I have liked the music of Vangelis since I heard the first tones of his Spiral and one of the most famous synthesizers he used is of course the Yamaha CS-80. I always loved that sound. Put it through a Lexicon 224 and I can play all day and feel like Vangelis. Unfortunately I never owned a CS-80 because they are very rare and very expensive. I did own a CS-50 and later a CS-60 with midi even. They come close but they do lack one thing: Polyphonic aftertouch. That is what set the CS-80 apart from every other synthesizer. So I has always been on my wish list, but it just never happened. Then I came across the Deckard's Dream project from the company Black Corporation. They have created a synthesizer in rack mount form that is heavily inspired by the CS-80. They don't want to call it a clone, but it comes so close that the rest of the world does. They both sell it a as a complete synthesizer and as a DIY kit. So I decided to build my own. I documented the whole build process. I you want to read about it you can go here:http://synthnl.blogspot.com/search/label/deckards%20dream
Another very nice review came in on the BorkHavn album I did together with Ron Boots. This time by Bert Strolenberg of Sonic Immersion. He gave our album 4 stars. Which is actually a lot since Bert very rarely gives our more and he put the 'My Choice' label on the review which mean he would buy the album himself. You can find the review on his website on this url: http://www.sonicimmersion.org/ron-boots-synthnl-borkhavn/. I also put the text of the review below (Press More). More information on the album here: https://www.synth.nl/music/collaborations/borkhavn
I wish you all the very best for 2021! I hope it will be a better year than 2020 and that there will be Electronic Music events again where we can meet in real live. Let's make 2021 a Happy Synth Year! I'm currently working hard on new music, so I hope to bring you some new releases as well in 2021. I spend New Years Eve together with Ron Boots and his wife Monique and my girlfriend Sonja. I also brought the music for the new album (about dinosaurs) along with me and played for Ron what I had so far in his studio. He liked it a lot so that is good news and motivates to continue working on it. He also liked my dinosaur sounds and how I integrated them into the music :) I hope to see you all soon. Stay healthy and Safe!
As you all know I like to use my own recorded samples in my music. I went out a lot with my portable audio recorder to sample ocean sounds, rain, wind, thunder or dolphins or whatever else I needed. But when you make an album about dinosaurs that is a bit difficult since they are no longer around. So last week I decided to start designing my own dinosaur sound effects. My inspiration was of course Jurassic park because nobody knows how they actually sounded. Of course I could not use the sounds from the movies since, first of all it is not allowed due to copyright and secondly there is usually talking or music or other noises over the sounds. I recorded and collected a lot of animal sounds over the years and I used them for this purpose. Since dinosaurs where very big you can imagine they make big and low sounds. Most of the work was first cleaning up the sounds. Removing background noise and wind noise and after that stretching the sounds to make them longer en lowering the pitch. After that I layered multiple animal sounds together for the maximum effect. In the picture there is a little give away which sounds I made. There will be tracks about these animals on the album. But there is still a lot of work to be done before you can listen.
Yesterday the German Music Club Schallwende released their 23rd sampler CD called 'SchallPlatte'. They released this CD only to the member of the club to give them a nice holiday present because all the concerts were canceled due to the Corona crisis. My track is called 'Gemini'. This track was inspired by the Gemini Space program that superseded the Apollo missions to the Moon. The Gemini project ran from 1964 en 1966 and was basically a dress rehearsal for Apollo. I didn't compose much new music since my Apollo album in 2011, so this track felt a bit like a dress rehearsal again for me too. Since the beginning of 2020 I finally have a small studio again in Rotterdam (NL) after having to sell everything because of my divorce. I'm currently working on several new solo projects, but this was the first track produced in my new and very small 'Jurassic' studio. I hope you like it. You can listen to the track on my website on this url: https://www.synth.nl/music/samplers/schallplattexxiii. The CD is not for sale officially, but Groove Unlimited might have a few in their web shop later on. I will let you know if they are available and put the link on the website.
Now that the BorkHavn CDs are in also the first reactions are coming in. This is always the nicest part about releasing an album. As you might know producing this kind of music you don't do for the money, but it is nice if you can make people happy with your music. So far reactions have been very positive and BorkHavn also got some radio airplay already. But also the first reviews are coming in. I wanted to share this very nice review by the German Electronic Music club Schallwende with you. It was written by the CEO herself. It was originally in German, but it was translated to English here. The link to the original German version is here: https://www.synth.nl/reviews/borkhavn/1213-borkhavn-schallwende
Ron Boots & Synth.nl: - BorkHavn
It has taken eight long years and now she is finally here! "BorkHavn", the second collaboration of Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen, better known in the EM-Scene as Synth.NL. This great record was created as a rough version during a relaxed family holiday of the Boots' and van Osenbruggens. During the day they enjoyed the beach life and the beautiful nature in Borkhavn, Denmark, and in the evening Ron & Michel "buried" themselves in the small improvised studio, which they had equipped with their brought along mini-equipment. Already the two thoroughbred musicians started to improvise. During these sessions I would have loved to listen and see ... Michel and Ron assure us that all the music on the present album was improvised live in this cottage.
The holiday together must have been musically very fertile for both of them, otherwise such an excellent record would not have come out. Unfortunately, the two of them withheld this jewel from us for many years and we were longing to find out whether and how things would continue after their joint debut in 2010 "Refuge En Verre". "Polished" and remixed in October and November 2020, the CD fortunately made it into this year's pre-Christmas season. "BorkHavn" is another ray of hope in these dark times of crisis, next to Electric Mud's "Quiet Days on Earth"- my CD of the year. (see my review in schalldruck No. 54.)
Of course the music doesn't sound Christmassy, quite the contrary! It is very powerful in many parts and sometimes even martial. In my head - even when listening to it several times - always the same film is playing: Erik "the Red" defeats the roaring sea after a hard fight and discovers Greenland with his Vikings. BorkHavn has become fantastic film music. Various musical variations such as melancholy, opulence, and gentleness, wonderfully expressed by a guitar in a minor key, staccato-beaten (snare) drums, as well as dreamlike, delicate piano playing, make the album something very special. This rhythmic interplay is a very interesting sound variation, which I have not heard so often.
In any case, both Michel and Ron, this time from a completely different musical side than before. Two EM giants have come together, whose music makes you want more! Chapeau, dear Ron and dear Michel!
For me, "BorkHavn" is an extremely cinematic consolation at the end of this bizarre year. Music on, head cinema on!
If you don't have this masterpiece yet, please add it to your wish list!
Now that BorkHavn is finished I started working on new music for my new solo albums. Yes multiple! The last 7 years I recorded quite some music, but never got to finishing it. So I'm slowly starting to open all these projects and begin working on those tracks. One of my solo projects is going to be about dinosaurs so hence the new name for my studio called the 'Jurassic' studio now and the accompanying Jurassic Park T-shirt. My Girlfriend Sonja took this picture for the upcoming Schallwelle sampler release, but I thought it was a nice idea to share it with you as well. I'm also working on the music I recorded a couple of years ago for two planetarium shows. That will be released in the future as well with some new tracks and I have another surprise album planned with old and new material. So lots to come.
I'm sure you all remember the famous 'Apollo Studio' pictures that still roam the internet. Well that studio is gone :( As you might well know I have gone through a rough period with a nasty divorce and I abandoned everything. After 2 years I moved in with my new girlfriend Sonja in her new apartment in Rotterdam. I did manage to save some stuff during the divorce. Some stuff is put in long term storage like my Eminent 310, V-Piano and Roland Drum Kit and some synths, but I could bring some stuff to the new apartment and build a small studio again. I always name my studio's and I call this studio my 'Jurassic Studio'. For several reasons. First of all it feels like traveling back in time for me, but secondly I'm currently working on a new solo album about dinosaurs. So now that cat is also out of the bag :) I hope to release it somewhere next year.
I was asked by BIT Datacenters in The Netherlands to make a background track for their new company video. Here you can watch the video and hear the music I created in the background.