Put into music the inspiration and comprehension that you have from a painting of a painter from our country, such is the basic idea of this new Groove Unlimited album. This rather original concept, and very audacious, germed in the mind of Michel van Osenbruggen (Synth.nl) and leads in the form of compilation album entitled "Dutch Masters Vol.1". Now, I don't really know my history of art, thus I cannot judge the degree of comprehension that every artist can makes from a painting, but I do know music enough to admit that there are great inspirations among the 9 countrymen of Michel who agreed to take up this artistic challenge. An album compilation represents as many ideas and orientations which emerge that styles which intertwine and "Dutch Masters Vol.1" includes 10 tracks which don't all converge in the same style and of which composers' talents differs from an artist to another. There are superb moments on this compilation, as there are holes and some lengths. But the editing and mastering made by Ron Boots correct these differents and made of "Dutch Masters Vol.1" a beautiful hyper melodious album with very nice pearls.
The first pearl goes to Synth.nl and his "Nachtwacht". It's surprising to see the progression and maturity this artist who offers here a gorgeous melody which sounds like the best of Vangelis. It starts with a violin synth which sings among bells and hubbubs of a public market. A delicate piano deposits its notes to espouse and replace the violin melody while a discreet sequence emerges to flicker and that a bass line adds more depth. Soon, synth and piano tune their harmonies. But the synth overflows and offers brief nasal solos, while "Nachtwacht" progresses slowly towards a sublime bolero with choirs which hum and a drum rolls and hammers a military march in a delicate ambiance as melodious as melancholic.It's very nice quite as Remy's "Ascending and Descending" who goes on with a theatrical track to nightmarish ambiances. Fine crystalline arpeggios climb the stairs in a movement which follows the music scale. They permutes into a sequential movement which goes up and down in a long spiral filled with composite tones. A hiccupping sequential line is add and draws a rotary movement, snatched by percussions which hammer a heavy rhythm and of long solos which chisel a crazy race, as much crazy than surrealist. Gert Emmens' "Muurhuizen" follows with a sober and suave rhythmic structure which will know some subtle permutations. Chords spin slightly in a synth mist, while drum implosions shake the structure and that spectral solos are circulating there, from which one is escaping around the 2nd minute to make deviated "Muurhuizen" towards a warmer tempo with its breezes of ethereal synth. Towards the 4th minute the tempo still delicately permutes with a nice dance of twinkling arpeggios, watered by great synth solos. A little as Synth.nl, Eric van der Heijden's "Nuit étoilée sur le Rhône" is strongly tinted with a romanticism à la Vangelis. This is a pleasant surprise with a delicate keyboard which frees its chords in a beautiful melancholy wrapped with suav e orchestral arrangements, among which a poignant violin which fetches the emotion. It's very nice, soft, quiet and deeply moving with mellotron impetus which smooth such as spectres of sadness. After a soft intro Void's "Temptation" plunges into a heavy rhythm supported by pulsating sequences and electronic percussions. Heavy, long and sinuous solo glance through this structure, which could easily be compared to heavy EM with a gradation in the intonations barely touching the influences of a Jarre and Mark Shreeve. It's striking and a bit out of tune from the structure of "Dutch Masters Vol.1" but it also gives the taste to discover the musical universe of Void. Rene Splinter is the other unknown name to me and his track "Tower of Babel" shows a strong influence for the music of Tangerine Dream with a melodious structure of the 80's where metallic sequences alternate in a sweet and complex anarchy beneath fine and delicate synth solos. I quite like this propensity for a bit complex structure with nice arrangements which end with a solitary piano. That's another artist to watch for. Bas Broekhuis' "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" is another small jewel which dresses of a mesmerizing Berlin School structure à la Keller and Schönwälder. Soft chords sounding as an electric guitar skip slightly in a dense mellotron foggy. A mellotron violin which espouses the quiet sensualism of a bass line, shaken by cymbals to nervous jingles. The synth releases a scent of harmony with its violin which is floating of sweetness morphic on arrhythmic pulsations and percussions to delicate hypnotic strikes. Quietly "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" evolves with its pulsating hypnotic structure which permutes in a fine technoïd approach, before resuming its mesmerizing structure which fades little by little letting glimpse these fine discreet choirs which smell with soft keyboard and piano notes which embrace the sweetness of its intro. Atonal but a stalk melodious with its synth to multiple violin layers which intertwine in an infinite melancholy, Ron Boots' "Tuin Der Lusten" spreads its melancholy with hatched strata which intermingle in others more fluid. Complex, dramatic and corrosive, in accordance with Hieronymus Bosch paint, it follows very well the orchestral ambiances of "Forrest Machines - Wuivend Riet" but with sad plentiful layers which create a glaucous atmosphere. After an intro to various eclectic and experimental stages, René van der Wouden's "The Zeppelin" takes its flight on hesitating sequences which increase the pace on an ascending minimalist movement, accompanied by a verbal synth and heteroclite sound effects. Th at's an enchanting track, by its minimalist ascending approach, which will break the chains of its spellbinding to establish a dynamic rhythmic where crystalline arpeggios sparkle on heavy deviating rhythmic and resonant sequences. Strongly inspired by Jean Michel Jarre (Within the Parallel) Meesha encloses this last
Groove Unlimited compilation with the very nice and lively "Back To Square One" where reminiscences of Jarre can't be ignored on a beautiful melody forged in the spatial universe of the French synthesist. It's quite a nice track surrounded with rhythms and sound effects à la Jarre, leading towards a galactic western which shows that the abundance of styles and the meshing of 10 ideas on a compilation album can bring its lot of interesting surprises.
"Dutch Masters Vol.1" is a nice compilation which embellishes as we listen to it. It's a great album that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and which can serve the causes of EM and its fans, because those who are obstinately anxious to obtain all the tracks from Remy, Ron Boots or Gert Emmens will find beautiful finds with artists such as Synth.nl, Eric v.d. Heijden and Bas Broekhuis as well as heavier ones such as Void and René van der Wouden, while Rene Splinter and Meesha are undoubtedly worth a to be listen too.