Collection of new and old tracks.|
- Undelivered Delivery [4:13]
- Put Me Down, Scotty [6:21]
- Decision Time [13:32]
- Entering The Unknown [6:19]
- Dragonfly [2:59]
- Monkeys [2:53]
- The Sun Shines, The World Smiles [7:36]
- Paloma [3:58]
- Sunray [7:17]
- The Challenge [4:05]
- Move Forward and Discover [12:39]
- Another Door Opens [3:43]
Here are some details about the tracks:
- From 'out of print' 2004 "E-dition #1" cd. Original track is called "Monorail" from 1990.
- From 'out of print' 2003 "Tracks Across the Universe" box.
- New 2008 track.
- Unreleased track from 1990.
- Unreleased track from 1991.
- Unreleased track from 1990.
- Unreleased track from 2006. With Ron Boots.
- Unreleased track from 1990.
- Unreleased track from 2003. With Ron Boots.
- Unreleased track from 1990.
- New 2008 track.
- Unreleased track from 1991. From the movie "Ken je niet uitkijken".
2008. Kees Aerts
This album offers the listener the wonderful chance of listening to a powerful live performance by these three musicians, with a recital including some specially hot versions from themes of well-known albums. Perfectly identified with one another and providing the music with a musical complexity typical of a studio recording, they play nine themes with a powerful strength, ranging from Space Sequencer Music to Synth-Pop to Symphonic Rock. The memorable concert the music in the CD comes from was held on September 5th, 2009 in the British city of Derby. Most of the music here is dynamic, with the sequencers developing fast rhythms or average-speed ones, and the support of a very well chosen percussion.
The melodies evoke the sense of adventure in several passages, as well as epic airs, romantic atmospheres and blades of melancholy.
In short, this is an album with a high rating which will be really appreciated by the followers of these musical trends.
"If One Door Closes" is the second full-length cd of Kees Aerts, released after a hiatus of almost ten years, and which (is my impression) would never had been out by now if several people hadn't asked for it.
Well, the disc compiles 12 mostly older tracks, some going back to 1990, and a few more recent pieces. The musical style is of a highly melodic, accessible and sequenced nature, ranging from rhythmic contemporary instrumental music to more synth-pop oriented stuff. Beside that, the elements "fun" and "enjoying the joy of life" play an important part in of of them.
I imagine some may find the music too easy and a bit simple (e.g. "Entering the Unknown", "Dragonfly") but between them are gems such as "Put me down, Scotty", the dynamic 13-minute "Decision Time" (with some nice sequencing and vocoder singing), or the moody "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles" made with Ron Boots.
The real highlight is found at the album’s tail: the excellent, highly energetic 12-minute "Move Forward and Discover", which fires all electronic engines.
This said, the collection of new, old and previously (un)released tracks on "If One Door Closes" offers something for everyone.
2010. Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion
It has been a long time coming for Kees Aerts’ sophomore release, although apparently the seeds for it were germinating for some time, as the tracks were recorded over a period of several years.
Those familiar with E-dition magazine should recognize "Undelivered Delivery" from the CD that accompanied E-dition #1. It is a playful, upbeat song, a very straightforward synths-and-sequencing number, and a perfect way to start things off. I can’t help but grin from ear to ear when listening to "Put Me Down, Scotty," complete with Star Trek samples. It’s fun to hear Kees let his hair down and have fun with this one, which by the way is a pretty catchy tune even without the sci-fi reference.
"Decision Time" is one of two brand new songs, with synthesized lyrics that I can’t quite make out. A deep bass sequence forms the foundation beneath. I really like the moment at 6:30 where the vocals drop out and the rhythm and warm synth pads take over. It also builds really nicely at the end, very Jarre-like.
"Entering the Unknown" is a cool 1990 track that reminds me of something similar from Synthetic Block’s first album. After this come a few tracks from the same period which are overly cute for my taste.
However, sandwiched between them is an excellent collaboration with Ron Boots called "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles." This is warm and relaxed, and reminds me a lot of Ron’s Close, But Not Touching album, right down to the waves lapping the shore.
Another Aerts/Boots piece, "Sunray," is as bright and sunny as the name implies. The other brand new solo composition is "Move Forward and Discover," my personal favorite with a totally catchy groove.
Kees excels at painting bright sonic pictures that will keep a smile on your face.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
This CD from 2008 offers 76 minutes of buoyant electronic music.
Synthesist Aerts is joined by Ron Boots on two tracks.
A host of electronics are employed to generate the dreamily spry tunes found on this release. This blend of calm and activity is quite rewarding, producing music that soothes as it uplifts.
Atmospheric textures establish airy foundations for more agile harmonics. Riffs are created, then set to run in cycles as additional loops are added to the sonic pastiche. This mounting accretion of layers results in lavish structures whose resonant components serve to enhance each other, achieving a higher unity in the form of melodies that are rich with grandeur. This majesty is often seasoned with a whimsy that bestows a distinctly humanity to the melodies.
Keyboards play a vital role in this tuneage, providing the music with themes which cavort and twirl amid the already spinning loops.
While percussion is present, its presence is adroitly crafted to lurk within the mix, propelling from an interior vantage. Not all of the rhythms are comprised of actual beats; some derive their tempos from the rapid application of synthesized non-impact sounds, which in turn infuses a fanciful temperament to those passages.
These compositions evoke a determined yearning, communicating the expectation of wonders waiting around every corner (or through each doorway). While an astral quality exists in most of the material, many of the tracks possess an enjoyable buoyant demeanor.
2009. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Schön, auch mal wieder musikalisch von dir zu hören! Du hattest ja echte "hidden treasures" in der Schublade ... Der Track aus 2008, den du mit Ron gemacht hast ist mein Favorit. Darin hört man den riesigen Fortschritt, den du seit Anfang 1990 gemacht hast. Du solltest wieder öfter Musikmachen, nicht nur "labeln" ... (SMILE!)
2008. Sylvia Sommerfeld / Schallwende
This album by Kees Aerts shows that electronic music has not abandoned the originality that characterized it in the beginning.
Throughout the 12 pieces we will have a chance to attend all kinds of passages, from those fragments that invite us to dance to those others that are more introspective and whose melodies transpire a beauty that cannot be denied. The style of the music flows along innovative regions of Synth-Pop, Space Sequencer Music, Techno and Contemporary Instrumental Music. Sometimes it becomes festive, and at other times melancholy.
The most impressive piece in the album is, in my opinion, "Move Forward and Discover", with powerful sequencers and melodies of a great strength.
2009. Eduardo Fontana
For episode 8 of syndae, I chose to play an excerpt of "Move Forward and Discover", if you don't mind. It's a great piece of music that should be heard.
2008. Stefan / Treibklang Radio
Recommended! Good travelling music. I think it was worth while waiting for it.
2008. René van der Wouden / NL
My compliment for your latest cd.
2008. Antonio Conti
Op E-Live je CD gekocht en ik vind het mooi! Geweldige klanken en een vette knipoog met veel humor. Prachtig die Kingsley and Perly achtige sfeer.
Ik ben erg blij met je CD.
2008. Leendert Bijnagte
Nog even een compliment voor je laatste CD ik geniet er met volle teugen van, geweldige mooie muziek.
2008. Huub Michiels
Track 7 "the sun shines, the world smiles", no more words just listen. :-)))
2008. Seppe / Belgium
I loved to hear it. As a great fan of StarTrek, I loved track 2 right from the beginning! :-) It is really "spacy". I liked the songs with the jungle or nature sounds as well. I have a whole CD, without any music, just the original sound from the rainforest and its inhabitants from New Guinea and I love to hear this, too.
My favourites are "The sun shines, the world smiles" and "Move Forward and Discover".
2008. Claudia Schallenbach
I listened to the 3 soundclips.
I'm no reviewer , so I won't try.
However , my favourite piece was The Sun Shines.... ( I especially liked the little "cascading" chord that runs throughout the piece. )
Decision Time.... was very nice.
"Move forward ......" surprised me. Knowing that there were a couple of tracks with Ron, when I heard this one I assumed this was one of them. I was therefore surprised to find out this wasn't one of them. This track sound more like Ron Boots than Ron does.
Look forward to this album when it comes out. Nice to know that nagging pays off sometimes
2008. Dennis Moore
For many years, Kees Aerts is a well-known person in Electronic Music scene. Together with Ron Boots, the Dutchman is the driving force behind Groove Unlimited. Next to this, they are the initiators of some of the largest electronic music festivals in the world, E-Live and E-Day. And he was also the main editor of the "E-dition"-magazine. Furthermore, Kees also owns his own company A-biz, that a.o. designs great websites. Look, for instance, at the Groove-website and be convinced. Well, this busy man also creates electronic music himself. He has been part of many collaborations with Ron and Harold van der Heijden (some under the name of BAH!) but he has also a fierce amount of own compositions behind his name.
In 1997, his first solo-cd "Slices Of Time" was released with melodically electronic music. And now finally his second solo cd "If One Door Closes" is out.
The twelve tracks on "If One Door Closes" range from 1990 to 2008. "Undelivered Delivery" was released earlier on the sample-cd that came with the first issue of E-dition-magazine. "Put Me Down, Scotty" comes from the "Tracks Across The Universe" box. Both items are out of print now and it is a great thing that these pieces are available again. Kees’ music is very diverse. On "Put Me Down, Scotty", voices are used from Star Trek. A really wonderful piece of music is the new "Decision Time". On this composition, Kees experiments with one of the instruments he specializes in: the vocoder. The sound of this piece has some traces of the music Klaus Schulze made in his mid-period. The album hosts two compositions that Kees composed and produced with his long-time colleague Ron Boots. "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles" and "Sunray" are very well constructed pieces with a "sunny" feeling to it. Ron’s influence can be heard here but it’s also certainly "Kees" what you hear. "Move Forward And Discover" has a contemporary feeling to it.
There are some older compositions on the album like "Entering The Unknown", "Dragonfly", "Monkeys", "Paloma" and "The Challenge" which range from 1990 and 1991. These are melodical tracks that have some elements of Jean Michel Jarre’s music and a warm, mainly analog, synthesizer sound.
Kees is at home in many musical disciplines. The last piece, "Another Door Opens" proves this. It’s music from the Dutch movie "Ken Je Niet Uitkijken".
"If One Door Closes" delivers a great insight in Kees’ music and shows his many sides. Hopefully there are more doors in his studio…
2008. Paul Rijkens
The door has finally opened for Kees to release a new solo CD after... how much? Let's say about 10 years, no less. This one here is basically a collection of rare and unreleased tracks from the 1990 - 2008 period.
We kick off with "Undelivered Delivery" which first appeared on the now very rare E-Dition #1 sampler CD in 2004 and is based on an older piece from 1990. Street noises give way for a super fat analogue bass and a quirky melodic line. A rapid sequence starts as Kees improvises on an analogue synth. This is bright, crisp and positive EM. It's quite dynamic and propulsive. However, at 4 and half minutes it doesn't have enough time to fully develop and engulf you. Nice track however that could serve as corporate music for some airline company.
"Put Me Down, Scotty" is a track from 2003. It begins with movie samples and very fat sawtooth synthesizers. A mean bass sequence appears, coupled with an electronic rhythm. The track then suddenly gets much brighter, as major chords played with synth pads appear. There's a nice melodic improvisation going on, as new bleepy sequences become more prominent. Another bright synthetic piece.
"Decision Time" is one of those new tracks composed and recorded in 2008. It is also the longest track here, clocking in at 13+ minutes. A vocoded voice greets us in a way that reminds on Robert Schroeder's "Harmonic Ascendant" (a vocoder magnum opus in my book). However, Kees uses a much brighter, more ethereal texture with shades of melancholy and mystery. Extra low bass pulses appear and develop into a complex sequence. A new, mid-range sequence appears as the track becomes somewhat melancholic. There are also cosmic elements in the form of Jarre-like synths and effects. A more sparse section follows, with sounds drenched in reverb. However, the melodic / propulsive sound returns after a while, getting solemn towards the end.
"Entering the Unknown" is an old track from 1990. It starts with typical digital sampled rhythm from that era. A melodic theme is then introduced - simple but neatly done. Arpeggiated synths support the rhythm but as a whole the track remains rather minimalist in its approach. Tinkling synthesizers, a rhythm and a pad is all we get really for 6 minutes. Nice and harmonic.
"Dragonfly" is another track from 1990. This time it's a short (about 3 minutes), and super funny one. A cartoonish melody over a bed of programmed synth rhythms is nothing extraordinary of course but it did make me smile. Electronic Music for children? You bet.
"Monkeys" is yet another short track from 1990. It starts with captivating jungle noises and then we get fat analogue twitters and yet another cheesy synth melody on top of a pedestrian rhythm and quirky bass lines. Another cartoonish track that will make your children happy.
"The Sun Shines, The World Smiles" was recorded in 2006 together with Ron Boots. We are back to "serious" EM territory now. Bright synth choirs are joined by a fast electronic rhythm and strange voice samples. Soon a bass sequence appears, as various twitters, pads and other synth sounds fill the gaps. A very nice melancholic lead melody is heard in what is probably the best track of this album so far. Good stuff for traveling. I should also mention the great soloing. The track ends with the sound of waves that bring us back to 1990.
"Paloma" is a piece in an exotica style with a tropical rhythm and a suitable melody. Sounds like Hawaiian barbecue music played by a couple of slightly drunk EM musicians. Nice and funny stuff.
"Sunray" is another piece done in collaboration with Ron Boots, this time from 2003. The music here sounds exactly like its title. Airy pads, positive bass lines and an upbeat rhythm are combined for a bright and uplifting melodic EM number.
"The Challenge" is another piece from 1990. It starts with a heavy drum rhythm, and a bass line creeping up from beneath. The track then gets brighter, with pads and a whistling melody.
"Move Forward And Discover" is a new one from 2008. It begins with a fairly Jarre-like synth pad (reminds on "Equinoxe"). A heavy bass sequence appears in a dramatic fashion. This track is the most propulsive, Berlin School-like composition on this CD. A blistering solo takes us straight to the cosmos, as we fly through stardust with engines switched to full throttle. Great stuff!
The sound of a closing door brings us to the last track and "Another Door Opens", a door made in 1991 I must add. This last track consists of an upbeat rhythm and some pompous brass melodies.
"If One Door Closes..." is a diverse but very nice collection of tracks from Kees. Recommended for fans of melodic EM.
Best cuts: "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles", "Move Forward And Discover".
If you buy Kees Aerts' "If One Door Closes Another Door Opens" from Groove Unlimited you get a nice MP3 bonus: you are given the right to download two exclusive and rare tracks. One of them is an alternative version of "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles", and the other one completely new composition.
The first bonus track starts with cosmic and ethereal synth pads. A nice and bright atmosphere permeats the intro, quite different in sound and mix from the album version. Soon bass sequences appear, as the pads become more synthetic and melodic. A laid back rhythm starts, in stark contrast to the original version. The choirs return adding a heavenly touch. Strange samples are joined by electronic twitters for a relaxed, easy-going ride among the clouds. The great and already familiar melodic theme appears - gentle, uplifting and bright. This song is probably the catchiest tune Kees has ever composed. Check it out, it's simply wonderful.
The second bonus track is called "Surfacing From Beyond". It's a live performance from Essen. Dark sounds give way for a rhythmic pulse and some dramatic pads. The tension grows until some profound synth sounds turn into aggressive drones and a fast-paced electronic sequence appears. Another sequence is chugging nicely along and then another upper register sequence appears, as pads play a simple two note motif. A symphonic lead line appears bringing in some bombast to this rhythmic composition. Surprisingly, a guitar lead surfaces towards the end of this 7+ minute piece, occupying the right channel of the stereo field, as the pads change keys along with the sequences.
Fine stuff and another good reason to buy Kees' latest effort, not to mention the great music on the album itself.
2008. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
This CD from 2008 offers 76 minutes of buoyant electronic music.
Synthesist Aerts is joined by Ron Boots on two tracks.
Kees is co-founder of the Groove label from the Netherlands, from which we reviewed several CD releases recently. Unprolific himself, he often works in collaboration with the label’s co-owner Ron Boots who’s much busier in terms of actual CD releases. Ron pops up here on several tracks, which date from 1990 to 2006, so the CD can be seen as something of a catching-up exercise, and includes Kees’ contributions to several now unavailable compilation CD’s.
"Undelivered Delivery" opens with railway station sounds and is reminiscent of the European band Peru, who specialized in bouncy, synthesizer-led melodic tunes rather like a lightweight version of Jean-Michel Jarre. The Peru influence is also in evidence on "Put Me Down, Scotty" which uses dialogue samples from various generations of Star Trek leading into another bouncing, rolling sequencer and drum machine rhythm. Most of the sounds here are from the analog era (though analog had been and gone once by 1990) so there’s lots of swirling strings and bouncy bass in evidence.
There’s not much info here on the keyboards used – one track "Dragonfly" features the very distinctive clattering Roland TR808 drums along with the same manufacturer’s MC202 synth/sequencer, TB303 Bassline and W30 sampler, and Korg’s MonoPoly keyboard synth in a light, airy and bouncy tune, but with 16 years between that track and "The Sun Shines, The World Smiles" you can tell that Kees is still more interested in the full, simple, bouncy textures of analog rather than going into any deep sonic experimentation.
An album then for fans of straightforward melody and simple, rich keyboard sounds.
2009. Mark Jenkins
In his kind Kees Aerts is a pillar in EM industry. In addition to being one of the founders of Groove, he helps discovering and promotes new talents in EM, thus organized festivals in the Netherlands. Music? He collaborated on some Ron Boots certain albums, mainly in concert and released an album in 1997, Slices of Time. Since then, he wrote music for certain compilations, films or for his own pleasure. If One Door Closes is the fruit of its passion, spread over a period of almost 20 years. A collection of 12 titles composed between 1990 and 2008, touching this way a large range made up concerning thus touches a temporal large range while combining styles and flavors.
And it starts with Undelivered Delivery. A title which howls nervously, after a loud atmospheric intro with industrial samplings, on a heavy bass line. A bass that bites a hiccoughing sequence, on an aggressive synth to loopy solos. A wink of eye to the 70’s, Space Art and Frederic Mercier.
A catchy small jewel with a superb analog zest, as we find everywhere on If One Door Closes. I think in particular of Dragonfly and his Kraftwerkian approach. An amusing and hanging electronic counting rhyme. All the opposite of Monkeys with its fast tempo in staccato, on a light atmospheric tone; Paloma, a sympathetic rumba with a melody a hint nostalgic, which points out Jarre; The Challenge and Another Door Open with its angelic synths.
Put to me Down, Scotty gets into a futuristic approach à la Blade Runner. A sequence to tabla percussions sonorities settles, accompanying a beautiful melody whistled on a discrete synth. A very beautiful title which precedes one of the two long titles on If One Door Closes, Decision Time.
A track written in 2008, Decision Time borrows the paths of Robert Schroeder, with a misty vocodor, who blows on light undulating bass. A bass which permutes in a superb heavy sequence, animating a pulsating and resonant rhythm, in a good ethereal universe. The mellotron synth is and moulds a dreamy and sensual line.One of the two progressive titles on this opus, the other being Move Forward and Discover.
Entering the Unknown is the most catchy track If One Door Closes. Percussions hammer a heavy and hypnotic tempo, whereas the keyboard makes dance its chords with a nervous approach. A delicious harmonious paradox.
The Sun Shines, The World Smiles and Sunray are two titles written in collaboration with Ron Boots. Synthesized melodies which hang and which we could easily whistle on flexible beats, nervous but discrete. If The Sun Shines, The World Smiles seems more nostalgic with its waves which drive back a bit of sadness, Sunray is quite simply bright of life. A world of romance and hope which hangs on the first listening.
Move Forward and Discover is the other progressive electronic title of this Kees Aerts 2nd opus. Writing also in 2008, it begins with a fuzzy synth with analog sound effects and pulsations, à la Jarre. A heavy and nevrotic sequence explodes, involving a wild beat which hops nervously under enveloping waves.
Other sequences divide the rhythm, with fine analog percussions recalling the universe of Jarre on Oxygen and Equinox. Superb solos wrap this musical torrent, which is surrounding by celestial choruses and mellotron waves to make dream EM purists. A really great piece of music
If One Door Closes is a surprising spatiotemporal collection. Kees Aerts makes us travel through the history of EM with an astonishing sense of beauty. Beautiful hanging melodies, to more complex ones which astonish by their harmonious sides, here is good EM that should please to everyone.
A kind of Best off, of an artist who remained too quiet from a long time.
2009. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
Man I have chills....., I mean this is So Powerful, This is by all means Kees BEST Solo releases to this day, I gotta get this a.s.a.p. In other words a CD with a kick, Track 11 is Awesome!
2010. Mike / The Cosmic Frequencies