All tracks recorded live in Essen, Germany on February 26 2002 during the Schallwende Elections.|
- Take off [6:27]
- Desert clouds [15:21]
- Moondust [12:41]
- Triple rock [9:02]
- Radio Danceable [8:12]
- Surfacing from beyond [7:45]
- Three in all [15:08]
Tracks 1, 2, 3 and 5 composed by Ron Boots.
Tracks 4 and 7 by Ron Boots, Kees Aerts and Harold v.d. Heijden.
Track 6 by Kees Aerts and James Clent.
Gear used: Trinity, K5000, XP50, S2R, JX3P, D50, MAQ 16, D180, MF11, TDM8. TD7, MPX1, DL8000.
All tracks performed by:
Ron Boots - Synths and sequencing.
Kees Aerts - Synths, vocals and percussion.
Harold v.d. Heijden - Drums and percussion.
Livelines has a great version of Desert Clouds from one of Ron's earlier CD's (Ghost of a Mist) and is excellent thoughout. Do not be frightened by the photo of Kees apparently singing on the cover. It's just some nice vocal effects on the last track, I think. Harold van der Heijden provides some great drumming throughout. Another great CD!
Simply awesome material, seems Ron outduels himself with each release, and Livelines is killer just as Joie de Vivre is.
Livelines is one of the strongest EM discs I've heard in awhile for irresistibly catchy rhythms and melodies, with Boots' usual strong sequencing for hypnotic effect. This is pure synth fun, from revisited classics like "Desert Clouds" to the bouncy "Radio Danceable" , complete with some excited person whooping it up, with a single loud "WHOO!" That pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly on hearing the CD. The thumping beat on this track really moves, surrounded by the coolest electronics and a light, tinkling sequence that is tart and crisp. Very hard to sit still to this one, and who would want to? I was thrilled to hear the live rendition of "Desert Clouds" , one of my favorite tracks from my favorite Ron Boots CD, 1991's classic Ghost Of A Mist. It is faithful to the original, but different enough to warrant enjoyment in its own right. Also spot-on is the space talk as "Take Off" begins the CD. "All lights are green. We are at T-minus 18 seconds from liftoff." And off we go, stopping along the way for the vintage sequencing of "Moondust" , the powerful pounding drum solo of "Triple Rock" , and a souped-up version of "Surfacing from Beyond" , which previously appeared on one of the fine X-Files compilations. "Three In All" is a perfect closer, a mellow moody piece to bring us in for a sublime landing.
2002. Phil Derby / Exposé Magazine
Livelines is a live album, recorded in Essen, Germany during the Schallwende Elections in February of 2002. The concert artists (performing as a trio) were Ron Boots (synths and sequencing), Kees Aerts (synths, vocals and percussion) and Harold van der Heijden (drums and percussion). And as an opening to this review, I sure as hell wish I could've attended this concert! The music on Livelines is one spacy yet explosive EM-infused burst of energy after another - and, surprise to all fans of Groove Unltd. artists, not everything here is neo-Berlin in flavor. But it's all ultra-cool.
The CD opens with "Take Off," as a spoken-word "countdown" starts with "T minus one minute and counting." The various synths start to whoosh, and at "lift-off," a thundering synth chord and other effects signals the true beginning of the concert. Audacious as hell and damn, it works! Your blood pressure will elevate just hearing this! Swirling keyboards and dramatic washes of synths gradually subside to the echoed refrain "Roger....Roger....Roger." A slow but steady sequenced rhythm emerges from the washes to pulse on top of a series of spacy undercurrents. Tempo picks up as other EM elements are added into the mix as well, such as a synth chorus of men's voices. All in all, itıs a great start to this wonderful album.
There's actually more variety here than you might expect. Plus, since drums and percussion are not synthesized, the actual sound of the music on some cuts has a refreshing "real" feel to it. Which is not to say that Livelines is not solidly an electronic music recording. However, there's also no mistaking this for anything but a live album, as the improvisatory nature makes it clear. And these three artists sure can rev it up and let it fly!
Track transitions are usually signaled by applause, but not from track 1 to track 2.
The second song is "Desert Clouds" and it starts off in a non-Berlin vein. Astute listeners might hear echoes of Open Canvas, although the music is much more dynamic and less tribal. At more than fifteen minutes in length, itıs the longest song on the CD (although only the opening cut is under seven minutes and two more are over ten minutes in duration). "Desert Clouds" offers a mesmerizing soundscape of lower register washes, kinetic drums and hand percussion, snaky lead keyboards, a sultry flute keyboard sample, and plenty of spacy effects in the background. Sequenced beats do become part of the picture at times, but the "real" drums keep the music rooted in a non-Germanic vein (at least to my ears). Intensity ebbs and flows, sometimes with just the hand percussion being played and other times a huge sound is heard, courtesy of a blistering "electric guitar" keyboard line and sequenced synths. Another stretch of the song introduces classical Tangerine Dream-like synths soaring over the rhythms.
As I said, there are plenty of contrasting moments here.
"Moondust" has a spacemusic-meets-sequencer cosmic feel to it. Serene floating chords of lush keyboards glide effortlessly over the sequenced notes. Itıs probably the "prettiest" track on the album - and sits solidly in the realm of spacemusic, albeit as the song builds, the Germanic elements become more dominant. Vocal effects add layers of majesty without tilting toward bombast. Only when the drum kit enters the song will traditional spacemusic fans possibly think itıs evolved too far - although I consider the evolution of the piece to be perfectly natural and a good fit.
My favorite track (and it's hard to narrow it down to one) is the bubbly and fun "Radio Danceable," which is just too gorgeous for me to describe accurately. The early-on synth bells twinkle like diamonds but soon a funky series of beats and rhythms (both synth and organic) take over, driving the track into a top-tapping cruising mode. This isn't really techno or any other form of electronica, but it's not any of the other easily noted subgenres of EM either. Itıs a confluence of drum programming, buzz saw synths, chattering keyboards, and celestial-sounding bells. Like I said - I dig this track a lot!
"Three in All" closes the album. It's a solid fifteen-minute conclusion, uniting some Germanic elements to other textures, such as ethno-tribal, prog fusion and even a touch of new age music. Opening with mellow piano, hand percussion, and spacy synths, I was reminded (believe it or not) of Lanz and Speer's Desert Vision (owing to how the piano is folded into the underlying electronics and the more sedate yet stately melody of the lead line). Until, of course, things started heating up - and they do heat up. Like water being slowly boiled, the musical steam starts slowly, with sequenced beats and synth choruses - van der Heijden really gives his drums a workout on this track. By the way, engineering on the album is sterling. The drums are never too far forward nor too far back in the mix - which is a good thing because van der Heijden's playing of them is a highlight of Livelines. The ethno-tribal rhythms also become predominant later in the track, intermixed with some of the most spacy synth work on the album. Hand percussion by Aerts and van der Heijden also deserves special recognition here. But then the sequencing by Boots is what brings everything together so seamlessly throughout much of the CD. Oh hell, all three of these guys kick major amounts of ass on this recording. Kudos to all of them!
No matter if the music is cruising through space, thumping along the neon-streets of Berlin, or dancing by firelight outside of primitive caves, Livelines is both a superior concert album and a worthy addition to the collection of any fan of Germanic EM or active spacemusic. The use of non-synthesized percussion and drums adds a vibrancy that is seldom heard in this music and the electronics themselves hold up their end of the bargain as well. All in all, a splendid time was obviously had by all (and will continue to be had by purchasers of this CD).
2002. Bill Binkelman / WIND and WIRE
Also know as BAH, on February 26th this trio gave a concert at the Schwallwende Elections in Essen, Germany. That live now is this incredible album. Boots with synths creates wonderful passages, while Aerts and v.d. Heijden with percussions complete every free space of the melodies. Tracks of a slow and dark electronic and others full of a dawn of solar notes that shine of cold effects of crystal, as that winter night when thay could give a live full of Atmosphere. Here, we find too "Desert Clouds", one of best tracks loved in the career of Boots, and "Moondust" from last new Ron's cd, one the best he has created. Very good!
Stefania Carezzoli / 21st Century Music
You know where you are with this trio, and these tracks recorded live at the Schallwende show in February 2002 are typical of their combined style. With two synthesists you're guaranteed huge layers of strings under wobbly abstract noises, slipping slowly into fat analog sequencer territory, and after a few minutes the hi-hats come in, rapidly followed by the rest of the kit...
At least that's the formula for the first pair of tracks. It's great to hear a human drummer at work, even though both drum and cymbal sounds are digital so there's not the acoustic element there might have been. The sequences are pretty varied - none of this eight notes repeated ad infinitum business - but although plenty of pre-composition has obviously gone on, there's also the feeling of an extended jam session in most of the performances.
There's a bit of background hum throughout, which although it only shows up during applause at least proves the recordings are live, but otherwise the mix is pleasant and powerful.
Standout track is "Radio Danceable", which plays with voice and orchestral hit samples and disco toms over a 4/4 beat, though the closing "Three In All" which is a much more mid-paced piece more typical of the album as a whole has some nice Moog-like soloing to recommend it.
Ron Boots, Kees Aerts and Harold van der Heijden are prolific concert performers. And they frequently - if not always - document their concert tours with a CD. They Release the discs using the group name BAH.
Livelinesis a recording from their 2002 tour. They recorded it on February 26 in Essen, Germany. It is a stunning documentation. Ron, Kees and Harold are on the same page at the same time. It is almost like they are one performer. The simpatico is obvious. The enjoyment is obvious too. It must be a total experience to attend a BAH concert. It is totally cool that the fun comes through on the CD's. They have many live CD's available. They are all treasures.
Jim Brenholts / AmbientVisions
BRAVO for this album !
But...please...MAKE A DVD OF YOUR CONCERT ! (ZONE 2 OR MULTIZONE)
Thanks for your great music !
2003. Yvan Rosique / France