Edited, produced and mastered by Gert Emmens|
- Blind Watchers of a Vanishing Night [9:58]
- A Journey Through Time [44:01]
- Solaris [9:00]
- Red Clouds Over a Misty Swamp [4:53]
- The Rise and Fall of Atlantis [9:05]
- Waiting for the Day to Come [4:58]
- Crystal Tears [9:05]
- The Day the Moon will leave us [6:11]
- Moments of Unexpected Sadness [8:08]
- Conspiracy of Two Forces [7:33]
- Driving Home on a Rainy Night [4:05]
All tracks composed and performed by Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij
Track 2 and 4 recorded by Sip de Jong and track 1, 3 and 5 recorded by Ron Boots
Follow up to "Return of the origin".
"Blind Watchers of A Vanishing Night" is an album consisting of live tracks recorded during various gigs in 2004.
The title track wastes no time with the lovely sequences appearing almost instantly - and what sequences they are - lovely pulsations straight out of the "Ricochet" school. Great Mellotron choir sounds add to the picture, as well as subtle synth soloing. Pure cosmic bliss! Stylistically this continues what started on "Return To the Origin", which means Berlin School music of the highest order. If upbeat sequencers with a melancholic flair (courtesy of Gert, I think) are your thing - this is the album for you.
"A Journey Through Time" is a long suite (44:01) with multiple parts.
The first part, "Solaris" is known from Gert & Ruud's previous effort as well as Gert's solo performances. Floating pads, melodic sequences, Mellotron flutes and a no-nonsense CS-80-like "harmonica" solo are the key elements here.
The second part, "Red Clouds Over A Misty Swamp" is all-atmospheric, with subtle synth soundscapes and distant Mellotron choirs. This is some real moody stuff!
"The Rise And Fall of Atlantis" takes things back to sequencer territory, with insistent string slabs and supporting pads.
"Waiting For the Day To Come" calms things down once again, but this time the atmosphere of suspense and fear prevails.
"Crystal Tears" has sequences that are slower but have more oomph to them - bass pulsations that remind on Klaus Schulze circa 1976 - 1977. Some lovely use of Mellotron flute sound on this one as well.
"The Day the Moon Will Leave Us" closes the suite on an atmospheric and a tad dramatic note.
"Moments of Unexpected Sadness" starts with excellent soundscapes but after a few seconds in comes an excellent melodic sequence which is then joined by yet another one and we are propelled forward on top of floating waves of sound. Excellent sounds, melodies, atmospheres and of course, sequencing. The whistling synth lead line is pretty tasty as well. Any fan of sequencer EM will swallow this track in no time! A lot of Mellotron strings are heard towards the end as well as some EMS chirping.
"Conspiracy of Two Forces"... Wow! This is simply the strongest bass sequencing I've heard from these guys so far. The pulsations are so punchy, they'll have your head spinning and your heart racing at full speed. On top of that we can hear Gert churning out a reflective solo. This is the best track on the entire album. The ultimate Berlin School number? The essence of Berlin-styled electronics? Perhaps.
"Driving Home On A Rainy Night" sounds like a continuation of the previous number with added electronic drums and Mellotron strings.
Excellent and somewhat cheerful / reflective finish to this great album laden with sequences, solos and atmospheres.
2005. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
Gert Emmens + Ruud Heij create evocative soundtracks, not for the cinema, but for the images appearing in the back of the listener's mind. Their imaginative scoring and rapturous intensity evokes limitless space. Their second collaboration, Blind Watchers of a Vanishing Night (61'51") contains three studio and two live tracks.
The centerpiece, the live recording "A Journey Through Time" (44'02"), is a massive six part trek along a strange, spiraling path through a reiterative and intensely ambiguous electronic landscape. The music wanders and flows, while simultaneously vaporous and unified. The piece tracks a line from light to dark, external to internal.
Emmens + Heij utilize great dynamic range variations as a tool to create a deeper spatial dimension and psychological impact. At the core of their realizations are intricately constructed and layered sequencer patterns. The seductive syncopating rhythms bounce and echo, brighten and darken as the work's energy level heats and cools. These machine-like revolutions are softened by the constant shifting motion of synth string pads and soaring mellotron flute melodies. This and their other works travel from rhythmically interlocked intensity to slow motion harmonic complexity.
Moving from a dreamlike stillness, to fierce brilliance, Emmens + Heij are locating new paths and branches of spacemusic.
Chuck van Zyl / Star's End
The collaboration "Return To The Origin" between the Dutchmen Gert Emmens (the melody expert) and Ruud Heij (the sequencer expert) was in my opinion the best electronic music cd of 2004. So, I was very anxious about the possible follow-up.
The music on "Blind Watchers Of A Vanishing Night" was recorded live on two occasions: the Alfa Centauri mini-festival at March 13 2004 in Huizen, The Netherlands (tracks 2 and 4, this was also the cd-presentation of "Return To The Origin") and the E-Live festival at October 9 2004 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (tracks 1, 3 and 5). Just as was the case with "Return To The Origin", the sequences of Ruud Heij play an important part in the music on this cd.
This is immediately evident as the cd starts with the title track. This, accompanied with Emmensí melodies and solos, results in a brilliant whole.
"A Journey Through Time", an epic piece of more than 44 minutes, honors its title because here is the strongest present link with the Golden Age of electronic music (that is the second half of the seventies). The sequences could have come from recordings of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze from this period of time. For the rest, a part of the music resembles that on "Return To The Origin". The special thing about this music is certainly the adding of Emmensí solos. The fat sounds, though played relaxed, have a relation with those of Vangelis. Of course the samples of the classic Mellotron sounds are not forgotten and, besides this, there are also some ambient passages. This is about the best The Netherlands have ever produced in the field of electronic music. The other three pieces are somewhat shorter.
"Conspiracy Of The Two Forces" (fitting title!) has, in the case of the sequencer pattern, a hint of the second part of Tangerine Dreamís "Ricochet".
In the last track "Driving Home On A Rainy Night" some percussion is carefully added. This is another masterpiece. Absolutely recommended!
Paul Rijkens / SonicImmersion.org