This is our very first album together and it has a very nice story to it. We first met at a Synthesizer Meeting organized by the Dutch 'Synth Forum' in 2006. There we started talking about synthesizers and synthesizer music and found out that we shared the same fascinations. As a result Michel signed up as Synth.nl in 2007 with Groove Unlimited.|
- Refuge en Verre
- La Roche en Ardenne
- Orage d'été
- Coucher du soleil
- Contemple du ciel
- Rosée du matin
- Combat des coqs
- Soleil levant
We worked a lot in the studio together after that remixing and mastering. Since then we have become very good friends and we visit each other on regular basis. Also our wives, kids and even the dogs like each other. In 2010 our wives decided to rent a house together in the Belgian Ardennes for a weekend. We both brought a synthesizer and a laptop and tried to make music together for the first time and that went very well actually. We recorded quite some tracks there. After the weekend we decided that we should release this music on CD.
So we started on finishing the music together when we got back in our own studios. The result is this album called 'Refuge en Verre', which was the name of the house we rented. We got the inspiration for the music we played from the beautiful nature in the Belgian Ardennes and the nice time we had with our families over there. Most of the tracks were played live as improvisations in the temporary studio that we created in the rented house.
This album was released by Groove Unlimited at the E-live festival in Oirschot (NL) on the 9th of October 2010.
2010. Ron Boots & Michel van Osenbruggen / NL
I am always looking to find new music that sends me to a place of solitude and imagination, and Ron Boots, Synth.nl & even Remotion are truly the Dutch Masters that can do that, every song paints a picture, every picture can make a song.
2013. Mike Costa / USA
Hey John Stuart, I doubt you ever liked any "Berlin school" or synth music to begin with. Your cynical comments make you sound like the arrogant American political blowhard with a similar name. No one's preventing you from listening to your beloved Glass, Reich or tape loops of heroin addicts banging garbage can lids together in some rat-infested urban alley, so leave electronic music reviews to those of us who know what we're talking about and who appreciate this genre.
2013. Pat Murphy / USA
Awesome Mid Era style synth music with beautiful melodic rhythms overlaying basic trademark sounds of Ron and Michel.
Anyone not into this release (like one obnoxious "reviewer" on this page who made rude comments about it) is not an electronic music fan.
2013. Pat Murphy / USA
This is the first collaborative project of two Dutch electronic artists Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen aka Synth.nl. Both musicians have unique rhythmic / melodic styles, so their influences meld together well to create a work of classic melodic Dutch EM (the "Eindhoven School"). These tracks were performed while both musicians stayed in Belgian Ardennes with their families, so the music has a bit of a pastoral quality to it, without resorting to complete new age relaxation vibe.
The title track slowly builds with bass pulsations, floating pads and a wonderful melodic synth solo. It's relaxed, warm and comforting. I like the synth work on this track - everything is in place - the tasty pulsations, the high-flying solos and the warm pads. Some restrained piano notes lend their airy charm to the soundscape. "La Roche-en-Ardenne" kicks in with melancholic pads and a relaxed rocking rhythm. Then a wonderful synth melody appears - rich, sym phonic and emotional. Nice stuff that will leave all fans of melodic EM speechless. "Orage d'ete" has an ambient intro loaded with the sounds of nature (do I hear a distant thunder?) and moody pads. Some synth melodies appear as well as some nice flute and sax. This is quite pastoral and reflective. Later in the track a few tribal-like percussion instruments appear but the track remains essentially an ambient effort. "Coucher du Soleil" opens with moody male choirs and some tasty synth effects. A sequence appears and then a rhythm and a rippling synth solo. This track is a bit sad and melancholic. "Contemple du Ciel" begins with mysterious pads and radio voice samples. A wonderful bass sequence then appears and an electronic tr-808-like rhythm drives this relaxed track forward. I like the way melodies are combined with rhythms on this track. "Rosee du Matin" is very Vangelis-like, with its fat CS-80 style leads and an overall symphonic approach. Really nice and maybe the best track on the entire album. "Combat des Coqs" begins with sounds of roosters but soon a rippling sequence appears. It is supported by a stomping rhythm and a guitar lead. Rocking drums appear and drive the track along. I am not sure if the guitar is real. It sounds like those trademark licks played by Frank Dorittke (at least it is in a similar style) but no guitar player is credited in the liner notes. Anyway, this piece is the most rocking and wild of the lot. "Soleil Levant" arrives with tasty pads and a well-programmed sequence. A slow rhythm then starts, the whole reminding me a bit on Gert Emmens circa "Obscure Movements in Twilight Shades".
However, once the solos arrive, you know you're listening to Ron Boots. The sound is very characteristic. Michel adds fine melodic touches as well. A great finish to this pleasant melodic EM album. Recommended.
2011. Artemi Pugachov / Russia
This release from 2010 offers 71 minutes of dreamy electronic music.
Synth.nl is Michel van Osenbruggen.
In 2010, the Boots and Osenbruggen families rented a house in the Belgian Ardennes for a weekend. Ron and Michel brought along a synthesizer and a laptop and jammed together. The music they co-created became this album (with some finishing touches applied once the two returned to their respective studios).
Dreamy electronics conspire with sinuous rhythms, resulting in some very tasty tuneage.
While atmospheric textures are utilized, they remain background elements, while numerous frontal riffs generate lush melodies that simultaneously exhibit a soothing disposition as well as a fairly restrained energy that manages to periodically ooze through and shine. Cycles are established and then embellished by additional riffs which ultimately flesh things out into a velvet flow punctuated by incidents of glorious drama. Strong attention is given to creating a steady stream of engaging melodies.
Rhythms contribute tempos, but the locomotion manifests in a subdued fashion, lending beats without becoming too overwhelming or hyperactive. While the majority of the tracks are calmly amiable, there are several occasions in which the music marshals authority and cooks with delightful results.
One track is given a sultry demeanor by molten basslines.
These compositions display an easygoing sonic mood, one that exemplifies a comfortable collaboration. The tunes shine with congenial melodies performed with stately mastery.
2011. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Sorry, but such music has been heard 1000000x times before. No new melodies, harmonies, rhythm, sounds, anything! Copying that old 1970s "Berlin School" or whatever over and over again is just plain boring!
What is the purpose of this?!? It is OK to make it for your own pleasure, but expecting that someone should buy this is way too much. Total nonsense! After listening to that sample clip for just a minute I was so tired that I decided not to waste my precious time any further. There are millions of other songs that sound exactly the same! You "groove artists" should really try harder and find something new or admit the lack of talent and quit making such uninspired pieces of boredom.
Best regards and good luck.
2010. John Stuart / USA
Groove Unlimited nos presenta esta colaboración entre uno de los grandes de la música electrónica como es el holandé Ron Boots y un joven compositor que se ha mostrado muy prolífico en los últimos años como es el también holandés Michel van Osenbruggen, más conocido como Synth.nl.
"Refuge en Verre" es el título de esta colaboración y es resultado de un fin de semana que ambos compositores se pasaron con sus familias en las Ardenas Belgas, un lugar perfecto para descansar y disfrutar de la naturaleza, pero también para que la inspiración saliera a relucir como ha sido el resultado final.
"Refuge en Verre" son 8 fantásticos temas de buena música electrónica, donde ambos compositores sacan a relucir sus buenas maneras de interpretar y componer, hay que recordar, que nos encontramos ante dos de los grandes dentro de este estilo de la actualidad. Los títulos de los temas están en francés cada uno de ellos narra la experiencia de ese fin de semana desde su punto de vista, desde el primero que además es el que da título al disco "Refuge en Verre" y hace referencia al lugar de Bélgica donde los compositores pasaron el fin de semana hasta el último "Soleil Levant" inspirado en el hecho del temprano amanecer.
Sin lugar a duda, estamos ante dos de los compositores más interesantes de la actualidad, un hombre consagrado como Ron Boots y otro que viene demostrando trabajo tras trabajo todo su potencial como Michel Van Ossenbruggen.
Esta es su primera colaboración, aquí nos encontramos buena música electrónica con partes secuenciales, con curiosos samples, con ritmo, un disco donde se nota que hubo sinergías entre ambos compositores, un trabajo de esos que agradecemos todos los amantes de la música electrónica.
2010. Roberto Vales / Ultima Fronteira Radio
Whether it was the relaxed atmosphere the duo were in when the music was conceived or the fact they have worked together before made a difference I don't know but from track 1 I knew this was going to be a quality album. Quite noticeable to this reviewer is the sustained keyboard solos through many of the tracks ("Refuge en Verre," "La Roche-en-Ardenne" and "Combat des Coqs") something I've been missing of late.
Classic-sounding EM. A superb guitar sound on "Combat..." giving that track a real bite. "Orage d'ete," "Coucher du Soleil" and "Rosee du Matin" highlighting their mellower side with some beautiful melodies and atmosphere.
This is their first CD together, although they have worked together on previous Synth.NL albums, but surely not their last. Highly recommended.
2010. Bruce Gall
Zag net het bericht van een omhoog gevallen ingezetene van de USA op de cd van jou en Michel. Is netjes dat het geplaatst wordt maar doet juist waarde oordeel aan de cd.
Hij kent jullie waarschijnlijk helemaal niet en is bij toeval op deze cd gestuit heel erg jammer voor deze persoon, hij weet niet wat hij mist.
Heb de cd al meerdere keren gedraaid en gaat niet vervelen.
2010. André Stooker / NL
In 2006, Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen (better known as Synth.nl) digitally met on the Dutch "Synth Forum". They started talking about synthesizers and synthesizer music and found out that they shared the same fascinations. Ron is the best and most well-known electronic musician from The Netherlands with many respected and successful releases behind his name, Synth.nl got signed by Groove Unlimited in 2007 and has released three well-received albums to date. In 2010 their wives rented a house in the Belgian Ardennes for a weekend. Both Ron and Michel brought a synthesizer with them and they started making music together. The name of the house was "Refuge en Verre".
The nice and relaxed time Ron, Michel and their families had in the house, surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Ardennes, led to the inspiration for this album. The eight compositions on "Refuge en Verre" all have a theme about the house and the environments there. The music is a perfect mix between the sounds of the two musicians: retro, powerful and melodically (Ron) as well ass melodically, lively and rhythmic (Michel). It is great to hear what the two of them are capable of together. It starts with the titletrack that has long-stretched sequencers and fine soloing. "La Roche-en-Ardennes" is the name on the town where Refuge en Verre is located. It is also the name of a fine composition with a wonderful melody and fat solosounds. One of the best tracks ever that has come out from Ron and his musical friends is "Orage d’été" that has a fantastic sequence and overall atmosphere. This is how serious electronic music should sound. The powerful sequences and melodies that can be found on the soloalbums by the two, have an important role on "Refuge en Verre". Take, for instance the slightly melancholic "Coucher de Soleil" and "Rosée du Matin", the last one could almost be a composition by the great Vangelis himself. But there is also place for some lighter moments, like "Contemple du Ciel" and "Combat des Coqs", a track about two coqs having a "crow-battle". "Soleil Levant" brings the music back to the long sequencerlines.
The musical collaboration between Ron and Michel has become one that delivers us with al album that easily can be placed amongst the best that has ever came out of the brain of Ron and his friends. Let’s just hope their wives decide to rent some more housed in weekends in the future so we can hear some more of this excellent music from these two top musicians from EM.
2010. Paul Rijkens
Refuge en Verre is the name of a chalet located in the Belgian Ardennes. It is also the place where Michel van Osenbruggen, better known under the name of Synth. NL and Ron Boots sealed an increasing friendship during a family weekend of which synths and PCs were in the middle of victuals and, especially, where the panorama was favorable for an inspiration which precisely nourished these synths and PCs. Family meeting in an absolutely splendid place, according to the description made by the two accomplices, it didn’t need anything more to compose an album which soaks in a convivial ambiance. A Refuge en Verre where the duality as well rhythmic as melodious which lives and differentiates the musical universes from Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen is completing throughout this soft opus to hybrid atmospheres.
A distant synth breath tinted by a cosmic flavor opens Refuge en Verre. Layers ramble in a galaxy where voices of children can be heard. We would believe being in morning when the life wakes up behind a dome of fog emits by a suave mellotron and where the nature takes life with butterfliess’ wings which flicker on fines and nervous percussions. Waves whistle in this quixotic firmament, crossing morning quietude. And gently, as for not awakening the universe, the rhythm is settling with a fine syncopated line which supports percussions and girdles mellotron pads. Synth solos fuse with density and acuity on a fine melodious line of an oniric and poetic softness, wrapping thus the first portion of Refuge en Verre. Around the 5th minute the tempo is isolating from these solos to borrow a less dreamy rhythmic, but as quite warmth, where keyboard keys shape a soft jazzed approach on a structure always agitated of a syncopated line. The long solos come back to hoodwink around Refuge en Verre, witness of the duality as well rhythmic as melodious of Ron Boots and Synth.NL.
Small sound particles whirl in the opening of La Roche-en-Ardenne. A short atmospheric intro that a good strike of percussion disable sharply to light a street rhythm with hammerings that ram a sturdy walking around where synth solos twirl around a heavy bass line, à la Patrick O' Hearn, which bites the tempo. A track which is very close to the melodious rhythms of Synth.NL, just like the furious and very rock Combat des Coqs.
A fine rain shower crossed of remote thunders and dandled of soft perfumes from a solitary synth opens Orage d’Été. The synth there is soft and croon on a light rhythmic divided by split by glitters of percussions and clogs which furrow a road for souls in search of a refuge. A beautiful atmospheric track which transcends a bit the ambiguous and static tempos from Steve Roach and Rudy Adrian desert and tribal soundscapes.
Very languorous, to the limit sensual, Coucher du Soleil presents a prismatic intro where synth breezes weave an ochre veil. A veil sifted, as the weak gleams of a sun which embraces the half-lights of a day, a soft tempo drawn by electronic percussions with hypnotic rebounds. Tender mellotron pads, flooded by wandering choirs, waltz with beautiful synth solos. They wake up low shimmering chords and furrow a duality of rhythms with a fine syncopated line which dances in withdrawal to give a warm and unique dimension to one of the very beautiful tracks of Refuge en Verre.
Also presenting a very atmospheric introduction, Contemple du Ciel wakes up on a fine structure which spins in harmony among beautiful synth layers which exchange solos and harmony on light ‘‘hands slapping kind’’ percussions. Synths and mellotrons are suave there and lasciviously dance around an undulating structure which winds the sky like a stairway towards stars. A soft and very harmonious track with beautiful synth solos with Arab fragrances.
Rosée du Matin is the most ambient track of Refuge en Verre. A concerto for solitary synth which cries its loneliness in the morning dew. A great track which points out Vangelis and Opera Sauvage.
Soleil Levant concludes this first Boots/Synth.NL collaboration with a heavy track filled of long and twisted synth solos. Hopping tempo envelopes an intro which floats in mellotron fogs of a contemplative wandering. A fine syncopated line flickers besides heavy percussions and a beautiful bass line which weave the rhythmic background of Soleil Levant, whose ascending rhythm is sieved by strident, but superb, synth solos.
Heavy rhythms, poetic ambiances, a fusion of synth with solos and harmonies tearing on a Vangelis and Roach (not to say Boots) framework, hybrid sequences where percussions marinate marvelously well with sequencers chords; here is the takings of Refuge en Verre. A beautiful album of EM which doesn’t have weak moments and where the presence of Ron Boots in the universe of Synth.NL adds an amazing depth to the ‘‘Jarresques’’ and ‘‘Vangelesques’’ rhythms and melodies of Michel van Osenbruggen. In short a beautiful album, very melodious and filled with charm which is listening like taking time to live.
Sylvain Lupari / Guts of Darkness
The foundation of the music heard on this release was laid down as Ron Boots and Michel van Osenbruggen (aka Synth.nl) and their families had a nice weekend out in the Belgian Ardennes in a rented house, of which the latter also became the name of the album.
Beside the overall moody and relaxed nature of the music of "Refuge en Verre", the outcome is also proof of the fun musicians can have composing and jamming while complementing each other and enjoying themselves as they immerse into the music. While sometimes the sound and variation of the drums could have been better on certain spots in the first half of the album, there's a lot to like for the warm sound pads and lush synth textures applied in each piece. For me, the highlight on the album is the exciting "La Roche-en-Ardennes" with its great mixture of enthusiastic soloing from both musicians, although it's a pity they occasionally give room to a few fretless bass lines. A close second is the thrilling "Contemple du ciel" with its great groovy bass line and airy synth scapes hovering over it, while a pleasant Vangelis-flavour shines through the evocative track "Rosee du Matin". A more powerful and up-tempo statement is made on "Combat des coqs", which offers nice free style elements next to the sound of coqs calling to each other.
"Refuge en Verre" makes me wish to see these two musicians perform this live some time.
2010. Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion
This is an excellent CD, well constructed, top notch phrasing with plenty of sequencing. I'm familiar with both artists separately, but together it adds dimension to all styles of EM that hasn't been heard in recent years.
The combination of analogue and digital synths makes for a rare combination of brilliant soundscapes that delivers high octane sound. This is representative of music that for all purposes does not make listening to all that difficult.
Every track on this recording forms a story written to coincide with the other. Brilliant
2010. Stephen / USA