Recorded and mixed at Ace Studio in Belgium, between March and August 1997.|
- Amber [5:48]
- Green [4:03]
- Blue [4:38]
- Indigo [4:11]
- Red [4:11]
- Grey [5:48]
- White [2:43]
- Orange [5:03]
- Magenta [2:30]
- Brown [6:47]
- Violet [5:24]
- Black [5:18]
Produced, composed, arranged and engineered by Frank Van Bogaert.
Mastered by Alan Ward at Electric City, Brussels.
Sleeve design by Kris Van Bogaert.
With help from:
Pyke - vocals on "Green"
Nick - child vocals on "Green"
Martin King for capturing some Siberian Indians on "Indigo" & "Violet"
Sientje - vocals on "Green".
In the promotional blurb for this CD it said that it was a unique fusion of Deep Forest, Enigma and Vangelis. True? Well partly, I can’t hear too much Vangelis but the other two comparisons are accurate to a certain degree. I wouldn’t call anything about the album particularly unique, but so what. I could bring out an album of some very unique stuff but I doubt anyone would want to buy it, unless you hate your neighbours that is.
What we have here is a very enjoyable, well produced collection of mainly up tempo pieces in the 90s tradition with some vocal samples / chants thrown in at just the right time. ‘Amber’ is one of the best tracks here and kicks the album off beautifully, straight into a rhythm which takes no prisoners. A sequence bubbles away accompanied by very fine melodies, the occasional bass rumble / explosion adding to the excitement.
‘Green’ continues the formula but adds a really nice twist in introducing a vocal sample which provides the melody but then a young child copies the sample. OK so it is a bit sweet but honestly it works very well, unless I am becoming a sentimental old sod in my old age that is.
The rest of the tracks follow the same formula, catchy rhythms and superb melodies with vocal samples used to provide colour.
This winning combination makes it the ideal CD to play to your friends to get them into EM as it is the sort of album almost everyone will like, even an old retro freak like me. Music to veg out to.
Frank van Bogaert is a Belgian composer, musician and producer who already has a long career behind him. He is much at home in a great amount of musical disciplines like synthipop, straight-forward popmusic, filmmusic and pure electronic music. In his own music (now already on 4 CD’s), this diversity can also be heard very well.
In 1997 Frank started working on his first soloalbum. On this album, he intended each piece to be "no more than musical paintings", capturing the colours of the titles. Though, the album is also called "Colours".
Frank is heavily influenced by Vangelis but also by the world-music style of artists like Enigma and Deep Forest. Where his later albums lean more toward a combination between this influences, "Colours" is aimed very firmly at the Enigma/Deep Forest market and is easily of the same quality of production and depth of composition of these more famous acts.
Every track on "Colours" describes a certain colour. As every colour is different, the tracks on "Colours" are also different from each other.
From uptempo technobeats ("Amber", "Red", "White"), Native American tribal music and chants ("Indigo", "Grey"), sequences over a straightforward 4/4 drum pattern ("Blue"), gentle pop pieces ("Red", "Violet"), modern dancemusic ("Black") and also some ambientpassages ("Brown").
All these pieces reflects the many talents of Frank van Bogaert, now available as a re-release on Groove Unlimited.
2004. Paul Rijkens
Groove has been reissuing a fair number of classics lately. Colours was Frank Van Bogaert’s first CD, and it is the only one that, up to now, I had not heard.
Without having gone further than the opening track "Amber", I can tell I’ve been missing something. It’s like Jarre on speed infused with a touch of techno, this really cooks, full of energy and fun. The bouncy midtempo "Green" is equally good, although the vocals in the middle put me off some.
Xylophone plinks along in "Blue".
"Indigo" is very pop sounding, but there is a fair amount of chanting and other wordless vocals to lend an ethnic flavor.
Rhythms are exceptional throughout, as evident on "Red", with a pounding beat that is a perfect hybrid between tribal and rock.
"Grey" has a cool synthetic, robotic sound, yet another toe-tapper among many.
"White" is one of the few without significant beats, a short beautiful track blending piano and synths.
Rhythms return strong in "Orange" a slow but powerful number with breathy synths and wonderfully layered drums and percussion. Another lovely piano part adorns the end of the piece.
"Magenta" has the sound and feel of romantic Tangerine Dream tracks circa 1990.
The appropriately subdued "Brown" again scores high marks in the rhythmic department, dominating the surrounding synth flutes and pads without overpowering them.
The musician most often mentioned in comparison to Van Bogaert is Vangelis, and that influence comes to the forefront in "Violet", a majestic, tender arrangement.
The disc ends on the dance floor with "Black", making "Amber" seem almost but not quite listless by comparison.
Colours is fantastic from beginning to end, don’t miss it the second time around.
2004. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Frank is a Belgian composer who is influenced very much by the world-music style of Enigma, Deep Forest, et al. This album is aimed very firmly at that market and is easily of the same quality of production and depth of composition of these more famous acts. If he gets the right exposure and promotion, he's got a huge hit on his hands.
From a musical point of view, this is one of the most positive albums I've heard in a long time. Frank intended each piece to be "no more than musical paintings", capturing the colours of the titles. Listening to this makes me feel good, and what more could anyone ask ?
Uptempo like Keller & Schoenwaelder 'beats' tracks. It's techno, but with that incessant 'bouncy' quality of K&S, and there are 'gulp' real melodies !
Brings to mind chanting world-music tracks. Overlays a little child's voice which is endearing rather than irritating.
My fave cut on the album. Amazingly simple, almost minimistic, sequences over a straightforward 4/4 drum pattern. Just keeps building and subtley changing over the course of the track. Beautiful. Music to accompany film of a glider soaring on thermals.
Tribal sounding, with some really good melodies played on expressive wind instrument patch. Interesting manipulations of vocal samples.
Starts with a drum beat almost like an electronic version of Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' ! 'Trainspotting' has a lot to answer for. Quickly gets into its stride as another fine example of the tribal genre.
Infectious beat brings Native American images to mind. A little darker than the preceeding tracks, this makes a nice contrast. Some interesting dubby echo effects fly around the stereo field in a subtle fashion.
My third fave track. Reminds me in some ways of 'Melt' by Leftfield. Some expert piano work shows off Frank's technical abilities. Enveloping waves of strings make this very relaxing.
A tropical desert island. No steel drums, though (thank goodness !).
Positive and reminiscent of Songs of Distant Earth (probably because of the vocal samples used). Also brings to mind Vangelis' Oceanic.
A darker track. Slow and ambient. An autumn morning, walking past fields getting ready for winter. Lonely but quite beautiful, too.
Gentle arpeggios overlay velvety strings and deep bass synths, weaving a stereo tapestry not dissimilar to 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp' by Jimi Hendrix. Builds and builds into a wall of beauty. Puts me in mind of Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb', too. My second favourite cut.
Unsurprisingly, this starts off in an ominous fashion in a minor key. Quite a bit more hard-core than the previous tracks, this features heavy kick drums, acidic sequencers and an almost militaristic feel,
enhanced by the addition of communications samples (NASA I imagine, but they tend to stay undecipherable in the background).
My favourite tracks tend to be the more ambient ones, which move away from the 'Deep Forest' genre. I hope Frank develops this side of his music more, but overall this is one amazing album from a very talented guy.
This CD from 2004 is a reissue of Van Bogaert’s rare debut release from 1997. It features 56 minutes of energetic electronic music.
Rapid-delivery chords and frenetic e-perc make the listener sit up and take notice with the CD’s initial track. This attraction does not fade as the music continues. With each subsequent track, van Bogaert draws you in with captivating melodies and an engaging performance.
Lavish keyboards generate enticing soundscapes that are rich with vibrant emotion. Notes are born to evolve into splendid chords that mingle to produce dramatic melodies. Background textures expertly establish atmospheric foundations for these more demonstrative expressions. Clever embellishments flesh out an already generously endowed harmonic presence.
Versatile e-perc contributes driving force to each song, adding pep and flavor to the already powerful disposition. The rhythms are enthralling and compelling, refusing to allow the audience to sit still. One might not be impelled to get up and dance, but there is strong inducement to bob and sway along with the inventive tempos.
Mixing ambient, ethnic, Native American, and pop roots, van Bogaert compresses all these elements together with his discerning talent, transmuting influences into fresh sonic entities with his hyper sequences and inventive samples.
2004. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Like most paintings and photographs have an emphasis on a certain colour,
each track on this album has a distinct atmosphere, primary to the melodies and rhythms.
I consider them no more than "Musical Paintings."
You should listen to this recording in a comfortable way.
Frank VanBogaert wrote that in 1997 for the liner notes for "(the start of his) electronic career" (as Kees Aerts states it) - Colours.
Groove Unlimited has re-issued this electronic tour-de-force as electronic music enters a golden age. It is a very appropriate release for 2004, too, as it is versatile and variegated.
Frank does not limit himself to a single reference point or influence. Rather, these wondrous soundscapes run the full – well – spectrum of the colours of the musical universe.
Deep listeners will hear chorale, classical, pop, tribal, Native American and new age references and echoes. Of course, there are Berlin school sequences and ambient atmospheres but the overriding appeal is the diversity.
It is very cool to revisit and review this disc in this amazing year and era.
2004. Jim Brenholts
Originally, "Colours" was recorded in 1998, but I find the music on this release rather dated already. Maybe this is because of the frequent use of house-like beats, world music vocals & rhythms and distorted vocals, which for a while were in fashion during the nineties (probably because of the huge world wide success of Enigma). Particularly the first half of the cd is full of this but unfortunately, after six years, we have just heard too much of this type of music. This does not mean though that there is nothing likeable about this release.
On the second part of the cd there are several ‘real’ EM-tracks, like "Orange", that are quite nice.
André de Waal
Frank calls his work "ambient synthesizer music", but it is probably much more than that. Influenced by artists like Deep Forest or Beautiful World, his contributions to the genre are indeed more electronic.
He likes sequencers (we too) so the results with them are excellent. There also ethnic traits (listen to that voices), good rhythms, a wide sound palette (including sounds from the nature), and charming melodies which you will want to hear over and over again.
Colours is one of the best works around for this type of music.
Please, listen to pieces number 2 or 3. They are definitely great!
The album contains 12 themes. Frank Van Bogaert composed, arranged and produced them. He also plays all instruments.
2004. Manuel Montes / Amazing Sounds