1. Fixus part 1 [14:33]
  2. Fixus part 2 [10:24] MP3 soundclip of Fixus part 2 [3:00]
  3. Fixus part 3 [4:25]
  4. Fixus part 4 [4:56]
  5. Fixus part 5 [7:33]
  6. Fixus part 6 [8:27]
  7. Fixus part 7 [4:18]
  8. Fixus part 8 [9:11]
Recorded and mixed from July to October 2009 at the Miniminus Studio. Gouda.
Composed, arranged, performed and produced by René van der Wouden
Mastered by Ron Boots

René van der Wouden - Keyboards, Moog and Prophet synthesizers, electronic percussion and software

Numerus Fixus = Latin and means in English: Limited Places.
As we see the world as it is now today with more than 6 billion people I ask myself at times: can we keep on living our lives with less land, less water, less healthy air and fewer new resources with an ever growing worldly population? One of the predictions is that complex, interlinked ecosystems - (rain)forests, reefs, lakes, rivers, oceans and their food webs could collapse within a couple of decades from now if we continue like this. This album is dedicated to those interlinked ecosystems on which we are using every day and becoming more limited in period of time.

2009. Press Information Ich (Uwe Sasse) mag die Vielseitigkeit in Rene´s Musik sehr gerne. Da ist von der tanzbaren, melodischen Musik bis hin zum Dark-Ambient fast alles vertreten, was man nur so spielen kann :-)

Die -Numerus Fixus- hat überwiegend rhythmische Musik enthalten, nur für recht kurze Zeit geht Rene hier in die Ambient-Richtung.Aber eben diese schönen Übergänge und die Rhythmusgestaltung haben in seiner Musik den hohen Wiedererkennungswert und seinen Reiz.

Wirklich eine schöne CD, die Rene zwischen Juli und Oktober 2009 eingespielt hat. Ich (Uwe Sasse) kann und will mir jedenfalls die EM-Szene ohne Rene van der Wouden´s Musik garnicht mehr vorstellen :-))

2012. Uwe Sasse / Deutschland After the first two albums I bought from Mr Van der Wouden, this is my third. And this one is quite a different one! This must be the most groovy album from him.

Sequencers in the Berlin School mode are here again for the first 20 minutes. Numerus Fixus part 3 is ambient-style plus slow sequence track, quite airy and moody. Fixus 4 is the only electro-type track, a kind of instrumental pop song. Fixus 5 and 6 is very nice upbeat synth music. Fixus part 7 sounds like an album fillup but that is not entirely the case here. It's a perfect match between track 6 and 8. The more you listen to the album, the more you will enjoy this one. Especially the fat analog Moog Taurus bass sound.

I find this a very refreshing album for which you should try. Music that sounds a bit different than the EM we are used too. No more cliches but nothing new either, only well crafted electronic music with signs to Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis and a bit of Klaus Schulze.

2011. Jeroen / The Netherlands "Numerus Fixus" by Gouda-based electronic musician René van der Wouden, is a concept album dedicated to the various interlinked ecosystems on our blue planet. The fact that we use and rely on them almost regardless every day, makes them also gradually becoming more and more limited and vulnerable in the near future. A tough theme in these times of global warming and other major environmental issues.

Sonically, what we got here is a fine and fresh sounding album with Berliner School flavours which incorporates some minimalist sequencer patterns, rhythms, a varied assortment of vintage and contemporary synthesizer sounds plus occasionally some massive retro effects.
All these elements, fused together in eight mature "Fixus" parts, are in almost constant interaction with each other as the music gradually evolves without interruption in a kind of ebb and flow manner. At times, even some space music territory is touched, but for the most part, the melodic, harmonious and rhythmic spiced music stands in its own right, although I personally feel the bouncy, groovy part four a bit bland and directionless.

Nevertheless, all other tracks sound tasty and well rendered and very pleasing to the ear, which is emphasized due to the excellent mastering of Ron Boots.
Chapeau, Mr van der Wouden!

2010. Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion Mastered by Ron Boots, Numerus Fixus is René Van Der Wouden’s 8th opus. It has as framework the fragility of ecosystems in a world that’s keep being smaller and smaller. An opus in the image of the Dutch synthesist which is strongly inspired by the analog sound effects, molding thus a musical approach more galactic than earthbound, and strongly influenced by French EM.
So Numerus Fixus lulls between two universes with a strong Jarre perfume, where the cosmos interlaces a contemporaneousness which does not really bind to the works’ thematic. If the first 3 parts form a moving symbiosis where the paradox earth / space is vibrating, the 5 last ones rather throw us in a sound universe where Van Der Wouden continues where Jarre decided to stop his creative meter.

Fixus Part I opens Numerus Fixus with fine arpeggios which tinkle, such as xylophone striking, to dance lazily on a sequential minimalism movement which fits the shape of a perpetual spiral. A galactic twist, accompanied to choirs to vaporous breathing, which parades such a Halloween bed song, where motorcycle roaring bursts to get lost in this crystal space. A heterogeneous intro to which is added the weight of a beautiful line of bass which rocks the movement of the same minimalism similarity, where synth solos insufflate a more spectral approach than cosmic to a title which is closer of cosmos than the earth with its Mellotron to slow violin breaths which cross coiled sequences among e-drum strikes and colorful sound effects bring a greater level of intensity, without however deviating Fixus Part I of its ethereal elongated bed song. Electronic sounds to the effervescence of the analog years punctuate constantly the works of René Van Der Wouden and Numerus Fixus is full of it.
Fixus Part II soaks in these e-sounds, with a rain of sonorous constellations which breaks under powerful cosmic waves, before a heavy oscillating, and sometimes resonant, sequence livens up a tempo which clears a path towards a panoply of sound particles. Slowly, the rhythm gets loose from its lunar approach to embrace a more terrestrial structure, under the breaths of a Mellotron which always hesitates between both universes. A Mellotron which takes a flutier look while this 2nd part flirts strangely with tinkled arpeggios of the introductory part.
Always in the register of the crystalline arpeggios to soft musical orations, Fixus Part III is simply magnificent. A dreamlike sweetness which sings the life and hope, as the tic-tac of a timeless watch, to shape a so warm and poetic musicality that it's a pity it has to end.
Fixus Part IV returns us in the rhythmic soils of Space Art with its fiery tempo seized by a synth to interlaced solos, while Fixus Part V is of a galactic heaviness extremely well structured. A crossing between Jarre’s Magnetic Fields and the electronic post punk of Punk Daft on a loud and livened up tempo of which a tinny synth offers beautiful symphonic impetus, quite as Part VI which enjoys a superb atmospheric intro and a roaring rhythmic sharply more elaborated.
Fixus Part VII is close to Jarre’s Oxygene area, with a beautiful ambient and cosmic structure, filled by a dramatic side of a rare intensity.
Fixus Part VIII closes with a more cheerful note. A heavy title, encircled by a round and fat sequence which parades with a synth to fluty breaths, adorned with a beautiful floating Mellotron and with xylophone arpeggios that dance on carnival-like percussions.

Without figuring among 2009 Top 10, Numerus Fixus is not that far. It’s a beautiful album which is a kind of continuity of Jarre analog years, without falling in the easy trap of plagiarism. There are superb passages on this opus which listens to throughout without a second of boredom. Great work by René Van Der Wouden there, who doesn’t stop to amazes and touches us.
In fact, René Van Der Wouden is to Jarre what Redshift, Arc and Free System Projekt are to Tangerine Dream; the reflection of an area sealed in time with a splendid dosage of creativity and originality. Fans of Jarre and Vangelis, Numerus Fixus and the great majority of René Van Der Wouden works are true values.

2010. Sylvain Lupari / Guts of Darkness "Numerus Fixus" is another collection of bright, ethereal rhythmic and sequencer tracks from Dutch synthesizer artist René van der Wouden.

A sequence greets the listener once the play button is pressed. This pulsation is of a lilting, bell-like quality. The rest of the sonic space is filled with multiple pads and a distorted analogue noise. A bass sequence appears as classic synth leads remind us on the good old days of EM. Especially Jarre from the 1970's comes to mind. This analogy is reinforced by the fat twittering effects. However, whereas Jarre's style was melodic and focused, Rene's music on this particular track is free and improvised. A completely different sequence takes over after 7 minutes into the track, but the mood is still that of melancholy and reflection. A steady rhythm appears as Rene uses more and more of ethereal Mellotron strings. The track rises in intensity before ending abruptly as we transition to Part 2 on the crest of the wave of analogue effects and wind sounds. A rapid sequence seeps in, as ethereal Mellotron choir is heard. Another sequence joins and the track takes on an insistent, urgent stance. Even more sequences are added as well as a nice Mellotron flute.
"Fixus Part 3" is an unusually soft, uplifting, almost New Agey track. An arpeggiated beauty of a rhythm serves as the basis for all kinds of pads and even birds singing! It does work is a strange, charming way, especially once the multiple analogue sequences take over.
Part 4 opens with intense wind sounds before a very synth-pop like theme and rhythm are introduced. It really sounds like some forgotten early 1980's instrumental gem. Wonderful!
Part 5 is introduced with a sequence that goes down the scale a few octaves before a thumping bass rhythm is unleashed, almost Techno-ish, the pads serving as a nice ethereal background. Now we're talking another forgotten gem, this time sounding as if coming from the early 1990's. Unfortunately, it was not my favourite epoch for music and although I do like this track, I find it somewhat less attractive. It is nice to see Rene trying new (old?) things, though.
Part 6 begins with a really dramatic atmospheric section, one of the best on the disc. A bit funky rhythm starts and a fitting bass line supports this flowing track. And, boy, does it flow. Once again I get this nostalgic feeling as if I am listening to a lost funk / synth fusion track from the late 1970's - early 1980's. Does it sound good? Hell yes! It's different, enjoyable and very melodic.
Part 7, on the other hand, is a cosmic monster of a track. It is dominated by flowing pads and wonderful fat analogue bass timbres, not to mention the ubiquitous twittering effects. A nice change of pace and a neatly produced beatless track, this one. Amazingly, a synth-pop rhythm heralds the coming of the last part that fuses 1980's sensibilities with a somewhat ethnic-sounding flute. It is amazing, how Rene has evolved since the last album. While the first two long tracks are more or less in Rene's typical (sequencer-based) style, the rest could be seen as a diversion into different realms, and a very successful one at that.

This is Rene's best album so far and it certainly deserves the full-fledged CD release it got. "Numerus Fixus" wins in my book, hands down. And now, once the review is finished, I am going to listen to that gorgeous Part 4 again.

2010. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music René van der Wouden stammt aus den Niederlanden und veröffentlicht seit Anfang des Jahrtausends seine elektronische Musik, die sich im Umfeld der „Berliner Schule" bewegt. Hat er bisher eigen produzierte CDRs auf den Markt gebracht, so ist sein neuestes Werk, „Numerus Fixus", das Anfang 2010 erschienen ist, seine erste industriell hergestellte CD-Pressung.
Die Stücke für seine CD, die in „Part 1" bis „Part 8" betitelt sind, hat René in der Zeit von Juli bis Oktober 2009 in seinem Tonstudio in Gouda, den Ort kennen die meisten wegen seines leckeren Käses, komponiert, arrangiert, eingespielt und produziert. Dass das Werk auch klanglich keine Wünsche offen lässt, dafür sorgte Renés Landsmann Ron Boots, der für sein qualitativ hochwertiges Mastering bekannt ist.
René wandelt auf dem Album – wie oben schon erwähnt – auf den Pfaden der „Berliner Schule" und kombiniert diese Sounds mit dem Eindhovener Stil sowie weiteren schmackhaften Zutaten. Einiges klingt demnach stilistisch auch nach den Produktionen eines Ron Boots, Akikaze etc.

Los geht es mit dem Opener „Fixus Part1", der mit herrlich warmen Flächen und Glockenklangähnlichen Sounds, die stark an Klaus Schulze’s 77’er „Mirage"-Album erinnern, beginnt. Dann kommen zerrende, knatschende Synthiesounds hinzu und reichern diesen Track um diesen schönen Sound an. Nach gut drei Minuten ist damit aber schon Schluss und perlende, rhythmische Synthies und eine hohe Synthielinie, die mich auch an Akikazes oder Wellenfelds Werke denken lässt, übernimmt die Melodieführung. Etwas asiatisch wird es dann im zweiten Teil, mit warmen Mellotron-Sounds und einer dahintrabenden Rhythmussequenz.
Futuristisch und experimentell startet René in „Fixus Part 2", das mich vom Klanggebilde in eine Raumstation versetzt. Da zischt und rauscht es. Doch nach wenigen Minuten entwickeln sich Jarre-ähnliche Sounds aus diesem elektronischen Rauschen. Ein gemächlicher, harmonischer und flächiger Track, der mit einem sehr schönen Rhythmus versehen ist.
Nach zwei Stücken, die die zehn Minuten Marke knackten, kommt mit „Fixus Part 3" ein mit 4:25 Minuten Laufzeit recht kurzer Track an die Reihe. Dieser ist aber nicht minder gut. Bei diesem Stück stelle ich mir einen Spaziergang durch einen japanischen Garten, mit zwitschernden Vögeln vor.
„Fixus Part 4" besticht durch eine sehr schöne eingängige Melodie, die fast zum Tanzen einlädt. Irgendwo erinnert sie mich auch an den „Black Rain"-Soundtrack eines Hans Zimmer oder die tanzbaren Nummern des Yellow Magic Orchestras, obwohl die Vergleiche etwas hinken.
In „Fixus Part 5" zeigt sich René gar von einer Seite, die ihn in die Nähe des Electropo der 80’er bringt. Fast tanzbar, allerdings etwas monoton angelegt, zeigt sich dieser rhythmische und flirrende Part. Recht spacig und doch melodisch wirkt „Part 6", das auch Lounge-Elemente aufweist, während „Part 7" durch seine zirpenden Synthies wie eine Weltraumodyssee anmutet und mit „Part 8" wieder ein sehr rhythmisch, melodischer Rausschmeißer auf dem Album zu finden ist, der sehr gefällig ins Ohr geht.

Mit „Numerus Fixus" zeigt René van der Wouden die ganze Bandbreite seiner Musik. Von der „Berliner Schule" über den Eindhovener Stil bis hin zu Jarre bietet er vielfältige Sounds und Melodiebögen, die sehr gut ins Ohr gehen. Freunde dieser Musikrichtungen bekommen einen ganzen Blumenstrauß an Sounds geboten, der Spaß macht. Eine sehr gelungene CD des niederländischen Elektronikers.

2010. Stephan Schelle / Deutschland Part one of Numerus Fixus starts with a wavering bell tone and then a percolating bass line follows it along. A cool synth lead that sounds like vintage Klaus Schulze or an old sci-fi film comes next. Mellotron-like strings make a welcome appearance later on. Rene has a sense of fun about his music, and this one gets things started off on a happy note, or rather, 14 minutes of notes.
Part two begins with computerized-sounding bits and a whooshing wind. Sequencing is a low bass tone that bounces all around, forming the basis for the piece as pads and other elements, including a nice synth flute lead, are gradually added here and there. After these two lengthier pieces, the remaining parts are more byte-sized. Part three has a light, lilting quality, very pleasant.
Part four and others that follow are a little high on the cuteness factor, but you’ll likely find it impossible to keep your toes from tapping along.

If you like upbeat synthesizers and synth pop, Numerus Fixus has your number.

2010. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space Hier ist es nun, das Debütalbum von René van der Wouden. Eigentlich ist es ja nicht wirklich ein Debüt, denn René hat ja schon einige CD-Rs im Selbstverlag veröffentlicht. Aber mit dem Silberling „Numerus Fixus" hat er sich zum ersten Mal an eine „gepresste CD gewagt und kein Geringerer als unser EM-Charming-Boy Ron Boots hat das Mastering an der Musik übernommen. Alles Andere stammt von René van der Wouden. Er hat von Juli bis Oktober 2009 an diesem Album gearbeitet.

Zarte Glöckchenklänge, die an Schulzes „Crystal Lake" erinnern, läuten den Anfang glasklar ein. Ich schwebe gleich in anderen Sphären. Doch plötzlich, nach 1:50 Minuten, wird dieser Genuss durch eine einsetzende „Kettensäge" jäh unterbrochen. Sie taucht ganz unvermittelt auf. Warum nur hat René gerade so einen harten Sound gewählt, um seine Glöckchenuntermalung rhythmisch aufzupeppen? Für mich ein glatter Stilbruch, aber zum Glück hat das „Kettensägen- Massaker" nach etwa einer Minute wieder ein End … Dann setzt René mit einem Stakkato-Rhythmus einen warmen Kontrapunkt zu den kristallinen Glöckchen. Der Sound erinnert mich an den Mega-Titel „Monolith" des Duos Wellenfeld – schön!
„Fixum 2" beginnt jarresque und zeigt, dass René auch den Altmeister aus „Sarko- Land" zu seinen Vorbildern zählt. Eine nette Hommage an den Liebling aller Schwiegermütter!
Fixum 3 klingt für mich wie eine elektronische Version unseres alten Volksliedes Alle Vögel sind schon da …" Das ist ebenfalls recht gefällig gemacht. In den weiteren Titeln zeigt René van der Wouden alle Facetten seines Könnens. Mal klingt´s wie „Berliner Schule", dann mal wieder nach Jean Michel Jarre, dann recht rhytmusbetont oder loungig.

Insgesamt kann ich sagen, „Numerus Fixus" ist ein recht ordentliches Album geworden. Nur schade, dass René seinen eigenen Stil anscheinend noch nicht gefunden hat. Den lässt er - zumindest für mich - etwas vermissen. Aber: „Numerus Fixus" ist ja auch erst der Anfang, auf den René van der Wouden gut aufbauen und sich weiter entwickeln kann. Trotzdem sollte der geneigte EM-Fan diesem Album unbedingt Gehör schenken.

2010. Sylvia Sommerfeld / Schallwende The new album of René van der Wouden is a true gem. With this album he seems to go to back to his debut album Pro Sequentia which has a combination of Berlin School with electro music. I always liked this album a lot. But this time ambient influences on track 7 are added to the spectrum of the sound of this album.

In short: Part 1 is a Schulzian style track, referring to a famous album of the master, Part 2 reminds me of the sublimely Universal Quiet album. That track should easily fit on that one as well. True retro-style analog space synth music! I love that album so much, that this track really makes me smile.
Part 3 is unique in itself. When we come at Part 4, the Pro Sequentia album rings a bell. This continues with Part 5, 6 and 8.
The 8 tracks sound very good. This might also be the cause to the fact that Ron Boots has mastered the album. The synthesizers sound analog and warm. The sequencers sound as Moog as it should be in electronic music, deep and powerful. I think Mr Van der Wouden has chosen the right instrumentation this time.

In the booklet I read: Minimoog Voyager, Pro One, a Teisco 110F and a Pro One, but also the Moog Little Phatty is doing its job. You will easily forget the used music software, when you listen to this album.
It is almost unnecessary to state that this album should be in the catalogue of the electronic music enthusiast. I am glad that it is in mine now.

2010. Andre / NL This CD from 2009 offers 63 minutes of compelling electronic music.

Crystalline electronics achieve a dramatic presence in conjunction with e-perc and heavenly textures. There's a full range of resonance going on here, with deep bass tonalities coexisting with sweetly shrill electronics. Keyboards guide these notes into engaging melodies. Sweeping chords establish lavish punctuations as they cascade through the mix, injecting a taste of majesty to the music's amiable mood. Loops are set up and left to run, while additional keys produce compelling riffs that swim amid the pensive celestial electronic layers.
A selection of more guttural effects periodically contribute an edginess to this stately tuneage. Meanwhile, some environmental samples provide grounding embellishment, reminding the listener of the songs ecological roots. E-perc is utilized in an understated manner to boost the flow with subtle locomotion. At other times, the use of strident electronic pulsations approximate rhythms of a softer demeanor. These compositions possess a regal quality, expressing nature's strength in the face of mankind's solipsistic ways. Van der Wouden has a captivating skill for getting electronic machinery to capture an holistic environment. The melodies he generates evoke nature's indomitable perseverance, with each sweeping heavenly layer perfectly mirroring growth. One can clearly experience a meadows determination as it holds at bay fields of asphalt.

All green allusions aside, though, this music abounds with strong melodies that are rich with engaging allure.

2010. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity Hier widmet sich René van der Wouden dem Thema, ob es in einigen Jahrzehnten noch genügend Resourcen auf der Erde geben wird. Er setzt das Thema mit den unterschiedlichsten Stücken um. Mal bedrohlich, mal ernüchternd und dann wieder entspannend.
Sequenzen als Rhythmus und eingängige Melodien, mit einem perfekt abgestimmten Instrumentarium.

2010. Joerg / Germany