Composed, played, recorded, produced and mastered by Gert Emmns|
- School's Out [10:40]
- Gaming part 1: Battles are Won and Lost [21:26]
- Life Around The Sand Castle [9:55]
- Gaming part 2: The Quest [20:32]
- Adolescent Behaviour [10:48]
- Nothing Lasts Forever [5:28]
Optimized for cd by Ron Boots
Frank Emmens - voice
Gert Emmens - Boss DR-660, CRB stringmachine, Elektor Formant modular ('2), Elka solist 505, EMU E6400 Ultra, EMU Proteus 2, EMU Vintage Keys Plus, Farfisa Syntorchestra, Hammond Auto Vari 64, Korg MS-2000, Korg PE-1000, Korg Wavestation Ex, Memorymoog Plus, Minimoog, Moog Opus 3, Moog Prodigy, Moog teh Source, Moog Taurus MK1, Philips Philicorda GM751, PPG 1020, Roland MDC1, Roland MVS1, Roland RS-202, Roland SH-32, Vermona ER9, Yamaha AN1x, Yamaha SY85
Excellent sequencer music in typical 'Emmens' style.
Every time Dutchman Gert Emmens brings out a new cd, the listener is going to get some surprises. First of all, his music is about something: there is an idea behind it. Then there is the constantly present quality in his music. He is one of those rare musicians who have the capability to mix Berlin School sequences and moods with beautiful melodies. That Gert has a musical story to tell, could already be heard on his previous album, the concept-cd "The Tale of the Warlock".
"A Boy’s World" also has a concept: the music is totally inspired by his 12-year old son Frank. In five pieces, Gert tells the story of his boy’s life. The sixth track "Nothing Lasts Forever" is a homage to Gert’s mother.
The music on "A Boy’s World" is "typically" Emmens: so we hear great sequences, fine sounds, nice solos and innovative rhythms. The rhythms are getting a more prominent place in his music. This can be heard excellently in a track like "School’s Out". Gaming, something children Frank’s age are very well into, has a central position on the album.
The two longest compositions are "Gaming part 1: Battles are Won and Lost" and "Gaming part 2: The Quest". These tracks can be regarded as somewhat the best music Gert has ever created: epic, masterfully crafted, intriguing and with great melodies. And the first sequence "The Quest" is perhaps the finest he has put together until now.
Hats of to Gert Emmens (and his son Frank). This is truly a masterpiece.
I fully agree with the previous reviews. There's no doubt that Gert knows how to make beautiful, smooth, warm electronic music with some very decent soloing too (which cannot be said of all contemporary "retro" acts !). Unfortunately, I see one major downside: it all sounds (more or less...) the same, ie. I find it impossible to distinguish one Emmens track from another.
So whilst it is therefore (IMHO) not necessary to own the whole Emmens catalogue it is definitely mandatory to own a few of his albums. And this "A Boy's World" would certainly make a good choice.
2013. Erwin Broers / Belgium
Si vous êtes lecteur régulier de cette rubrique, vous savez que Gert EMMENS est une valeur sûre de l’e-music Depuis Wanderer of Time, le synthétiste hollandais aligne les albums de référence comme les perles d’un collier. Mais contrairement à sa production habituelle, il a choisi une source d’inspiration beaucoup moins irréelle et plus proche de lui puisque c’est son fils de 12 ans, prénommé Frank, dont il décrit le monde. Mais c’est là la seule entorse à son ordinaire puisque les six compositions qui forment A Boy’s World sont aussi riches, puissantes, superbes que celles de ses précédents opus.
Emmens reste un maître incontesté des longues séquences en perpétuelle mutation, privilégiant les notes basses, sur lesquelles il vient plaquer ses divines mélodies. Emmens mêle avec une science consommée les sonorités modernes avec les accords venus d’un autre âge (dans la famille Moog, je demande le Memory-, le Mini-, l’Opus3 , le Prodigy, the Source et le taurus Mk1).
Bref, A Boy’s World est à nouveau un grand cru du clavier batave. Si l’e-music fait partie de vos musiques de prédilection, n’hésitez pas une seule seconde.
2010. LouLou / Prog-résiste
Gert Emmens is a true value in the world of the EM. Since Wanderer of Time, the Dutch synthesist aligns opus of exceptional quality, combining the complexity of its long exploratory parts to melodious themes that hang. Dedicated to the imaginary of his 12 year old son, A Boy' s World is a pure masterpiece of sequential constancy, in a musical universe at the same time progressive and harmonious. Wrapped in a marvellous jewel case artwork, created by the artist George Grie, A Boy' S World transcends the imaginary with a hardly felt youthful approach.
The fantastic voyage of Frank begins after the school. The particles of ion encircling his imagination, fine atmospheric dusts surround the boy which transports him, as well as us, in a rich and heavy atmosphere; the beginning of a fantastic sound voyage. A beautiful sequential movement as heavy as slow, but with a hanging melodious thematic, founds a tempo which gallops, as on a plain full of small dunes.
School' S Out becomes a kind of western galactic stuffed of sumptuous solos and mellotron breaths that cut out the musical horizon of a rebellious tenderness. The slamming percussions add a cosmic electronic dimension to a subtly modulated title. Percussions and sound effects are exploited admirably well by Gert Emmens.
On Gaming Part I: Battles are Won and Lost, the sequencer is heavy and threatening. The sound effects that circulate and ululate to nothingness are superb and encircle a strange eclectic world, guided by a sumptuous synths and sequencers with varied moods, on modulations in constant evolution. An excellent title, with amplifying tempos where furious sequences are rolled up with through the suave synthesized solos. About the 14th minute, an atmospheric escape settles, forging a new sequential structure which gives free course to a very libertine synth.
Part 2, The Quest, is the most beautiful part on this opus. After a superbly melodious intro, the sequencer traces a wrecking rhythm, paving the way to a unique Emmensien mixture where synths, choruses and sequencers are linked to create a harmonious theme which sticks to the hearing and this, in spite of the many changes of orientations. Listen the synth whistled the melodious softness of the winds, on enchanting modulations, is a pure delight that makes the hair rise, the skin shivering and shakes the last melancholic thoughts of the soul. A brilliant title, of a complexity which equals only its sensitivity, once tamed.
Life Around the Sand Castle, just like Adolescent Behavior and Nothing lasts Forever are more impetuous titles, being strongly sequenced. Each one present motley structures and passages, offering nuances more flexible and soft, in particular the brilliant mellotron of Adolescant Behavior.
Gert Emmens goes right to the goal and offers a picturesque and very powerful music, worthy of its former works. I liked it quite a lot, from beginning to it's the end, with in premium a handle of shivers of love for the music and his many bounces.
In Boy' S World is an album to be gotten.
Gert Emmens has a distinctive take on the retro EM sound, and he continues that trend on A Boy’s World.
Melodic synths, bright sequencing, and a regal flourish typify his sound, as on "School’s Out." Lead synth lines have Emmens’ characteristic use of portamento, and there’s a cool sort of churning crashing percussion sound. Gert has always been a proponent of the long, slow-building Berlin school number, and he expands on that here, with two tracks in excess of 20 minutes, "Gaming Part 1" and "Gaming Part 2."
"Part 1" chugs right along, the pulsating sequences starting early and continuing unabated until just past 13:00, when a very spacey passage forms a bridge to another bit of sequencing to finish things off.
"Part 2" is mellower but follows a similar pattern. The disc finishes with a majestic tribute to Gert’s mother, "Nothing Lasts Forever."
Emmens fans will find plenty to like here.
Phil Derby / Electroambientspace
Gert Emmens was inspired by his young son, and his new album is upbeat electronics, and very playful.
2007. Scott Raymond
On the concept-album "A Boy’s World", Gert Emmens tries to capture a bit of the world, ideas, dreams and fantasies of his up growing son Frank. The albums contains six tracks which all breath a warm, positive and an at-easy feel. The music is inviting and at times also cinematic with some powerful moments as well, but the match between attractive, varied sequencing and a nice pallet of great analogue synth textures, fx’s and some great soloing is again well done.
These 70 minutes have a relaxed feel with some distinct traces of melancholy, certainly when we arrive at the impressive closing track "Nothing lasts forever", a warm, blanket which is rapped around you by somebody very close.
The excellent mastering by Ron Boots is the perfect icing for this beauty.
Chapeau Gert !
2007. Bert Strolenberg
Nuevo trabajo del compositor holandés Gert Emmens, un hombre, que recrea fascinantes mundos electrónicos a través de las secuencias como en su anterior trabajo "Tale Of The Warlock".
La música secuencial sigue viva gracias a músicos como Gert Emmens, escuchar su trabajos significa dejar que nuestra imaginación vuele hacia otros mundos, hacia lugares de ensueño imposibles de alcanzar. Dejémonos llevar y que nuestra mente vuele, vuele.
2007. Roberto Vales / Ultima Fronteira
There's so much electronic music out there that even for a reviewer it's possible to encounter established artists for the first time. That's the case for me and Gert Emmens - his latest album A Boy's World is my introduction to his music. Being released on the Groove label it's not surprising to discover this is a sequencing based album. One of the better ones I'm happy to report.
I get the impression that this album is an ode to the innocence and imagination of childhood. Exemplifying this is a great CD cover of a sailing ship with a castle built on it.
It's off to an uplifting start in "School's Out" where a to-and-fro melodic rhythm, short glissandos, minor fanfares on a warm synthetic sax sound, and searing synth riffs lead the way. This is a heartwarming piece that expresses the joy and hopes of childhood for a lazy summer away from school.
Over half the album is made up of two long (over twenty minutes) tracks.
A pulsing beat alongside industrial style effects sets the pace in "Gaming part 2: Battles Are Won and Lost" while warm synth melodies glide across the soundfield.
In contrast "Gaming part 2: The Quest" begins with atmospheric sonic musing then launches into pleasant sequencing and spacey whistling.
It's an emotional end to the album in the piece "Nothing Lasts Forever (For Mom, In Memoriam)". Eerie pads and mournful synth refrains start off before a rhythmic passage with drums and percussion comes in. The musical structure coupled with the particular sounds imbues it with a feeling of both sorrow and celebration of a life.
Inherent in sequence oriented albums is the danger that the sequences can become a bit boring if not done well or developed enough over a track. On the whole A Boy's World manages to avoid this trap and has some good melodic structures.
2007. Dene Bebbington
This release from 2007 features 79 minutes of inspired electronic music.
Crystalline electronics abound in this music, but so do deep-toned sonics and fanciful pulsations and vibrant keyboards. Stratospheric pinnacles are achieved with startling regularity, only to be outdistanced by the epic quality of the next passage. Emmens' creativity seems to harbor a limitless array of escalations, each more tantalizing that the last.
Sweeping textural flows stream across the sky, chased by majestic chords that coalesce into dazzling riffs. Inventive hooks are looped and left running as a backdrop, while fresh cycles blossom with abundance. Everything merges into a progression that ascends with breathtaking charm, delineating melodies that are lush and bewitching.
Layered into this demonstrative density are a constant series of nimble-fingered keyboard riffs that further expand the music's dramatic scope. The timbre of these riffs often adopt a celestial magnificence that blends shrill tones with heart-wrenching depth. Splendor radiates from every passage.
Percussion plays a vital role here. The rhythms not only lend gripping locomotion, but they attribute a lively vitality to the already-dynamic tuneage. Sometimes, the tempos generate an endearing tension to the music, bolstering the feeling of greater experiences lurking around the next turn.
These compositions embody a sense of wonder, capturing the awe experienced by a young boy as he views the modern world through eyes colored by a fertile imagination. Every track rings with grandeur and limitless promise, allowing the listener to partake of astounding nostalgic voyages beyond normalcy and deep into realms of fantastic caprice.
A thrilling experience that refuses to pale with repetition.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
The music by Gert Emmens is a fresh fusion of Space Music with Synth-Pop and touches of Jazz. The style, electronic, agile and with a liberal use of sequencers, enhances the warm, emotive atmospheres, that appear in many passages of the compositions, and is likewise useful as a vehicle for imaginative ideas.
Inspired by his 12 year old son Frank, the composer presents the six themes of his album like chapters in a story, in a certain way.
2008. Edgar Kogler
Gert Emmens is a strong melodist. As you listen to his "A Boy’s World" album you can easily drift away to an unknown distant land. And it looks so beautiful! It is a land of endless plains and primeval forests. It is a country of steep rocks and formidable castles which thrust their pointed towers to the sky.
The music of Gert Emmens is filled with poetry and flights of fancy. It is great for those who want to look away from everyday anxieties and stay alone with one’s own imagination and creativity.
"A Boy’s World" is a perfect example of modern electronic music.
2007. Serge Kozlovsky
This is a very intimate work for Gert Emmens as it was entirely inspired by his young son Frank.
"School's Out" hangs in the air like distant haze, with various tone clusters and gentle synth shimmers. After a few seconds a cheerful sequence appears along with a rhythm and a reflective melody. This is some of the mildest and brightest music Gert ever composed. Some great analogue soloing is used by Gert to great effect. Musically, this track takes over where previous album left, but with a much more sedate and I would say even mundane atmosphere. If you like Berlin School with a clear focus on the melody, you will find lots to enjoy here. The track ends in a reflective mode, with echoing rhythms, deep pads and melancholic synth textures.
"Gaming Part 1" surprises with dark sounds and strange noisy sequence. Gradually, another pattern crawls to the surface - a one-note bass sequence. After a while Gert tweaks the sequence, changing the pitch of some notes, while the dark soundscapes do not leave even for a second. One can hear echoes of 1977 - 1979 period Tangerine Dream here, although as a whole the music sounds pretty fresh and unique. Typical Gert Emmens synth pads are then added, as well as reflective melodies. A high-register sequence is playing on top, along with some classic tron sounds. I also like the analogue drum pattern on this track - very 1970's (is that the Hammond Auto Vari?). After a brief atmospheric section, a new sequence develops, this time of a more aggressive character. Excellent distant sounds akin to some distorted guitar can be heard but after a while an "Oxygene"-like marching rhythm appears, as the track becomes more dramatic, with Mellotron choir and an analogue solo. This is pure, 100% melodic Berlin School with many classic sounds and great atmosphere. One of the best tracks I've heard from Gert and one of the best Neo-Prog EM tracks in general. The fact that it lasts for 20+ minutes is a positive thing too, because this way you can really immerse yourself into the great atmosphere this track conjures. I wish there were more tracks like that.
"Life Around the Sand Castle" starts similar to the first track until the sequence is heard - a lovely analogue pattern supported by various melodic motifs. Gert uses all typical elements of his style in this track, including Mellotron sounds, analogue solos, slightly phased pads and soft electronic drum patterns. Of note is the final part dominated by Mellotron flute.
"Gaming Part 2" is next. Synth pads give way for an analogue bass sequence. A solemn keyboard theme plays on top, as the track obviously becomes one of the most emotionally-charged pieces of this album. After a long section dominated by a relaxed rhythm, we get an atmospheric interlude before the sequences return - this time a two-note pattern is deployed to great effect. The sequence transforms into a more complex type of pulsation as Gert concentrates on pads and various other additional sounds. Not the best track in my book (i.e. no surprises and almost no new ideas or sounds) but still very nice.
Let's see what "Adolescant Behaviour" brings. Heavy intro transforms into a somewhat wacky sequence / Mellotron flute combination. Excellent jarring rhythms like the ones used on the first track from "Waves of Dreams" introduce themselves. After a while the main theme is deployed - an excellent two-note motif. Terrific track! IMO, Gert is best when he has a main theme in his track, around which he builds his improvisations (another example that comes to my mind immediately is "The Voyage of Voyager" from "Wanderer of Time"). And you know what? This track here has even two main themes. The second one appears only for a few seconds and is similar to the afore-mentioned "Voyage of the Voyager". The somewhat busy solo is a nice asset as well.
"Nothing Lasts Forever" is a nostalgic and very moving closer with a slow rhythm, gentle sequences and the ubiquitous pads / melodies of Gert. Some rocky touches are added as well.
Overall, I tend to think of "A Boy's World" as a strong EM album with some outstanding tracks. Especially worthy of mention are "Gaming Part 1", "Adolescant Behaviour" and "Nothing Lasts Forever".
Get this album if you love EM!
2007. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
Gert Returns with a band new solo release and its another classic example of his patented stylistic excursions into the realm of spatial flowing electronic concept works. The highlight of the album is the 2-part work "Gaming" consisting of "Battles are Won and Lost" (21:26) & "The Quest" (20:32). These are tour-de-force works are book ended by tracks that serve to enhance the overall flow and sonic atmosphere of the entire album.