Recorded and played with old, pre-midi instruments.|
- Strategem of Morality [14:16]
- Collision [17:55]
- Empathy [7:07]
- Emotive Disparity [2:26]
- Pace of Voyage [15:36]
- Opaque Divergence [16:06]
Composed, played, recorded, mixed and mastered by Gert Emmens during the Summer of 2009.
Coverdesign, album title, track titles, story and narration by Laila Quraishi (aka Cadenced Haven), Spring 2010.
Gert Emmens - Arp Pro Soloist, Arp Sequencer, Elektor Formant (*2), Elka Solist chromatic version, Farfisa Syntorchestra, Hammond Auto Vari 64, Hillwood Super Variation, Korg 700S Minikorg, Korg Lambda, Moog Minimoog, Moog Opus 3, Moog Taurus MK1, Moog The Source, Philips Philicorda GM 751, Roland RS202, Siel Orchestra 2, Solina String-Ensemble, Vermona ER9, Yamaha CS80.
Metamorphosis was made with old analog instruments only, without MIDI. Only CV/GATE was used, on the sequences.
During the summer of 2009 I had the old ARP sequencer of Ruud Heij on loan. Working with this sequencer gave so much inspiration, that I decided to stick to the oldies only on an album. The release took so long because I wanted to finish the "Nearest Faraway Place" trilogy first.
2010. Press Information
“Metamorphosis” is a milestone and also a special moment in the career of Dutch synthesist Gert Emmens. Not only it is his tenth album with Groove Unlimited, it is also the first cd Gert has produced using solely old analog instruments. There is no MIDI on the album, only CV/Gate on the sequences. Gert is a real master in creating a mixture between the pure Berlin School retro style with excellent melodies. This puts him aside from most of his musical colleagues in this area. On the “Nearest Faraway Place” trilogy, which Gert has recently finished, he has produced some of the best music ever. On all of the albums he has done, there was also a mixture between analog retro sounds and modern digital sounds (but, than again, put in a warm bed).
On “Metamorphosis” Gert has chosen for an analog sound only. This also means that legendary instruments can be heard on the cd like the ARP Pro Soloist, the Korg 700S, the MiniMoog, the Moog Taurus MK1, the Solina String Ensemble and the massive Yamaha CS80 (remember it’s huge orchestral sound from Vangelis?). During the Summer of 2009, Gert has borrowed an ARP sequencer from Ruud Heij (with which he has made a number of fantastic albums together) and this lead to the inspiration of making ”Metamorphosis”. The album is accompanied with fine texts by Cadenced Haven.
”Metamorphosis” is filled with intriguing electronic retro music that has the same atmosphere and impact as Gert’s other albums but with that warm analog “sauce” with makes it a very special listening experience.
”Stratagen Of Morality” opens the album with a great nostalgic feeling using strings and excellent sequencer lines. Then we hear the antique drum boxes that Gert has been using on his recent recordings and quiet and relaxing solos. The drum box also has a prominent place on “Collision” that again has a very strong sequencer. “Empathy” is a very melodically track, like most of Gert’s music but this time even more. Here, the CS80 is used for the lead sound. “Emotive Disparity”, a short piece, is even composed solely on this big instrument (how on earth did Gert manage to get that in his loft?). Just listen to the modulation effects here. A wonderful sequence introduces “Pace Of Voyage” in which another classic sound is used: the ARP Pro Soloist, made famous by people like Genesis’ keyboard player Tony Banks. The sequencer halfway the track reminds of Vangelis’ “Spiral”. The most melodically composition on “Metamorphosis” is “Opaque Divergence” that has a great melody.
”Metamorphosis” is another superb cd by Gert Emmens. It is undoubtedly “Gert” but a little bit different and that makes it extra special. An excellent way to celebrate his tenth album with Groove.
2011. Paul Rijkens
This is my 10th album to be released at Groove Unlimited. I would never have gotten this far without the support and promotion of Groove. A warm thank you very much to Ron and Kees!
The basic concept behind the album refers to certain dynamic forces of different deviations of life as we know it. This record reflects a translucent wall of evolvement and highlight of pattern of a life as designed by the will of nature. It takes an initiate to hold the capability which represents individual steps of existence that are taken ahead from the moment of learning until the time comes to abide by the fact of being forgotten.
What this album has to offer through its melody is the message of awareness….. the cognizance of certain different stages of life and all the aspects and experiences that we all somehow undergo one way or the other. It symbolizes the changes of patterns, thoughts, opinions, decisions etc for future steps to take ahead in life. And such changes do play a very important role in the fact of how it actually brings out the best in us and what it makes of us when it comes to contradicting reality with the imaginary thoughts in existence. Thus creates a virtual being within oneself with such optimistic but rather less pessimistic thoughts inside and therefore the term "Metamorphosis" synchronizes this with the ritual and variable aspects of survival presence of beings here on earth and beyond…..
The actual reason behind this presence here is what we call a change of existence. In the end we end up back where we started our journey of thoughts and finally leave with nothing but some memories behind into the phase of eternity.
1)Stratagem of Morality: The scheme of life chosen as planned to be experienced in this worldly life.
2)Collision: Confrontations of different rituals of morality and its concepts that require one to undergo certain capricious aspects of life as he breathes into it.
3)Empathy: The ability of acquiring such emotive phases from within and to abide by these emotional feelings that interact with vulnerable facets of life here and after.
4)Emotive Disparity: The stage of certain moments in life when we face such emotional breakdown which symbolizes a part of change in patterns of actual existence.
5)Pace of Voyage: A phase of life where one realizes his journey and the basic concepts behind it but yet fails of summon up the reason as to why such route of life has been chosen but still holds the ability to undergo unpredictability of unfair but yet favorable future.
6)Opaque Divergence: The stage of life which is variably misunderstood mostly because of its opaque visibility in terms of real meaning of existence. This is when one desires to find the answer to life in a new way whereas it has always been there within oneself waiting to be noted and realized which very few people can identify and define in terms of ultimate path of life and its influences behind it. What we thought we knew is what we never realized until the moment of truth approaches but then the words seem to be impervious for those who are yet to arrive at such level of consciousness. Thus metamorphosis continues….
2010. Gert Emmens
Metamorphosis is the reflection of a translucent wall translucent wall of evolvement and highlight of pattern of a life as designed by the will of nature. For his 10th album on Groove Unlimited label, Gert Emmens's not one to bother with niceties and offers a splendid concept album where the melody is the message of consciousness. And Metamorphosis is stuffed with melodies. Melodies linked to sequences as heavy as deviants in a wonderful analog sound environment. Moved by a new faith and a new passion, Gert Emmens is making the messenger of his new values by offering us a solid opus of which the music draws a wonderful tale on magical thought.
Strategem of Morality opens Metamorphosis with a heavy atmospheric intro. A dense sound broth where simmers hybrid synth lavas of which layers are criss-crossing and resounding among sinuous synth solos. Solos dancing lasciviously in a somber electronic Genesis drawn of slender twisted waves, hesitating synth pads and reverberating streaks which cross still synth pads as well as distant felted sequential line which livens up little by little Strategem of Morality lavas. Another sequence skips stealthily; leaving its reverberating tracks formed a pace which amplifies delicately its rhythm beneath a hazy mellotron mist. At around the7th minute the rhythm is settling down with a sequential movement to hybrid chords and tones, sustained by electronic percussions which beat finely the pace under a firmament stuffed with fine twisted synth solos. The tempo progresses with this sound architecture unique to Gert Emmens and deviates delicately towards a more ethereal structure with delicate keyboard keys which ring among sequencer chords always so hybrid and hued. This furtive sequential movement which skips stealthily is the cornerstone of the crossed rhythms which endow the rhythmic structures of Emmens on Metamorphosis.
Collision is the perfect example. After an ethereal intro which molds a sober tempo, criss-crossed by these fabulous synth solos, the rhythm undergoes a transformation by a permutation of a sequential movement stemming from nowhere. These chords skip with a kind of hesitation and with slinky solos. The pace becomes more insistent and modulates an ascending structure from where are escaping soft keys which ring as a guitar’s. And so goes Collision. Between steady rhythms and atmospheric passages, sequences of the Dutch synthesist shape minimalist and hypnotic rhythms on brief surges where rhythms have arrhythmic measures, bringing Collision towards a superb final decorated of splendid solos which are entangling around sequenced cadences unique to the charming musical world of Emmens.
Empathy is modeled in the same mould as Collision, except for these spectral solos which whistle above the nervous skipping sequences of the introduction. More compressed cause shorter, Empathy evolves from rhythms to ambiances with synth solos to cerebral magnetism which flutter above a sequential world in constant inversion.
After the floating Emotive Disparity, Pace of Voyage initiates its musical tale with an unbridled sequential race and spiced up of synth solos as much poetic as lyrical. A piercing solo dismount the tempo, plunging Pace of Voyage into a brief indecisive passage with a heavy and slow sequence which waddles beneath pads of a thinker synth. The tempo becomes then slower, but also heavier. It embraces an ethereal structure with cymbals which flicker besides keys of a keyboard as much pensive, on sequences which try to take back its crazy race beneath breezes of a ghostly synth. But the rhythm is sagging and we dive into a soft and brief cosmic atmosphere with strata which waltz in an oniric oblivion, which nervous and hectic sequences repeal with a sterile rhythmic structure. The tempo is spherical and still. It pounds beneath waves and solos of a supernatural and eerie synth, accompanied by choirs and a mystic mist of a dreamy mellotron.
A hybrid synth with solos as symphonic as solitary, floating in an ethereal mist, he whistles and sings catchy solos, while Opaque Difference pounds with its first stammering. Solos and breezes of synth are waddling such as padded sequences, increasing gradually a cadence which subtly gallops with discretion in a cosmic mist. Weighed down, the sequence staggers to mold a slow tempo which waves with heaviness among spasms of a hesitating synth and fluid chords which flow as guitar’s ones. A strange electronic march is following, flied over by tiny streaks and brief solos before the heavy rhythm is drawing, hammered by good percussions. A mesmerizing rhythm which spins delicately, such a cosmic ballet, on a circular sequence sometimes heavy, aggressive and sometimes delicate, hesitating, embracing in the end an ethereal sweetness and exhilarated by suave solos of charming synth. A synth which lulls our imaginary since we became linked to Gert Emmens's soft musical universe.
Ambiguous rhythms on sequences in constants permutations and besieged by beautiful melodies, Metamorphosis is very good and strong Gert Emmens. A complex album from its unpredictable rhythms and where melodies are shaping to sequential movements sometimes spherical and sometimes progressive. Melodies sculptured by an oniric mellotron and synths which sing and whistle on beautiful ethereal structures.
One of the good albums of 2010!
2010. Sylvain Lupari / Guts of Darkness
This release from 2010 offers 74 minutes of fluid electronic music.
Flowing textures are embellished by keyboards, resulting in tuneage that floats despite its evident weight.
The electronics are slick and polished, evoking a journey through perception and its impacts on life. Delicate atmospherics generate a vaporous foundation that adapts to enhance the primary melodies.
Those primary melodies are presented in a slow-build fashion, wherein basic threads are set forth and then elaborated until the expressions achieve a vibrant lushness. While Emmens' fingers are rarely idle, they do not flash across the keys to offer the notes in a rapid delivery. Instead, chords are presented, sustained, then tempered with additional touches to produce a smoldering beauty. The last two pieces, though, do display velocity in which a zesty attitude with swift notes achieves an inspired energized state of delightful animation.
Some rhythms are present in one track, but the rest of the music is offered mainly in a beatless form, concentrating on fluid structures tinged with incidents of amiable puissance. In some cases, pulsations are harnessed and presented in a rhythmic posture to lend the tracks propulsion.
These compositions exhibit a distinctly regal mien, perhaps because Emmens crafted them exclusively using analog equipment, thereby infusing each note with a retro richness. The tunes abound with a sense of mounting density, moving from sparse openings and progressing through stages of accretion until the music flourishes with robust power.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
For this album Dutch synthesizer artist Gert Emmens decided to stick to trusty old analog instruments from the 1970's and 1980's, using CV / gate technology and analog sequencers to control the machines instead of MIDI. Every piece of equipment used on "Metamorphosis" is analog and is of at least 20 years vintage. Thematically, we've got Gert exploring various stages of human existence and the effects that the events in our lives have upon our psyche and spirit.
"Stratagem of Morality" kicks off with subtle effects before a nice warm pad is introduced. I am reminded a bit of Gert's piece "The Morning After" from the "Analogy" series of samplers (also done on just analog instruments). A warm lead melody is heard. Gert's style is easily recognizable and yet here, it is infused even more with those nostalgic 70's cosmic sensibilities, especially when the heavy synth drone followed by synth string slabs come in, bringing in the best of the "Encore"-era Tangerine Dream to mind. Quite dark it is, too, especially for Gert, whose style had softened a bit in the last several years. A welcome change, I must add. I adore this edgier, rockier side of Gert's music. Nice, fat (and I really mean fat) sequencers start in a relaxed pace, propelling the piece forward, infusing it with a cosmic grandeur and a sense of purpose. Once the rhythm starts, we are taken to a more familiar territory, with reflective flute leads and warm, flowing pads. The track ends with the same kind of effects that were heard at the beginning. Wonderful reflective pads get "Collision" underway. It is not long, before a rhythm starts and a typical melodic section by Gert follows, although the whole sounds more sparse and somehow more to-the-point. The sequences are virtually absent at this stage but do appear after a while. A wonderful progression of solos and melodic bits follows - relaxed, stately and majestic. Some of the solos have that typical jazzy flair that Gert seems to love so much. A brighter section comes next, with sequences sounding more optimistic and a flying jazzy solo. "Empathy" gets loaded with warm pads at the beginning but then a sequence takes over. A very Tangerine Dream-like section follows with super-fine sequencing and typical Gert Emmens soloing. This track is more focused, incessant and driving that what has come before. It's one of the instances where the relatively short length of the piece is actually a big plus. During 7 minutes Gert gives us a nice flight through cosmic realms and inner worlds. "Emotive Disparity" is a 2-minute curio created on a Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer. This track is atmospheric and features nice sound design by Gert. I wish that he would work more within this style in the future. "Pace of Voyage" starts with a distorted sequence that gradually restores its melodic qualities before being joined by a warm pad. A distant solo is a welcome change, just as the laser fire rhythm that appears after a few seconds. Nice fusion-y touches give the track a special flair. A section filled with synth pads gives way for a melodic sequence that just ebbs and flows. Smooth melodies complete the picture. Oh, and that female voice lead melody is just fantastic. White noise effects (like the sound of crashing waves) herald the coming of "Opaque Divergence". They are immediately joined by smooth warm pads and a soothing melody that just gets under your skin. This is a more romantic Gert Emmens, some might say New Agey, but still recognizably him. The symphonic qualities of this piece make it stand out from the rest of his output. However, a marching sequence eventually forms from under the blanket of smooth pads. A direct rhythm launches the piece into space. Like a rocket, it flies past planets and stars, on top of fat pulsations and majestic melodies. Rich, rich sounds are used on this track; they penetrate your ears with ease, touching your inner senses. A lengthy stretch of wave sounds finish off this majestic, nostalgic EM work.
This album, released on Groove label, is complimented by a nice booklet and an extensive gear list. Needless to say, the analog instruments sound incredible and like nothing on Earth. They just can't be matched in what they are doing best and Gert proves once again that he can handle these instruments with ease, as a truly professional musician with a solid experience in the field. From an artistic point of view, this album has got some darker, edgier moments that I found hugely appealing. A must for fans of Gert Emmens, analog electronics or EM in general.
2011. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music