About this Album
This is our second album together and just like our first album from 2010 called ‘Refuge en Verre’ we recorded this music during a family holiday. This time we spend a whole week with our families in Bork Havn in Denmark. During the day we spend time with our families and in the evening we improvised in the temporary studio we build in a corner of the holiday house. We didn’t really prepare anything in advance so all music was recorded from live improvisation sessions during that week.|
The music was recorded in 2012, but due to personal circumstances we didn’t get around to finishing the album. But we both still had the desire to release it because we think the music we created there was special. So in 2020 we listened to the music again and selected the pieces we liked the most and decided we had to release it for you to enjoy. We both started working individually on the tracks in our own studios and in the end we worked in Ron’s studio to finalize the end mix and the mastering.
The album again is a symbol of our friendship. We met in 2006 during a Synthesizer Meeting organized by the Dutch ‘Synth Forum’ were we started talking about synthesizers and found out we shared the same fascinations. As a result Michel signed up as Synth.NL in 2007 with Groove Unlimited. We became good friends after that, and we visit each other on a regular basis. Not only to for music but also to enjoy a good meal or just a good talk.
The album is called ‘BorkHavn‘ simply because that is were the music was recorded. The tracks were inspired by the events we experienced during the day. Sometimes it was the beautiful nature we enjoyed sometimes just the feeling of the moment.
We hope you will enjoy this album. At least we had a great time creating the music and working on this album 8 years after recording it. It brought back good memories and only made our friendship stronger.
This album was released by Groove Unlimited in 2020 in the year we had no E-live festival unfortunately due to the Corona virus. We would like to dedicate this album to all the victims of this nasty pandemic. At this time we hope it will go away soon so everything can get back to normal.
Ron Boots & Michel van Osenbruggen
Bork Havn is the town were we rented a house for a nice holiday with both our families in the summer of 2012. Bork Havn is located on the west coast of Denmark . It is very close to the North Sea and also has a lake called Ringkøbing Fjord. The nature is simply beautiful and very inspiring. It is also a very quiet town and a perfect spot the calm down. This was the first track we created there in an improvised studio we build there. We spend a whole week there and a cd with brand new music was the end result.
Every morning we got up early to enjoy a nice breakfast together with our families and quickly go out the enjoy the nature around us. Morgenfrisk means ‘feeling fresh after a good night’s sleep‘ in Danish and that is a feeling we enjoyed every morning. It was so dark and quiet over there and during the days we had a busy program and in the evening we made music until the late hours. So we slept very well over there. Waking up rested is a nice feeling so we decided to create a track inspired by this feeling.
The Danish word for North Sea is ‘Nordsøen‘. Bork Havn is very close to the North Sea and there are some lovely beaches over there with also nice dune areas. We went there a couple of times during our weeks stay and did some nice long walks there and the kids played on the beach and in the Sea. It is always great to see everyone have a great time and somehow looking at the sea always is very relaxing. This track was inspired by the North Sea and the lovely time we had at the beach on that day.
Because Bork Havn is not very densely populated it is very dark in the evening. We are both not used to this in the cities we live in The Netherlands. There is a lot of light pollution over there. So it was great when the occasion occurred and the sky was clear of clouds to go outside and watch the stars in all their awesomeness. We actually did the same when we recorded our first album and created a track about it there. You just feel so small and realize how big our universe is. ‘Stjernekiggeri’ is the Danish word for ‘Star Gazing’ and that is what inspired this track.
Another nature phenomena that occurred by coincidence during the recording of our first album was the sound of a distant thunder storm. It is never nice to be directly in a thunder storm, but somehow when it is further away and you hear the rain and see the lightning bolts in the distance and hear the thunder roar it is very inspiring to make music on that. ‘Torden’ is the Danish word for ‘Thunder’.
One of the most beautiful words in the Danish language is the word ‘Gåpåmod’ the meaning is something like ‘Courage’. And I think that is what it takes to put your trust in another person and to be true friends. With a true friend you can always share your feelings no matter is they are good or bad. Improvising music together is also very scary and you have to have courage for this as well. It can turn out good or very bad. It was amazing to see again what you can do in just one week when you trust each other. This feeling of ‘Gåpåmod’ inspired this track.
Eating is also something we both enjoy very much. Dinner is a good moment on the day to share experiences and reflect back on the day. We had some nice dinners in Bork Havn. But one of the best was a deer steak in a very nice restaurant. The Danish word for ‘deer steak’ is ‘Hjortebøf’. After dinner was the moment in the day we usually started with playing our music. This track was actually inspired by the nice dinner we had before this track. And of course it is not only about the food, but also about the stories we shared during this dinner.
If there is one this you see a lot when you drive around in Denmark it is wind mills. The danish word for this is ‘Vindmøller’. Denmark is very flat and close to the sea so they have a lot of wind and they use this wind to produce a large portion of their electricity. Of course we both brought our synthesizers and laptops to record our music. All this electronic equipment uses electricity and it is a nice thought that the electricity that we used to create this album was generated by the wind. We talked about this just before starting this track, so it was inspired by the wind.
The most important inspiration for this whole album is our friendship. At the moment of the release of this album we are friends for 25 years. This is a very special moment for us both and a good occasion to release this album. The Danish word for ‘friendship’ is ‘Venskab’ and we thought this would be a fitting name for the last track of this album. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did creating this ‘BorkHavn‘ album.
I concluded my column on Refuge en Verre in 2011 with; a beautiful album, very melodious and full of charm that can be listened to like if to take the time to live. Ten years later, and around the same date, BORK HAVN flees with the palm of one of the most beautiful albums of 2020. Melodious and melancholy with its full of Middle East's beats, this latest album from the Ron Boots & Synth.nl duo is that kind of album that we have never seen coming and where the potential of EM is nailed in a splendid cinematographic ambience. Bork Havn is a town in Denmark where the Boots and van Osenbruggen families spent a week's vacation in the summer of 2012. The days were spent with the family visiting Bork Havn and the surrounding areas, while the evenings, some longer than others, were privileged moments when the two friends discussed things and others which were reflected in sessions of improvisations. Eight years distance these evenings and the final mastering which gives an astonishing album of tribal music from the Middle East with breathtaking orchestrations and arrangements.
It starts with the title-track of this album which is offered as a manufactured CD and for download on Groove nl website and on Groove Bandcamp. What amazes is the precision of the chords of acoustic instruments such as guitars and bass. These are also acoustic six-string chords that reveal Bork Havn to our ears. They are pensive and their vibration is picked up by a soft synthesized voice and long laments of violins drifting in this small room set up as a studio in Bork Havn. Hybrid, these chords are mixed with those of a piano which remains well behind this tonal scene. The flow is as slow as the loving reading of a poem. The sounds! We must discover them. Like here, while organic grumbling clings to the vibrations of the chords. More nourished, the music flows like a lascivious dance when the percussions inject as much vitality as rhythm to this t itle which favors a duel between the guitar and the unreal voice of an Elven princess, thus testifying its attraction for an envelope more acoustic than electronic. This backbone of Bork Havn will remain the cornerstone of BORK HAVN, the album. The titles and history of the city of Bork Havn seem to be linked to the famous Viking warriors, hence this acoustic influence on its first titles. Morgenfrisk comes with a slightly more electric vision and in a coating of sensuality with its heavy and slow rhythm. The acoustic tone shines with its chords clearly plucked by senseless fingers, while the percussions make this pagan dance tremble with so much heaviness and impact that it's almost impossible that no drummer is identified in the album. Although frank and incisive, Morgenfrisk's slow rhythm travels over superb Arabic arrangements. A title that has the nobility of Led Zeppelin in Kashmir! With a little more drive based on the Morgenfrisk finale, Nordsøen offers a structure of hymn t o war. The Gypsy rhythm is split by a stationary approach and its opposite with this push of warriors on a battlefield, defying death as much as logic, with lively movements in staccatos. The orchestral arrangements are imagined in a cinematographic vision where one can easily imagine a battle between Vikings. The percussions firmly fix this rhythm while the synths of Ron and Michel van Osenbruggen launch solos with variegated effects attached to their melodious threads. These first 3 titles of BORK HAVN followed one another with a vision of intensity which reached a small zenith with Nordsøen.
Stjernekiggeri brings us back to Arabian ballad mode. The duo goes there with incredible delicacy on this ballad guided by an acoustic guitar and bordered by percussions with brief sequenced rolls. It's like being in the New Age universe of Windham Hill. And it's not these bass bites, very beautiful by the way, scented of Patrick O'Hearn moves, that will contradict my last words. A beauti ful title whose harmonies are sealed in this appearance of a romantic acoustic guitar playing in its electronic corridors. The duo choses to stay in poetry and romance with Torden, a title composed on a piano and dominated by its beautiful playing on a stormy evening. Magnificent! Gåpåmod takes us towards the bucolic tribal panoramas of the nomads of the desert. A beautiful flute makes its phantom orations dance to a rhythm woven in electronic discretion, just so as not to be too ambient while keeping a nice balance with a latent intensity over the 6 minutes of Gåpåmod. The percussions, and the percussive effects, under a threatening sky become as beautiful as this essential flute. The Hjortebøf trap opens with a curtain of voices making tinkle a fascinating guitar on a background of empty bottles which get colliding. A short introduction to present electronics versus acoustics in a very good title where the rhythms have border only the essence and not the music, nor its instrument s . The sitar spreads the veil of a Middle East melody crudely plucked over a bed of empty bottles well aligned and with holes, structuring percussive and flute effects, and ramparts forged in continuous strobe impulses. The bass line structures these spasmodic impulses which give a ferocious allure to this rhythm adorned with good percussive effects and which would not exist without the immense possibilities of EM. And for those who are interested, there is a subtle nod to the music of the westerns of the tandem Sergio Leone-Ennio Morricone. A superb track where the percussions resonate as much as the rhythms of the sitar. A weeping violin stretches its tears in the opening of Vindmøller's mortuary murmurs and hums. A dull knock resonates around 2 minutes. The clicks of the cymbals start to flutter, joined later by bass sequences and others more limpid which flutter in an electronica rock which starts to run, after having defied the orchestrations, when pricked by a line of bass-seq u ences with impulses hungrier than orchestral impulses. These two solid tracks bring us to Venskab, an ambient track dominated by a keyboard in Rick Wright mode and whose nostalgic harmonies melt on a bed of sequenced arpeggios hopping like porcelain earthworms in an electric field.
A splendid album of a cinematographic EM flirting between the universe of Vikings and that of the romance of Arab evenings, BORK HAVN is miles away from Refuge en Verre. It's a daring, in terms of arrangements, and creative albums with music and especially its unusual sounds from the Ron Boots & Synth.nl register. The daring, the dreamers as well as the fans of sounds and those of Berlin School will find their share in this album which is undoubtedly the most beautiful at the level of melodious EM in 2020.
2021. Sylvain Lupari
Many will recall Ron & Michel’s fine debut album “Refuge en Verre” based on music drafts made during a vacation of both families in Belgium. A decade later “BorkHavn” sees the light of day, distilled from live improvised music made in a similar setting a few years later during a vacation in Denmark. Make no mistake though as “BorkHavn” is a different sonic breed as its predecessor. As the musicians elaborate in the liner notes, the music is an true expression of their friendship. It’s also a powerful statement showing how both musicians complement each other in a surprising as well as beautiful manner. The nine tracks feature emotive electronic music with a strong dynamic current connecting them. Many string pads and drums pass by on the outcome taking various twists and turns as its progresses. There’s the dynamic undercurrent sensed on the engaging opening title. Things take on an energizing orchestral/symphonic shape “Nordsøen”, entering p sychedelic-infused and slightly experimental territory on “Gåpåmod”, firing off a powerful sequencer-lead on the jolly “Hjortebøf” while reflective sonic universes open up on “Stjernekiggeri” and “Torden”. Energy runs high on the freestyle yet groovy “Vindmøller” with a slice of “Acoustic Shadows” thrown in on the first half before the lush “Venskab” brings the album to a closure.
If you want an album with solid, attentively-made electronic music, “BorkHavn” should be your pick without hesitation.
4 stars out of 5.
2021. Bert Strolenberg / SonicImmersion.org
Excellent album with an amazing sound.
2020. Marco Smit / The Netherlands