Refuge en Verre - Bert Strolenberg

The foundation of the music heard on this release was laid down as Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen (aka Synth.nl) and their families had a nice weekend out in the Belgian Ardennes in a rented house, of which the latter also became the name of the album. Beside the overall moody and relaxed nature of the music of “Refuge en Verre”, the outcome is also proof of the fun musicians can have composing and jamming while complementing each other and enjoying themselves as they immerse into the music. While sometimes the sound and variation of the drums could have been better on certain spots in the first half of the album, there's a lot to like for the warm sound pads and lush synth textures applied in each piece. For me, the highlight on the album is the exciting “La Roche-en-Ardennes” with its great mixture of enthusiastic soloing from both musicians, although it's a pity they occasionally give room to a few fretless bass lines. A close second is the thrilling “Contemple du ciel” with its great groovy bass line and airy synth scapes hovering over it, while a pleasant Vangelis-flavour shines through the evocative track “Rosee du Matin”. A more powerful and up-tempo statement is made on “Combat des coqs”, which offers nice free style elements next to the sound of coqs calling to each other.  “Refuge en Verre” makes me wish to see these two musicians perform this live some time.

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