1. In Silence [11:04] MP3 soundclip of In silence [3:00]
  2. Pin Drop [17:44]
  3. Be Quiet [10:42]
  4. Go Quiet [9:46]
  5. Get Quieter [9:41]
Recorded and mixed at the Minimus Studio, October to December 2007 on Logic Audio
Mastered on Bias Peak and Pro Tools, December 2007
All music composed, arranged, produced and performed by René van der Wouden.

René van der Wouden - CRUMAR Bit 99, AKAI AX73, Roland JX3p, YAMAHA SY77, Roland AJ2, KURZWEIL K2500r, EMU E5000ultra, KORG Trinity and KORG T3.

musical style: retro, Berliner Schule, progressive Just as I wrote earlier about Sequential Tourism its retro German electronic music elements, this album goes even further on that principle. In fact, this is retro music I like very much but not as copied as such of the German pioneers.

The 5 tracks of a total of about 60 minutes take you back in the cosmical realms of the seventies but with a wink to the nighties of this century. I don't have to say to which and whom I have to refer to. Ok I won't brag about my joyment of this album any longer. I hope they play it soon somewhere so each and every one is able to listen, hear and judge it yourself.

What I do find a pity is the bad availability of this album. It took some time to find a copy.

2011. Jeroen / The Netherlands This is absolutely a stunning piece of music which I bought as a download some weeks ago. The sequences are simple, but so powerful and so analogue. The Mellotrons (I presume it comes from a sampler) sound if they are inside your room, very present, breathtaking and sometimes frightening.
Listen to the openingstrack which is for me one of the most convincing Mellotron tracks I have heard. The music is described as retro, but I constantly have the feeling that it is not dated at all. I have got almost all albums of Rene, and this is truly the best up to now. He has a very personal style which is hard to be found these days in the music business. The overall sound is powerful, mature and sometimes a bit headstrong. It is like he is kicking against walls.

The best tracks are "In Silence" (SUPER) and "Be Quiet" with "Go Quiet" as a good second. "Pin Drop" is synthsounding horror in a respectful sense. And "Get Quieter" is a perfect closing titles.

2008. Jon T. Maett / Sweden Der Niederländer René van der Wouden ist in der Elektronikszene kein unbeschriebenes Blatt mehr, hat er doch schon seit dem Jahr 2000 einige Veröffentlichungen vorzuweisen. Sein neuestes Werk nennt sich „Universal Quiet" und bewegt sich im Umfeld der „Berliner Schule" der 70’er Jahre und dem Stil seines Landsmannes Ron Boots. Ob René’s Musik auf den vorangegangenen Alben ähnlich klingt, kann ich leider nicht beantworten, da ich bisher nur diese CD von ihm kenne.
Fünf Stücke zwischen 9:41 und 17:44 Minuten Spielzeit präsentiert uns René auf dem Album.

Mit dem elfminütigen „In Silence" beginnt die CD sehr stark im Stile von Ron Boots. Wer frühe Alben des Niederländers mag, der kommt schon bei diesem ersten Stück voll auf seine Kosten, mir jedenfalls gefällt dieser, sich langsam entwickelnde Track, der die richtige Mischung aus sanften Harmonieflächen und rhythmischem Beiwerk aufweist. Für mich eines der besten Stücke des Albums, da ich den Stil sehr mag.
Aus einem ganz anderen Holz ist zunächst „Pin Drop" geschnitzt. Bei diesem Track setzt René anfangs mehr auf Stimmungen und Sounds, als auf Melodien oder Harmonien. Das klingt vor allem am Anfang nach sich entladenden Stromstößen. Eine seltsame kühle und futuristisch Atmosphäre entwickelt sich vor dem geistigen Auge des Hörers. Elektronische Effekte wechseln sich in den ersten sieben Minuten ab und dann plötzlich erklingen wieder diese Melodien und Rhythmussequenzen, die an Ron Boots erinnern. Wären diese ersten sieben Minuten nicht, „Pin Drop" wäre für mich ein weiteres Highlight des Albums, denn das Stück weist wirklich hinreißenden Passagen auf, die mich gefangen nehmen.
Eine sehr schöne Melodie, die mich an Filmmusik erinnert, zieht zunächst sanft im Stück „Be Quiet" dahin. Dann lässt René wieder seine Synthies zirpen und es entwickelt sich eine Atmosphäre, die ohne Melodie auskommt, denn diese ist zunächst verstummt, schält sich aber nach drei Minuten wieder aus dem Hintergrund sanft hervor.
Nach diesem recht lieblichen und ruhigen Stück, geht es bei „Go Quiet" wieder etwas rhythmischer zu. Zunächst hat man das Gefühl in einem kleinen Raumschiff von einem Raumhafen aus in den Orbit zu starten. Dann gleitet man sachte, aber trotzdem rhythmisch, durchs All. Ein Hauch Klaus Schulze weht durch diese Klangmalereien. Das gefällt mir wieder sehr gut. Neben den schon erwähnten Stilen kommt hier auch noch eine Komponente hinzu, die wir von den englischen Elektronikern, die ihre Wurzeln in der „Berliner Schule" verankert haben, her kennen. Mit „Get Quieter" entlässt uns René dann aus seinem neuen Werk. Dieser Track hat auch wieder eine Grundsequenz aufzuweisen, auf der Melodielinien treiben.

„Universal Quiet" ist ein Elektronikalbum mit einer Mixtur aus „Berliner Schule" und der Musik von Ron Boots. Trotz alledem haben wir es hier nicht mir einem reinen Clone zu tun. René versteht es, bekannte Stilmittel zu etwas Neuem zusammenzufügen, ohne das es abgenutzt oder schon mehrfach gehört klingt. Wer auf „Berliner Schule" und der Musik von Ron Boots steht, der wird auch an diesem Album seine Freude haben.

2008. Stephan Schelle / Deutschland Universal Quiet features five lengthy tracks firmly rooted in the Berlin school style. Though the titles and cover art suggest soft, possibly even acoustic music, the album explore purely synthetic realms.

"In Silence" starts as a nice floater before a bass sequence gets going, joined by male choirs, then a few more synths, and eventually a simple steady beat. Sounds are layered in just right as it goes, quite nice, a strong way to start.
"Pin Drop" has a darker moodier sound to start, including what sounds like banging on sheet metal, which is actually cooler than you might think. The longest piece at nearly 18 minutes, it takes quite some time before the first sequencing arrives, a low brisk bass tone that almost growls before settling into more typical Teutonics. A light playful synth solo makes a good counterpoint to the low bass. Warm pads round things out, and van der Wouden rides this cool groove through to the end.
Wind-like synths and mellotron flutes introduce "Be Quiet" which is indeed quiet and serene throughout, although soft beats and yet more sequencing keep it moving. This could pass for a Mind Over Matter track.
"Go Quiet" seems to be a command rather than a description, as the music is fast paced from the get-go. "Get Quieter" is the final piece, bringing more good synths and sequencing to bear.

Berlin school enthusiasts should enjoy this from beginning to end – I know I did.

2008. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space Dit is echt een briljante CD. Muziek zoals dat van Schulze uit zijn vroege jaren. Lekker analoog en goeie sequences. Dit is wat wij als em fans willen toch?

2009. Dylan / NL "In Silence" begins with thick synthetic pads and great effects. Some lovely analog timbres are used together with more ordinary digital atmospherics. A square-wave sequence appears, gaining in intensity and momentum. A steady groove develops as the Mellotron choir casts its spell. Subtle bell sounds can be heard in what sounds like a very Schulzian finale.
"Pin Drop" begins with strange effects creating an eerie atmosphere. Dark pads bring in even more uneasiness. Very soon great analogue effects herald the coming of a growling sequencer line. Excellent minimalistic lead melody can be heard. This is some quality EM. The sequences are steady and yet floating and enjoyable. Lovely Mellotron choir adds to the picture, as well as some thick analogue fx.
"Be Quiet" begins with synth atmospheres, lots of effects and a background melody. It's all rather pastoral and restrained at this point. An extremely bright and crisp sequence comes, as the track gets brighter, too. A percussive rhythm starts, as Mellotron string ensemble plays an uplifting melody.
On the other hand, "Go Quiet" surprises with a very upbeat sequence and smooth synth pads. It has something of a Gert Emmens feel to it. This does not only relate to the sounds themselves, but also the arrangements, the melodies and the structure of the piece. If you like Gert's style, you owe it to yourself to check this track out. This melancholic composition finishes with a lot of bubbling analogue effects.
The final track, titled "Get Quieter", begins with sustained Mellotron choirs, some effects and a somewhat plodding sequence. The atmosphere at this point is very Schulze-like circa "X". The tron choirs leave and a reedy lead line is introduced, again reminding on Gert Emmens' style of emotional and a bit melancholic floating EM.

"Universal Quiet" is a relaxing Electronic Music album for those reflective moments, or moments of unexpected sadness. More Eindhoven School than Berlin School to my ears, it's brimming with simple but effective sequences, crystalline atmospheres, restrained melodies and warm effects.

2008. Artemi Pugachov / The Encyclopedia of Electronic Music René van der Wouden’s Universal Quiet is a collection of retro synth music that is a treat for fans of 70’s Berlin School music. Van der Wouden is a Dutch composer and synthesist who describes his style as retro, Berliner Schule and progressive. Van der Wouden builds on Klaus Schulze’s pioneering mid-seventies sound, modernizing it and taking it into new directions.
Van der Wouden credits a variety of synths for his sound – including CRUMAR Bit 99, AKAI AX73, Roland JX3p, YAMAHA SY77, Roland AJ2, KURZWEIL K2500r, EMU E5000ultra, KORG Trinity and KORG T3. However, he gravitates towards classic synth sounds, featuring classic Moog-style sequences and Mellotron-style vocal samples.
In addition to building on Schulze’s vintage sound, van der Wouden uses similar forms for his tracks. Schulze’s music is very meditative and often follows a form typical in Indian classical music: a slow meditative introduction (alap), which introduces the mode, followed by a rhythmic section (jor).

In the track Pin Drop, for example, van der Wouden begins the track with drones and a variety of spacey synth effects. About a third of the way into the track, an old-school constantly changing bass sequence kicks in. Over this, van der Wouden layers a solo using a percussive synth sound, along with washes of synth strings and Mellotron vocal washes.
From the title of the album, Universal Quiet, and the titles of several of the tracks, Go Quiet and Get Quieter, you might expect the music to be minimal ambient. In fact, it’s frequently very propulsive, with driving synth basses. Van der Wouden effectively balances reflective sections with more aggressive sections.

The synth music style that René van der Wouden explores on Universal Quiet isn't as cutting edge as it once was, but it’s one that justifiably loved by many electronic music fans. If you like classic seventies synth music, Universal Quiet is an album you don't want to miss.

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