A church is a beautiful place to give an electronic music concert. The Big or St. Bavo church in Haarlem is one of the finest houses of God in The Netherlands. At May 19 2012 (the night when Chelsea won the Champions League), Remy and Ron Boots gave a concert there under the projectname “The Return Of Planet X”. Remy has performed in the church on a regular basis, for Ron it was the first time. Ron, who played after Remy’s gig, chose to pay a tribute to one of his musical inspirators, Klaus Schulze. His friends Harold van der Heijden on drums and Eric van der Heijden on synthesizers were his band for the night.
- Dream but not of Today
- Signs in the Sand
At the concert, Ron didn’t “copy” the music of Klaus Schulze -as some other musicians do- but took his love for Schulze’s music as a basis and gave his own “twist” to it. So, so to say, it became Boots-music with a Schulzian atmosphere. And as the projectname was “The Return Of Planet X”, traces from Schulze’s masterwork “X” from 1978 could be heard. “Klaustrofobia” (what a nice title!) opens the cd with a choir (conducted by Eric van der Heijden) that recites a text, accompanied by Ron’s ambientsounds. After this, Harold van der Heijden starts his drumwork and the music becomes rhythmic. Ron then plays fat solos (what else could you expect as he plays it on the Moog Little Phatty synthesizer…). It is a quite thrusting piece of music, also because of the sequences used. Industrial soundscapes form the introduction to “Dream But Not Of Today”. This track shows some modern classical influences. And as Schulze’s albums “X” and it’s follow-up “Dune” from 1979 also have a classical touch, all falls perfectly in place with the subject of the concert. When the sequence and drums that come next, this composition almost becomes progressive rock (which is also classical influenced, so the circle is round). The titletrack is saved for last. This is a rather relaxed piece with a calm rhythm and an excellent basismelody.
It was a great night in the St Bavo in Haarlem. Ron’s tribute to Klaus Schulze’s music worked absolutely well in this very special location. May many concerts follow at this fine place!
2012. Paul Rijkens
Be not surprised if you have the strange impression of hearing Klaus Schulze and his Inter Face to En=Trance era when your ears will cross Ron Boots' last marvel. Concocted in the shade of the music played during his concert given on May 19th, 2012 at the Saint Bavo Church in Haarlem, Netherlands, “Signs in the Sand” is inspired by the inspirations of an artist who influenced Ron Boots and hundreds of EM musicians; Klaus Schulze. On 2 wonderful long music pieces with oblong minimalist movements, Ron Boots draws the sketches of a mesmerizing universe of surrealism where black choirs hum absent airs on experimental rhythms in continual movement.
A concerto for voices of schizophrenics roaming in corridors of a psychiatric wing opens the gaps of the somber "Klaustrofobie". This colorful intro of absent voices begins the 27 minutes of an epic title which allies psychedelism and eclecticism on a long gyrating minimalist rhythmic structure where is dragging a pleiad of crazy tones (telephones ringtones, vibrating serpentines, absent, rustles hollow winds, paranormal gongs, etc.). Keys of a puny sequencer extricate themselves of this foggy canvas of alienating madness to dance in a waltz of delicate spasmodic hiccups which lose their illusions into the withdrawing lines of a synth and of its solos filled by strange claustrophobic aromas. Quietly the rhythm of "Klaustrofobie" brings together pulsations and mislaid chords to amplify a pace which wins in imposing presence. Solos are vicious! Swirling like spectres of madness or lassoes without strength, they encircle a rhythm became heavier and stronger. This rhythm, which is difficulty identifiable, reached its maturity with an alloy of glaucous pulsations, muffled percussions, curt synth pads incision to breezes of glass but especially of sequences to two-colored tones where tones of contrasting anvil glass and erratic xylophones keys are bursting of a delicious harmonious aura for a track which imprisons its passion into the corridors of insanity. Comparisons with Schulze? There are. First of all this minimalist rhythm which fattens its greediness with the addition of lost sequences in these long rotatory hallways, but also these superb solos with elusive dimensions which skim over this indescribable rhythm like some blue clouds of ether which try the cerebral asphyxia on a dying refusing its fate. Are they dreamlike breaths or breezes of insanities? No matter cause the illusion of a madness announced in the first second of "Klaustrofobie" persists throughout this surprising track which by moments borrows the long corridors of the internal madness of Remy (The Great Church Trilogy and Exhibition of Dreams).
The intro of "Dream but not of Today" continuous the exploration of black and paranormal ambiences with absent choirs humming a distress which gets lost in oblong musical hoops of which every outline awakens an unreal aquatic fauna. Tears of cello caress the despair of rebellious souls of which the faded voices shape the humming of penitent bees while the waves of synth are rolling on the sea tranquillity, reflecting on its waves the twinkling desire of silent stars. A fine line of sequence makes waddle its ions a little after the 6th minute, drawing a hopping rhythm which catches a strong line of a resonant bass and percussions which knock out the rhythm with some discordant strikes. And docilely the rhythm repeals the incoherence to embrace a beautiful harmonious cohesion around fluty breaths and these fine sequences which sparkle like lights of prism. The absent choruses and their destroyed voices bring a nightmarish dimension to this long minimalist movement which embellishes its structure became oniric with twisted solos that Eric van der Heijden draws such as in la belle époque analog of Klaus Schulze. Superb! The title-track changes the face of “Signs in the Sand” by a much less experimental approach. Keyboard chords are dragging at the tip of a rhythm which sounds just groovy, before modulating its approach with a sequenced undulatory movement which continues to rock these weakened chords always dancing in the breezes of an aphrodisiac synth.
Strange and dazzling, delicious and scheming but especially sublime! Such is the concise analysis that one can make of this last Ron Boots' opus. “Signs in the Sand” is at the height of the Dutch synthesist great talent. It's an album rich in ambiences and in crawling harmonies which burgeon on hypnotic rhythms which hook to the hearing with these fine and subtle permutations. It's a titanic work which is more than respectful of the object of its worship; Klaus Schulze. Wonderful!
2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com