Follow-up to "Elektra" and "Asteroids". More retro sounds and analog sequencing.|
- Wanderer of time [19:21]
- Gaspra [9:36]
- Alien Matter [13:41]
- Elektra World [12:57]
- The Voyager of Voyager I [13:42]
Composed, played, recorded and produced by Gert Emmens between November 2001 and November 2002.
Jan Dieterich - guitar sfx on track 5.
Frank Emmens - voice on track 5.
Dutchman Gert Emmens is not unknown anymore in the world of electronic music. In 2001 his second album "Asteroids", also available from Groove Unlimited, caused quite a fuss because it contained a melodic variation on the Berlin School. The nice thing about his music is that he not only draws his inspiration from the "Golden Age" of electronic music, but he also largely performs it on electronic instruments from that time.
"Wanderer Of Time" could easily become a classic in the retro-scene. It has it all: haunting sequences, traditional sounds, great effects, nice rhythms and beautiful melodies. Tangerine Dream couldn’t have done it better in their big years. The epic title track, which opens the CD, already sets the standard for the rest of the album. The very melodically "Gaspra" is a composition Gert created for the double compilation-CD with is provided with the 27th issue of the English electronic music magazine "Sequences". "Alien Matter" contains some of the best sequences on the album. "Elektra World" and "The Voyage Of Voyager 1" also have influences from Vangelis because of the fat solo’s from the Yamaha CS-synths (remember the harmonica-like solo sound in Vangelis’ "Ballad"?).
"Wanderer Of Time" is an album, which might place Gert Emmens on one of the top positions of retro-electronic music. Dutch treat.
2003. Paul Rijkens
I bought all of Emmens' CDs at once after hearing samples here, and this gave me the chance to listen to all three in order. All three albums are great, but this third album is definitely stronger than the first two, both musically and sonically.
It's clear that this is an artist who is working hard to perfect their craft, not just pouring out more of the same.
I highly recommend you add this CD to your collection :)
2003. Gwydion Elderwyn / Australia
Developing daring ideas, Gert Emmens builds a magnificent epic of Space Sequencer Music.
Overwhelming rhythms, of rather unusual sonorities, melodies that evoke beauty and mystery at the same time, as well as the superb wrapping of synthesizers that weave a complete, remarkable, unearthly tapestry around
the soloist instruments.
2003. Jorge Munnshe
This cd is some of the best New Age space music I've heard in years. It takes me back 20+ years to the heyday or New Age synth music.
I recommend this to anyone who likes the dreamy spacey music of early Jarre, Tangerine Dream and other pioneers of New Age space music.
A must have.
2004. Lloyd Braun / USA
I got this cd. Risky but very good sound from this guy! Sound of real good strong sinth retro souds in the old powerful 70 style.
For real enthusiasts of old electronic but in more modern style this is a must have!
2005. Marco Franchin / Italy
I have just bought a new stereo amplifier and have removed the old transistor barrel, which dates from before the flood, and the first CD I play immediately bursts out of the speakers: Emmens’ "Wanderer of Time". Say what you will, but Gert’s releases are top of the bill, sound wise. They are full tones in which all of the notes are crystal clear, and every sequencer flick is precisely on target.
The urge to open the volume knob wider and wider is almost irresistible (hey, honey, look there is another ‘For Sale’ sign in the neighbour’s garden) and I succumb to it. What more can I tell you? If you are a fan of Emmens, you probably already have this release. If you’re not a fan, then you should be as ashamed as an old school EM devotee (or move in next door to me).
André de Waal / SonicImmersion.org
When I heard Gert Emmens’ debut cd, I was impressed by his melodic sense and his variety of themes. I haven’t heard his follow up Asteroids, so I don’t know if there was a transition, but Wanderer of Time arrives with a full-fledged Berlin school sound. Whereas his first cd had a few classic EM elements, this time he is armed with a full arsenal of vintage sounds, from Mellotron flutes to mesmerizing sequences and more, as on the 19-minute title track, a real attention getter. As it builds, beautiful synth strings soar. This disc compares favorably to Navigator’s Oceanic Empire, as both discs are firmly rooted in the classic Teutonic style, yet they also include up-to-date touches and production.
About seven minutes in, I’m sure I’m listening to classic Tangerine Dream around the time of Logos. Several different themes emerge, each flowing very smoothly into the next. This is a fantastic track, and sets the bar very high for the rest of the disc.
"Gaspra" does not disappoint as a strong second number, again a dead ringer for 1980s TD without being entirely derivative. This one has even more strings, with a sweeping epic, romantic feel to it. Superb.
"Alien Matter" gurgles about at the opening, settles down into a seemingly traditional Berlin school approach with choirs and sequencing, but then pulls out a surprise with a light-hearted melody, which actually works. As with the title track, this is a rollercoaster as the thirteen minutes explores a variety of sonic terrain, always with either cool electronic sounds and textures, or great sequencing, or both at once. Really strong lead lines assert themselves passing the 10:00 mark.
I keep thinking that the disc cannot stay this strong throughout, but "Elektra World" proves me wrong yet again. More stunning sequences, and more great musical themes evoking images of aliens and deep space.
"The Voyage of Voyager I" finishes with another epic. More whimsical and lighter than the rest, it is fitting as a happy ending to this musical space journey.
Wanderer of Time is an extraordinary album.
2003. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
The Netherlands’ Groove label, perhaps the premiere label for sequencer-heavy electronic music, has been on quite the roll lately, releasing and distributing a number of albums by newcomers and veterans alike. This batch of releases presents the label’s stylistic range from ambient/drift electronic music through Berlin school and borderline techno styles.
For example, Dutch synthesist Gert Emmens seems entirely entrenched in the music of Tangerine Dream. His last release was called Asteroids, this one Wanderer of Time and both pay musical tribute to space and the ultimate sequencer venue, the planetarium.
Wanderer is rich in the ways of retro, with string and choir like synth patches (mellotron? patch?), weird analog-like sound effects and sequencers galore. Of the titles reviewed here, this one is closest in spirit to the primary influences. Which is an issue of the duality of the sequencer electronic music genre, do we actually want more original music from these parts or do we just want more music that sounds like classic Tangerine Dream? Regardless, Emmens, like most Groove artists, presents a shining, professional product that ought to appeal to most fans of the style. It occasionally verges a bit too much on the sweet side for my tastes, but undoubtedly there is a larger audience waiting for this sort of thing, fans of Wavestar ought to find this one close to their hearts.
Clearly Euro-electronic is striving to surpass its influences while attempting to evoke the same sort of emotion and impact these same influences did for the new crop of artists. And really there is no label more intrepid than Groove where this is concerned.