Concept album based on the Warlock.
- The Warlock Returns [10:33]
- Warlock meets the Young Princess [16:24]
- Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller [13:45]
- The Dream That Came True [3:47]
- The Confrontation – Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark [17:17]
- Ghosts Calling from Yonder [11:20]
- Warlock’s Death [5:11]
Composed, Played and Produced by Gert Emmens from October 2005 – June 2006
The Warlock Returns, in a slightly different and shorter version was released in 2005 on the CD: "Kinections – The progday Support CD"
The Dream That Came True was entirely done with a Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer
The Tale of the Warlock
A tale about a man, who’s name seems to be forgotten. He is rembered as the Warlock.
After a very long period of absence, the Warlock is returning to his place of birth. When he left it many years ago to improve his skills as warlock, wizard and druid, this place was filled with peace and harmony. But during his absence, the evil Wizard of the Dark has taken over all control and power. Soon after the return of the Warlock, he meets the wise and beautiful young Princess. They fall in love, and everything seems heading towards a peaceful and very happy future . But then, one night a Storyteller is visiting the Warlock and tells him some myths and legends. It becomes clear by this stories that it is written in the stars that he must face the Wizard of the Dark. He accepts this challenge, and is then heading towards the Forbidden Citadel, where the Wizard of the Dark lives.
There is a confrontation between Warlock and the Wizard of the Dark. Although Warlock wins this battle, he returns home to his castle seriously injured, and will not recover again. After some days, fighting for his life, he dies in the arms of the Young Princess..
Since Wanderer of Times, released in 03, Gert Emmens built himself a solid reputation to write very harmonious opuses which bubble in a fauna of sequences with tricky and complexly melodious movements. Futuristic or medieval themes, the Dutch synthesist always succeeds to bring out again a melodious and catchy aspect out of his wonderful musical journeys. “The Tale of the Warlock” is Gert Emmens' 1st concept album. An imaginary quest of which the music espouses to perfection the romantic imagination of a musician with whom evolution doesn't stop surprising and charming.
A scheming intro welcomes us with "The Warlock Returns". A breath from the shadows leaves a threatening sound imprint, like the caresses of a mermaid which enchants in the middle of rumblings from which venue is unknown from us. A superb dark sequence skips and flutters in an ambience where choirs and shouts of bat confirm its dense darkness. Another shorter and sharper sequence modulates a more fluid rhythm which leans on these unique beatings and pads from a synth to stagnant waves. It's a gloomy and a disturbing landscape that waits for the Warlock return, even if the synth harpoons an undulating movement and draws a splendid melody which remains anchored as a thematic tune. The percussions are heavy and accompany a synth to strata as much heavy of which the harmonious course is constantly evolving. The evolution and the modulation of the poly-phased rhythms and structures are the big strength of Gert Emmens who explores constantly new developments with the continual arrival of new lines of sequences to very melodious outlines. These static and dark sequences shape the intro of "Warlock meets the Young Princess", where we feel Warlock following a long intimidating corridor. The echo of a muffled knock inundates this solitary outline by a segment of synth with supple chords and short silky solos, like a short luminous fairytale. A shower of chords is the forerunner of the modulations to come.
And the synth frees ethereal and silky strata of which the weak ascending flow opens the rhythm of "Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller", a track swarming of sumptuous solos which coo on the undulations of a sequences line of which the syrupy chords are crossing a musical landscape stuffed with synth melodies. This melodious brightness disappears halfway, leaving a long resonant trail which floats on the territory of ambient noises. A sequence pops out of there. Galloping, it progresses on percussions to felted metal of which the striking are flickering as an unreal insect on the airs of a very beautiful synth to nostalgic strata and violin strings hurt by the stigmas of a forgotten war. After the progressive hypnosis of "The Dream that Came True", we enter into the celestial intro of "The Confrontation – Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark". A sequential structure swirls in an ionosphere which gets fill by diverse tones. Scattered tones which roam on a mesmerizing an d hypnotic movement of sequences where choirs, felted percussions and beautiful solos tinted with schizophrenia furnish this heterogeneous universe torn by indecision. Behind a spectral breath, the sequences of "Ghosts Calling from Yonder" reach titanic proportions. Wonderful felted sequences which quiver on sieved metallic percussions undertake its spiraled rise on the back of a synth fed of melodious chords. In my opinion it's the most beautiful music piece on “The Tale of the Warlock”; a very nice album which ends in a sad and funeral way that Gert Emmens makes so soberly good, as the rest of this album and its story so well told.
2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com
Je voulais juste vous feliciter pour votre derniere production qui est remarquable comme toutes les autres d'ailleurs....
Longue vie à votre musique....
2006. Fabrice Baudinot
"The Tale Of The Warlock" is Gert Emmens’ first concept album. It tells the fictional story about the lives and times of a magician and druid. We could already taste from it through a shorter version of the track "The Warlock Returns" on the compilation-album "Kinections-The Progday Support CD" and that was very promising.
The Dutchman is a master in creating traditional electronic music with a melodical edge. This is not different on "The Tale Of The Warlock". Stronger: it has become his most consistent and harmonically album yet and certainly the one that breaths most warmth. What’s very strong again are the sequences. This, combined with nice solos, wonderful atmospheric sounds en ingenious rhythms, makes this album an extremely enjoyable ride again. Gert’s collaborations with sequencer specialist Ruud Heij certainly have left traces on this album. Excellent is a piece like "Myths And Legends As Told By The Storyteller", that opens with atmospheric sounds and Mellotron choirs, after which great sequences are added and Emmens plays a soft solo. The following "The Dream That Came True" is really something completely different: this short piece is played fully on the impressive Yamaha CS80-synthesizer, what immediately remembers of Vangelis. The highlight is perhaps "Ghosts Calling From Yonder", in which the sequences almost reach Klaus Schulze-like proportions.
Gert continues to grow in his music and that is always a great thing for a musician.
Dutch composer Gert Emmens was picked up on my radar screen in 2004 with his brilliant "Wanderer Of Time" album. Offering a new twist on the tried and true "Berlin School" brand of Electronica, Gert has evolved as one of the truly groundbreaking artists of the EM genre. For Gert's eighth solo record, he has a chosen to tell an album length story about a Warlock, a Princess and a Battle. A concept like this is almost reminiscent of a Progressive Rock album, but as with his previous work, one must adapt to the direction Mr. Emmens wishes to take the listener. As with all of Gert's work, this album will appeal to fans of Tangerine Dream, Etherfysh, Redshift, Andy Pickford, Omega Syndicate, Free System Projekt, Volt and many others.
From the first second, sound effects fill the listening space with a dark, almost sinister wave of sound until Gert's keyboard work flows over the top with an infectious sequencer line concluding at the 2:57 mark when his "layered" sound comes to the front with washes of synthesizers and sequencers. There is a sense of romanticism in Gert's music, and a passion in it that can be felt and heard. As the album progresses, it brings about a darker sense of urgency and longing. Reflecting on his life, the Warlock meets and is enamored with a young Princess. Captured by her beauty, he is under her spell and will live with and protect her for all time. Gert's synth work in this track conveys the love and sense of belonging the Warlock is feeling.
High atop the mountain, the battle is joined. The Warlock and the Wizard Of The Dark do battle for the hand of the Princess. It is here that a non-melodic backdrop falls into the listening space. The sound evokes dark clouds, spectacular flashes of lightening and earth shaking thunder. Gert's sequencer returns at the 4:00 mark to add to the urgency of the scene. Swirls of Synths and choral passages offer a sense of watching this fierce battle of two powerful characters. Echoes of the Warlock's memories comes shooting back to him as screams in the darkest night. As the battle rages, Gert's synth lines are ever changing in intensity, conveying each and every blow. The Warlock is dead. His spirit leaves the tower of the castle in a showering light to the heavens.
Imagery in music, whether instrumental or not is synonymous with great talent. Allow Gert's Warlock to cast a spell in your listening space.
Ich freu´mich jetzt schon auf die nächste cd....... seine Musik ist immer was besonderes. Gert erzählt musikalisch Geschichten, deren Bilder man sich beim hören sehr gut vorstellen kann.
Die Stimmungen , die Klangbilder kommen in der Musik unheimlich toll rüber. Da stimmt alles. Und das schöne: Er bleibt seinem Stil treu. " The Tale Of The Warlock" ist eine wahnsinnig tolle cd, die mit Sicherheit einige Auszeichnungen erhält.
Lieber Gert, bitte jetzt noch eine DVD zu dieser schönen Musik!
........ das wär´s doch.
2006. Uwe Saße
This is a concept album with an outline of the story in the sleeve notes. Dark drones rise and fall punctuated by twittery effects creating something of a stormy feel.
'The Warlock Returns' doesn't take long to really get going however as a superb sequence rumbles forth. The feeling now is full of optimism. As the underlying string pads swell there is even a sense of whimsy.
Things take a much darker turn for 'Warlock meets the Young Princess'. Initially it's as if we are out at night, half heard noises hinting at something unpleasant, far too close. As with the previous track the sequence materializes near the beginning and if anything is even better than the opener, all rather brooding. The lead lines however shine like rays of light lifting the mood. Just before the sixth minute mark we get crashes of sound signalling a shift in the sequences. It's as if there is now a sudden urgency. I'm reminded of 'Optical Race' period Tangerine Dream.
A couple of minutes later the sequences seem to develop an added snarl as the mood darkens once more, only to gradually fade away leaving us with a feeling of loss.
Warm tones get 'Myths and Legends as told by the Storyteller' underway. An optimistic questing sequence takes us forward, the lead lines echoing this sentiment. In the fifth minute things descend to soothing pads. A new sequence rises from the shifting waters. More pleasant melodic pulsations come to join it. We move on.
I initially thought 'The Dream that came True' was referring to a nightmare as the sounds and effects brought up images of dungeons. A slow bass throb emphasized this feeling then in complete contrast those sunny lead lines come back making things now seem more like balmy summer afternoons!
'The Confrontation - Warlock versus the Wizard of the Dark' begins in the same wonderfully grim way as the previous track, leading to a melancholy section. A sequence is heard low in the mix as if we are marshalling all our strength. It slowly rises, developing all the time into a very mid seventies Tangerine Dream style rumbling bass romp. Ethereal pads add a little softness. This time the lead lines are more forceful- maybe battle has been engaged. The sequences become even more intense before reaching a peak in the twelfth minute and slowly subside into mournful pads- perhaps the aftermath of battle. New sequences emerge with a couple of minutes to go but they are thoughtful, reflective even, as we drift along almost to the track's conclusion on the back of a lovely moody melody. We finish with one final twist of nightmare.
'Ghosts Calling from Yonder' has a very faint melody almost completely smothered by breathy / windy effects. An optimistic tinkling sequence becomes the main feature. A deeper one joins it as do rhythms and we start to bounce along at a fair pace. The sequences have become even more strident by the seventh minute and mellotron arrives to back them.
'Warlock's Death' begins with the cry of some wolf like creature then a metallic sequence bounds forward along with a jaunty rhythm. Given the track title (the Warlock is the goody in this story) it provides a rather positive and uplifting conclusion to the album.
A very moody beginning gets "Warlock Returns" underway - typical Emmens, although a bit different from what was heard on his previous albums. Soon a bass sequence appears, talking us straight to classic Berlin School territory. Great pads support the flow as we are flying on top of quite a stormer. Mind you, it manages to sooth while being extremely dynamic. Gert sure knows how to do it! A solo cries on top and what solo! Any analog sound enthusiast would kill for it! There's also a nice jazzy vibe to the sound that I found totally new in Gert's music. A highly welcomed change it is, I must add - I loved those reflective electric pianos coupled with synth pads. Of course, I need not remind you that the sequencing is, as always with Gert, simply stunning!
"Warlock Meets the Young Princess" is somewhat dark at the beginning with long, drawn-out pads and whooshing effects. However, it's not long before a stonking bass sequence appears, supporting the track without dominating it. Everything changes once the lead line kicks in. No, no, it's still the same flowing / melancholic piece, and even romantic one, but this time it's a tad more intense. Now, I don't like to repeat myself but melancholy and sadness are the two nouns that could describe the mood of this piece. Sounds like a new direction for Gert. Although there has always been a touch of sadness to his music, here it's transformed into an all-enveloping nostalgia that grabs you by the heart. Some quirky synth-pop traits can be perceived after the 5 minute mark, once the sequences become more prominent, although then comes the Mellotron choir that takes us back to fantasy land. Excellent track! EM has rarely been so emotional. The melodies, the solos, the pads, the sequences - everything is a stroke of a genius. And do I need to tell you of that lovely female voice patch that closes this number? Oh boy, you've been told too much already, let's move on.
"Myths And Legends As Told By the Storyteller" continues this concept album and... Hell! Just how this guy does it? Only God knows, as he churns out one great EM piece after another. "Myths And Legends..." does not disappoint and this time it's more typical Emmens, both in mood and in sound (the solos, the sequences etc). After a section dominated by pads, another lovely rhythmic construction manifests itself in the form a relaxed sonic trip into your dreams. If you haven't been carried away by now, nothing will help you.
"The Dream That Came True" is a little interlude for Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer that shows you just what this beast can do. Excellent symphonic piece that reminded me on Vangelis (no big wonder here!). I wish this track would last longer.
The intro of "Confrontation" is fittingly creepy, with rich sound blanket enveloping the dark sounds. Once again those "Emmens" sequences are the focus here with pads dominating the melodic content. I must admit that for a confrontation I'd expect a more aggressive piece but Gert seems to have imagined a more peaceful land - a place where one has the time to reflect, to recall and to feel, a land which is million miles away from everyday troubles, so even a confrontation here is imbued with a sense of unhurriedness, vastness and romanticism. Great analogue solos make this track a wonderful experience - Gert really knows how to coax those weeping sounds out of his synths.
"Ghosts Calling From Yonder" has a spooky beginning with unidentifiable sounds, but after a while a high-pitched sequence appears that somehow reminded me on Jarre. A bass sequence joins it as we are heading towards the unknown listening to the beautiful song of the Theremin. This must be the most sequencer-heavy track on the entire album, with multiple pulsations forming a beautiful and intricate structure for the track, while classic Mellotron sounds add mystery and vigor.
"Warlock's Death" is probably as dark as it gets on this album, with howling wolves and some samples. And even the death is conquered by optimism in Gert's land - the sequences, pads and solos are anything but dark and desperate. Just the contrary - they scream about hope and rebirth. There's no such thing as death in Gert Emmens' fantasy land.
This great work, despite being drenched in melancholy and sadness, leaves you hoping for another day. No mistakes tonight, Gert produces a great piece of art with "The Tale of the Warlock", introducing some new elements as well as refining his trademark techniques.
2006. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
Another musician who has lost his way somewhat is Gert Emmens who, since signing to Groove, has done away with the variety of styles that made his early works so enjoyable, instead opting for a more generic albeit pleasantly melodic style.
His latest "Tale Of The Warlock" (GR-135) continues in this trend with 7 sequentially-based tracks that are pleasant & which certainly have their moments but, overall, prove pleasant rather than excellent.
Only "The Dream That Came True" really stands out thanks to the use of the classic CS80 which adds a slightly offbeat feel to what is otherwise a romantic & laidback tune. In keeping with the album’s fantasy concept it would have been nice to see more acoustic instruments incorporated to give the music a more proggy feel (one of the tracks did appear on the Progday compilation, after all) but I guess synth fans will enjoy this well enough.
Carl Jenkinson / Sequences
Gert Emmens' "The Tale of the Warlock" is the most requested cd that I have played in years.
flyingman / WAWL Chattanooga State / USA
Gert Emmens’ inimitable and instantly recognizable style sets him apart from his Berlin school classmates. This time around, Gert tells The Tale of the Warlock, a sweeping epic told in a brief paragraph on the booklet; the lengthy track titles, the music, and the listener’s imagination fill in the gaps.
"The Warlock Returns" begins in dreamy shadows, but soon becomes trademark Emmens with its upbeat sequencing, lush string pads, and warbly synth melodies.
The fanciful tale continues with "Warlock Meets the Young Princess", with a quick pulsing sequence and lush pads. The title belies the active nature of the music.
The next track is much softer and lighter, almost whimsical but still with a sense of drama. "The Dream that Came True" is ethereal and brief, followed by the longest track, "The Confrontation". After a dark brooding beginning it finds a mid-tempo groove and follows it to the end.
A light tinkling sequence brightens "Ghosts Calling from Yonder", again with Emmens’ trademark lead synth lines running through it.
The tale ends tragically with "Warlock’s Death", bringing the disc to a somewhat somber but regal finish.
2007. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
This release from 2006 offers 79 minutes of gripping electronic music.
As one might expect from this cds title, these melodies possesses a mystical flavor. The electronics are eerie and celestial. Pulsations evoke a glimmering feeling as they swim in pools of vibrantly dramatic sequencing. Complex riffs are generated on nimble-fingered keyboards, belting out with relentless determination.
Once created, cycles swoop and loop with carefree abandon, evolving with each successive turn and swelling to majestic structures of engaging appeal. Heavenly textures descend to melt with the dynamic flow. A powerful bevy of sounds are given epic proportions, so that each song throbs with magical charm. The melodies display a regal demeanor despite their earthy character. Compelling passages radiate with shrill verve as the keyboards create lavish patterns that cavort and spiral and collide.
The tunes flow with bouncy vigor. Rhythms are often generated by surging electronics instead of impact beats, bestowing the tempos with a slippery disposition. Conventional e-perc is employed too, providing demonstrative locomotion and tasty urgency to the grand tunes.
The compositions evoke a mythical air riddled with epic conflicts and grand castles of ancient construction. No elves or pixies here, just mature fantasy as the warlock's tale unfolds. Romance is threatened, and battles must be fought to win the maiden's life. Wizards duel over barren landscapes, the atmosphere shimmering with their cast spells.
The resultant sense of wonder is contagious and thoroughly satisfying.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Mit "The Tale Of The Warlock" liefert der Niederländer Gert Emmens sein mittlerweile neuntes Soloalbum ab. Nachdem sich Gert auf seinem letzten Album eher mit einer Endzeitstimmung befasste, führt er uns auf der aktuellen Veröffentlichung thematisch ins Reich der Phantasie.
Doch schon bei den ersten Klängen des Openers „Warlocks Return" fühle ich mich eher in die Zukunft, als in eine mittelalterliche Umgebung oder Phantasiewelt versetzt. Die Musik auf diesem Album ist wieder im typischen Gert Emmens Stil, also den Wurzeln der „Berliner Schule" und der Art, wie sie Ron Boots spielt verbunden. Mir gefällt dieser Stil sehr gut, allerdings kann ich keinen direkten Bezug zwischen der Musik und dem Thema bzw. den Titeln herstellen, dazu hätten aus meiner Sicht andere Sounds gewählt werden müssen.
Nichts desto trotz liefert Gert auch mit seinem neuen Silberling wieder ein sehr solides Album ab. Es enthält sieben Tracks, von denen fünf jeweils über der zehn Minuten-Marke liegen. Gert zaubert in den einzelnen Stücken einen Wechsel aus Stimmungen, die er durch weit angelegte Flächen, die teils auf Sequenzerläufen liegen, erzeugt. Streckenweise platziert er dann sehr effektvolle herrliche Melodielinien auf diese Sounds.
Einen einzelnen Track kann man aus dieser CD nicht hervorheben. Für mich gehört Gert Emmens ebenfalls zu den Musikern, deren CDs man sich blind kaufen kann. Wer seine bisherigen Alben oder den Stil von Ron Boots mag, der kann sich diese CD bedenkenlos zulegen.
2006. Stephan Schelle
This album presents a cosmic epic narrated with the peculiar musical language of this artist. By making a lavish use of synthesizer orchestrations, and resorting to very effective combinations of chords, Gert Emmens succeeds in delighting us with a show of beauty and violence, like those inherent to Fire, Thunder or any of the other natural elements unleashed.
The touches of Synth-Pop, Jazz, and melodic symphonism add warmth to a work inherently shaped by means of powerful feelings.
Gert Emmens è un altro nome "storico" della Groove: melodista istintivo e per questo sempre efficace, è anche un rigoroso sostenitore dell'analogico, infatti i suoi dischi sono sempre ispirati alla strumentazione della scuola berlinese, così espressiva e calda (Arp, Moog, Hohner, Farfisa etc.). Nel 2005 sforna When Darkness Falls Upon The Earth, un lavoro affascinante, ispirato e considerato da molti il suo capolavoro. Qui il polistrumentista olandese mette a frutto il suo talento: c'è poco spazio per interminabili introduzioni e sonorità sfuggenti, Gert punta al sodo e anche se i suoni sono un po' retrò il gusto melodico trionfa.
Subito dopo Gert ha bissato con l'opera fantasy The Tale Of the Warlock (2006). E' un concept album ispirato alla figura del Warlock, mago e sacerdote druido, allontanatosi dai suoi luoghi nativi per migliorare le sue abilità: tornato nel suo paese, trova oscurità e perfidia, incarnate dal Mago dell'oscurità, ma anche l'amore di una giovane principessa.
Stimolato dalla trama, l'olandese mette a segno un altro colpo creando una sinfonia elettronica tanto demodè quanto pregnante nella sua immediatezza melodica e nel tratto inconfondibile degli strumenti come il sintetizzatore Yamaha CS-80.
Donato Zoppo / MovimentiProg
Gert Emmens is pretty much typical of Groove artists, mixing abstract sequencer music with some slightly more composed passages, having moved up from short run CDR releases to this pretty much professional looking title.
"The Dream That Came True" was created entirely on a Yamaha CS80 so inevitably sounds a bit like Vangelis, using the harmonica-like melody sound heard throughout the "Blade Runner" soundtrack, but other tracks like the opening "The Warlock Returns" call upon a wider range of textures notably deep bass sequences and electronic percussion.
This remains fairly abstract stuff though - despite the beautiful thematic cover illustrations, this is no "King Arthur & The Myths & Legends of the Knights of the Round Table", having no vocals, no repeated thematic material and no real way to differentiate one track title from another. This is exactly the area of European synthesizer music which a lot of listeners may find a bit difficult to become involved with, so rapidly on to...
2008. Mark Jenkins