After we first met at the E-live festival in 2007 and several other electronic music events, it soon became clear that we had a common interest in synthesizers as well as the music of Jean Michel Jarre. He influenced us both, but our own styles evolved in different directions. Eventually during one of our dinners we decided that it would be cool to make some music together or at least give it a try. So we started doing some studio sessions and found out that our approaches were completely different.|
- Underground Tubes [12:18]
- Traffic Cones [7:22]
- Ancient Pyramids [7:05]
- Liquid Spheres [6:26]
- Fractured Splines [7:10]
- Crashing Toroids [5:45]
- Paper Planes [6:57]
- Frozen Cubes [5:21]
- Burning Cylinders [12:31]
Remy started yelling musical terms and Michel had no idea what he was talking about. Where Michel can’t even read notes, Remy is classically schooled. In the end we found out that we shouldn’t talk too much and should just listen to each other and improvise. That turned out to be a good idea and in the end we made a lot of useful material. During this process we became good friends and we think you can hear that back on the album.
We think that this album is a good mixture of both our styles with music we wouldn’t have created on our own. We hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as we did creating it.
2013. Remy Stroomer & Michel van Osenbruggen
Strange musical combination that this one of Synth NL and Remy. Although both Dutch musicians share an interest for the music of Jean Michel Jarre, they are the exact opposite of their musical visions as much for the genre that of the writings. It's at the 2007 E-Live Festival that Remy Stroomer, who has a study of classic musician, and Michel van Osenbruggen, a self-taught who is inspired by Vangelis, have made acquaintance. In the course of the meetings and conversations during following festivals and events of EM, they developed a friendship as well as some interest in composing an album together. And so “PrimiTiveS” was shyly born. According to both authors, the conception was difficult. The distance between the genres and the difference at the level of the writing technique have outstripped at the same time and moved closer to two new accomplices who wrote the main lines of “PrimiTiveS” each of their sides. The result is a delicious mix of both styles which propel the EM fan in the spectral and theatrical atmospheres that Remy has concocted along Exhibition of Dreams and the heavy and curt rhythms that made the mark of Synth NL with OceanoGraphy.
And it's this mixture which is at the heart of "Underground Tubes", of which the first minutes offer an intro filled by granular breezes and harmonies which glide with a musical scent in a subdued atmosphere of dusts and studed mists. An intro where the breaths of saxophones sing in cosmic currents before being finely cherished by a bass line and percussions which hop in funky movements embraced by tenderness. And this rhythm, taken to party by howlings of a synth to twisted solos, increases patiently the pace with a vrooming heaviness which pulses in a constant velocity, entailing in its groove a line of sequence which swirls with harmonious jerks and solos of synth to vampiric forms which release also iridescent mists on a rhythm of which the constancy is fed on sequences and on more incisive percussions. If the beginning of "Underground Tubes" is stamped by Remy, the finale is just as much with its dark solos, its orchestral approach and its chthonian choir which adorn the bubbling cosmic approaches which is the mark of Synth NL. And it's this kind of musical duel that “PrimiTiveS” reserves us. "Traffic Cones" doesn't do in for subtleties with its clearly funky approach and its chords to the sucking sounding pulsations which pound under the imprints of a synth with orchestral mists and of its solos which whisper us a spectral kindness to the hollows of ears. The rhythm is unfolding a more jerky strength with continual stroboscopic comings and goings which awaken in us reminiscences of Klaus Schulze and of his Inter*Face - Miditerranean Pads era. Awesome! "Ancient Pyramids" espouses also this funky model, but with a more honeyed approach, on a bass line with spiraled palpitations and a line of sequences with frenzied jerks which swirl against current in the spherical movements of an electronic melody dreaming in the charms of a synth to incisive solos and Arabian breezes.
After the very ambient phases of "Liquid Spheres", "Fractured Splines" bursts into our ears with a line of sequences with keys which hiccup deeply by spinning into a furious rotatory movement that percussions carry at the tip of their rhetoric strikings in the ochred mists of the synths of which the incisive solos are swirling such as howling spectres. The battle of the somber atmospheres of Remy on the heavy and lively rhythms of Synth NL is more than significant on this track as well as on "Crashing Toroids" among whom the heaviness and the layers of synth as black as morphic are slowing down a little the velocity of its rotatory axis. Again it will please the fans of Klaus Schulze. "Paper Planes" is a superb track which brings us into the night-atmospheres of Remy where the hissing winds, the dark mists and the lascivious solos wrap a slow rhythm of which the crisscrossed volutes of sequences pound with more vigour than a rhythm slows down by the bludgeoning of the percussions which burst with more fury towards the finale. We stay in these ambiences of Remy Schulze with "Frozen Cubes" and its somber notes of piano which reveal a melody soaked with a mood of black dreams that choirs, mi-seraphic and mi-sinister, wrap with an aura of night-discomfort. A discomfort which amplifies with a heavy final hammered by dramatic percussions, weaving so a rather anguishing conclusion. This is great Remy, theatrical and oniric, which just got into our ears. Take what are the heaviest parts of “PrimiTiveS” and intensify its contents and it gives "Burning Cylinders" which wears marvellously its naming. The rhythm is more than heavy. It's hammered by powerful percussions, of which every blow leaves an echo and its shadow, and fed by nervous riffs which, put together, forge a powerful electronic progressive rock of which the axis of a bass line adopts a rhythmic profile à la Peter Gun. Simply delicious! The synths are wearing the tones and the very different musicality of both authors who multiply twisted and complexes solos, feeding a hallucinating ambience of schizophrenic impulses which swirl in the circle very restricted of this rhythm as alive as black. It's unmistakably one of the very good tracks of 2013.
When two artists at the top of their art are working together to compose an album; the results are sometimes tepid. We often have the impression that each wants to swallow the style of the other. And it's far from being the case on “PrimiTiveS” where we feel a mutual respect regarding the style of each and a growing musical friendship through this work which represents very well the meshing of their visions. It's a very beautiful album where the crossing of Exhibition of Dreams and OceanoGraphy inhales the rhythms and ambiences of Klaus Schulze, with a sweet zest of Jean Michel Jarre. Highly recommendable!
2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com
"PrimiTiveS" is the debut-album by the established Dutch synthesists Remy (aka Remy Stroomer) and Synth.nl (aka Michel van Osenbruggen). Although they are both musically influenced by Jean Michael Jarre, classically-trained Remy and autodidact Synth.nl both have developed their own style, character and approach in their music.
After they got to know each other on E-Live 2007, the two guys started developing compositions and ideas in their own studios respectively, sending them back and forth in the last couple of years. In later stages, they actually joined forces by coming out, play and finalize things together in the studio in what has ended up as "PrimiTiveS".
The outcome of one and a half years of intensive (and of what I’ve heard also exhausting) work has really paid off, and is topped by another excellent mastering job by Wouter Bessels. The nine transparent and spatial sounding compositions (although no straight-forward melodic songs) form a sonic adventure, featuring some powerful lead voices, bass lines and cracking drums. But there’s also room for tranquil interludes such as the intimate "Liquid Spheres". There actually a lot going on in this free-style kind of e-music.
Besides a most interesting sound spectrum, a lot of attention is given to detail and the distinct layering/merging of pads. It’s accessible, spatial and fresh, but also breaths a somewhat different air than we are used to from each of the composers. The minimal flavours, piano playing, Schulze-touches and choir textures are courtesy of Remy (e.g. "Frozen Cubes"), while Michel hints for the groovy and melodic drive along soaring leads, bubbling and quirky sound effects. The latter is nicely displayed on tracks such as "Fractured Splines", "Crashing Toroids" or the energetic "Burning Cylinders".
Like the first Boots/Synth.nl release, "PrimiTiveS" is a fun release in which the enthusiasm of Remy and Michel is constantly present and shining through.
Nice going guys, hat’s off for this fine album!
2013. Bert Strolenberg / SonicImmersion.org