into brief spirals made up by jerky loops. Already that the original movement of sequences was very unforeseen, here it radiates of a more accentuated approach with more lines of sequences which wind these uncountable loops. Far Across the Heavens is the track which has got the most beautiful sound-lift. Even heavier, the rhythm feeds on the oscillations of an analog Moog. The spirit of Tangerine Dream and Chris Franke's hyperactive sequences, and their dances a bit free-and-easy, is very present on this heavy and lively track. A little like in Get Quiet which is another strong track with some very TD sonic fragrances. Coming from the Universal Quiet album, this track is quite underestimated with furious sequenced oscillations which undulate under the charms of a synth to the perfumes of East. From the same album, Go Quiet offers a finely jerky rhythmic which spreads its coat of ions to the intermittent jolts in the sinister envelopes of a morphic synth. Out of the album of the same name, Sequential Tourism was my first real crush with the Van der Wouden universe. This is very Jean-Michel Jarre, as much in the sequences of oscillating loops, of which the heaviness ends to get the upper hand over the velocity, than in its attractive cosmic envelope. Even if the differences are less blatant here than on the other tracks of this compilation, the same goes for Arcadia from the same album, to re-hear these two tracks of Sequential Tourism shows the Ying and the Yang which cuts clearly Rene van der Wouden's works.

With this nice mix of Jarre and Tangerine Dream, SEQUENTIAL MIXED-UP (The Best of REWO) is a beautiful, but above all, a fair compilation of René van der Wouden's very uneven universe. And when I say uneven, I do not say it in a pejorative sense. Far from there! The author chose aptly a series of tracks, showing the vast gap which marks slightly too often his music. Like the man from REWO is capable of sculpturing structures that make you totally hooked from the first listening, as he is capable of testing your patience with long introductions which always eventually give birth to a trick that is very pleasant to the ear. Gruga Platz 4 and Arcadia are striking examples of his universe sometimes strongly tinted with paradox. But when it starts, hold your hats with both your hands and feet.

Sylvain Lupari (January 18th, 2015) *****

Available at René van der Wouden Bandcamp

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