The music on this album was composed, played and produced by Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij.|
- Return to the Origin
- Life in Motion
- So Long
All music was based on improvisation.
The basic tracks were recorded at Infinite Echoes studio in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Mastered by Ron Boots.
Ruud: Arp Odyssey, Arp Sequencer, Arrick modular system (synthesizers.com), Doepfer Maq 16/3, EMS Synthi A, Moog 55 modular system, Minimoog, Yamaha A4000 (with Mellotron set), Yamaha S30
Gert: Arp Pro Soloist, Elka Rhapsody 610, Elka Solist 505, 2 Minimoogs, Polymoog Synthesizer, Moog Sonic 6, Roland M-VS1 (Mellotron), 2 Yamahaís AN1x, Yamaha SY85
2004. Press information
Return to the Origin has the long dreamy space passages, the pulsing hypnotic sequencer sections, everything a vintage electronic music voyage should be.
"Vortex" spends several minutes drifting and floating, but is off to the races once the sequence starts. The synth lead is classic stuff, though more restrained and mellow than some, letting the sequence do most of the talking. Synthetic sound effects bounce around for the last minute or two, concluding a strong 17-plus minute journey. Ruud Heijís musical presence dominates the title track, sounding much like his excellent Patchwork CD that he did with Rene Jansen.
Haunting strings and atmospheres give way to more strong sequencing. Iím also reminded of Kubusschnitt in the sequences, and Klaus Schulze in the lead lines Ė very good company indeed.
Next up is "Solaris", launching into mesmerizing loops right away this time. The warbling lead line is a signature Emmens sound. Toward the end the sequence drops out of the mix, leaving just a bass part which leans toward a Redshift sort of sound. A spacey sound effect rings out for a nice finish.
"Life In Motion" pings about randomly at first, then a low rich pad signals that things are going to get going. Five minutes in Ė what else? Ė a crystal clear sequence appears. A second sequence then mirrors it, nicely layered as a bass line adds depth. Similar in feel to the title track and to Patchwork, itís a formula that continues to pay dividends to the end.
2004. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
De combinatie van Gert's stijl en sequencer meester Ruud heeft een geweldige CD opgeleverd. Alle lovende reacties zijn volledig terecht. Een must have voor sequencer en analoge synth liefhebber.
2004. Martin Hoegee / NL
In this album, Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij have succeeded in creating a window through which the listener can glimpse at faraway worlds, experience adventures among the stars, and find himself face to face with the transcendental enigmas every Human Being wonders about from birth to death.
Impressive music that spurs imagination. Best quality Space Sequencer Music, rich in complex rhythmic architectures and suggestive melodies.
2004. Edgar Kogler / Amazing Sounds
This CD from 2004 features 71 minutes of galvanizing electronic music.
A haunting opening strongly evokes vistas of cosmic proportion seething with astral elements to which even spacier aspects are introduced. Drifting electronic textures establish a sense of overwhelming awe. Distant blooping sounds herald the emergence of imminent sequencing of sparkling disposition.
Once this harmonic flow gives way to a melodic presence, the thrills begin with ecstatic results.
Keyboard loops interweave with increasingly more complex chords, generating a lush mood of compelling electronics. An urgency is quite evident, stirring the audience's soul with dancing notes that spin and spiral with enormous enthusiasm.
Pinnacles are achieved with alarming frequency, each peak surpassing the last and lifting the listener to higher altitudes of quantum mesmerization. Touches of heavenly airs hide in the surging euphonies, lending a reverent touch to the constant sonic ascension.
Subtle e-perc plays a vital role here, creeping from the tonal morass to flourish amid the melodies with shining effect.
These rhythms propel the tuneage with engaging tempos that blend with the whirling electronics, merging to form a cohesive gestalt of synthetic rapture.
These compositions are superb, capturing attention and emotion with their emphatic sonority. Sound transmutes into instant bliss, then immerses the audience in a stimulating soundscape of active riffs and energized sedation.
Ruud Heij has played with Kubusschnitt, Free System Projekt, and Patchwork.
2004. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Return to the Origin is one of those special that spark several responses on several levels. Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij created these magnificent soundscapes with no acoustic devices at all Ė unless they are fabricating the equipment lists!
The style is primarily Berlin school electronica and there are many other references as well. Gert and Ruud surround their sequences with atmospheres, melodies, symphonic synths and experimental effects. The music skirts the edges of sci-fi and space music textures and timbres. This is another great CD from a great label - Groove Unlimited - in a great e-music era!
2004. Jim Brenholts
This is one of the most interesting retro-cd's I've heard. It's classic Berlin-style sequencing with powerful leads and beautiful chords.
2004. Renť / Neverland
ĎI died and went to sequencer heavení. That is what I was thinking while listening to this CD. Don't be fooled by the first seven minutes of opening track "Vortex" because these are deadly dull: from the eight minute the sequencers erupt and don't ease up until the fifth and last track "So Long" which starts quietly, but even then Emmens & Heij cannot help themselves and introduce a nice portion of rhythm.
The title of this release, "Return To The Origin", says it all: pure retro in the best Berliner Schulze tradition.
Man, man, man, man, this is pure hopping through the room with the volume knob unashamedly on 10!
2005. Andrť de Waal
I must admit that with the announced album of traditional Berlin School Electronic Music I was a bit fearful that it will be a complete copy of 70ís Tangerine Dream, but thankfully this is not the case. Sure, the structure of the tracks is genuinely Berlin School and the sequences and soloing do bring to mind some of the classic TD/Klaus Schulze stuff, but itís certainly not a rip-off. The tracks on this album are traditionally long and drumless, all rhythmic elements being provided by the ubiquitous sequences.
"Vortex" has long atmospheric introduction of the dark variety. Itís a tad similar to "Rubycon", but pretty unique overall and very moody. Itís only inevitable, though, that after around the 6:50 mark, fast sequences appear that are complimented by the brief EMS effects. Itís an energetic but flowing track. More sequences are added together with background pads. The sequences slightly change here and there to keep things interesting. Warm analog string sounds are a welcome addition. The solos are also pretty tasteful. As the sequences subside, the track ends with another atmospheric section.
Next we have the title track that starts with choirs and strange otherworldly sounds. Very delicious! A harmonic higher-register sequence is added along with soft EMS sounds. This is soon replaced by fast Rubycon-type fat analog bass sequence. This is 100 % Berlin School. Fortunately, itís not very derivative at this point. I say fortunately because a 100th copy of Tangerine Dream circa 1975 is certainly not what I'd like to hear. The solos are top-notch - lovely analog timbre. Overall, the track is a sequencer fanís paradise.
"Solaris" is a busy track thatís straight into up tempo melodic sequences. Itís beautiful stuff thatís similar to Gert Emmensí solo music because of the Elka harmonica solos and the use of the pads. At 8:34, itís the shortest cut on the album.
Now the longest cut, "Life in Motion". Very deep and atmospheric beginning, sparse EMS flashes here and there, strange sounds and very deep windy whooshing, almost on the edge of hearing at times. Then a fat sawy sound appears out of nowhere, something like slightly distorted analog strings, pretty dramatic and evocative. The sequence arrives at around the 5:06 mark, soon joined by another one and then another one, in the bass register. All then settles into a steady rhythmic groove with soloing on top, similar to some of Schulzeís seventies stuff. This section is a bit too derivative for my tastes, mainly because of the solo timbre. The track ends with that already familiar analog string sound.
"So Long", the last track on the album is also the best one. It manages to be gentle and comforting, although a bit mysterious, while at the same time having a mind-bending, super-fast sequence throughout its middle part.
I'd like to mention the mixing. The album sounds as if it was recorded on analog tape. Therefore, it is possible that Ron Boots (who mastered the album) or the musicians themselves made use of the "analog" function on the desk, although I wouldn't bet on it.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable album of Electronic Music that all sequencer heads will love!
Artemi Pugachov / Russia
The genre of Spacemusic is based on the concept of the future. It's true that musicians working in this field have always been perceived as making music that is ahead of its time, but that's just half the story. In actuality, it's not that the world isn't ready for this mode of expression, but rather that this kind of music always points to some unspecified faint point in the distance and to the possibilities of tomorrow.
Return to the Origin (70'40"), the debut collaboration between Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij, is an album based upon the time-honored forms, figures and sound designs of '70s era Berlin-School Spacemusic. The album moves as if powered by star drive engines.
Each of the album's progression of tightly composed episodes are centered upon the traveling, cyclical repetitions of splintered rhythms created by Heij's pattern generating sequencers. Gliding above, Emmens' melodic narrative relates a tale told through a wandering ribbon of warm synth lines - rising, falling and bending in time with the tapestry of interlocking electronic pulses and beats. Unrolling expectantly, the thread is thrilling but the weave leaves us spellbound. The duo augment each other well on this poetic meditation into the vastness of human spirit as explored through music technology. They are well versed in the vocabulary of this genre's early masterworks.
For the listener, Return to the Origin is a means to cover great distances while lost in our own imaginations. For Emmens and Heij, it is part of their quest to locate themselves in the world of their musical ancestors.
2004. Chuck van Zyl / Star's End