On this album a great selection of (remixed and upgraded) tracks can be heard which were all taken from his earlier cassettes. Most tracks are inspired by books like Tolkien and Stephen King which gives the whole album a very visual and/or dreamy touch.
- Khazad-Dum [6:55]
- Northwind leaves fall [9:07]
- Path's of death [9:05]
- Springbirds [6:32]
- Cosmos [5:33]
- Summerwind [6:11]
- Goodbye [5:38]
- Meadow [8:16]
- Ambersage [7:43]
- April Breeze [4:55]
According to Ron this CD was the hardest to make. A lot of the original synthesizers were sold so he had to re-create the original feeling with new synths. And as every musician knows: That's Hard!.
Ron Boots became over the years a sure thing in the world of EM. Each work coming from the Dutch synthman is surprising us with versatile rhythms which rock unsuspected melodious approaches for a musical universe weaved in the somber mathematics meanders. But before kissing this fame, Ron Boots began his career with a series of cassettes produced between 1987 and 1990. “Backgrounds” is a compilation of 4 of these works (Bookworks, Wind in the Trees, Moments and Hydrythmix) released between 1988 and Dreamscape. A compilation which reveals a musical minimalist universe seasoned of fine variances, preventing the thoughtfulness of a passive listening which becomes inevitably absent-minded. Inspired by the literary works of Tolkien and Stephen King, “Backgrounds” offers a suite of 10 compositions, remixed and reworked which inhale the atmospheric influences of the Californian deserts that Tangerine Dream has sculptured in the 70's on a surprising sequenced approach unique to Ron Boots.
"Khazad-Dum", from Bookworks, introduces us to the other hillside of Boots' universe with a clanic approach of an aboriginal kind embroidered on a meshing of sequences and pulsations with keys which fidget in an aura of controlled trance. The rhythm is intense and livened up, dislocating its linear spasms under the caresses of a lyrical synth and its fluty harmonies. One can recognize there a Dreamish influence (No Man's Land) on this minimalist approach of which the variances espouse the harmonious tangents which breathe under a dense ethereal pattern. "Northwind Leaves Fall" is a small jewel on the art of sequencing the rhythms. The melody is sculptured in a ballet of sequences of which the multiplication of the keys forges a suave musical cannon. At both fluid and jerky, the harmonious rhythm spreads its shroud of prismic tones sequences which cavort unconcernedly on an enchanter minimalist movement embellishes of its fine harmonious nuances. It's very good and very beautiful . The enchanting effect of rhythmic melodic cannon is also present on the tenebrous "Springbirds" and on the very joyful "April Breeze" (both also pulled out from Wind in the Trees) which combines its rhythm in cascade with synths as much musical as those on "Khazad-Dum"."Path's of Death", also from Bookworks, wears very well the blackness of its naming with a slow and black rhythm, to the limit clanic, embroidered on echoing pulsations and crystal clear sequences of which the alternating keys resound in the nuances of a synth and its somber fluty harmonies. "Cosmos" is the only track coming out of the Moments cassette and it's a lunar mood track with a slow rhythm which pounds of its bass line beneath some diverse approaches of percussions of which the kicks and the mislaid effects of surprises cogitate in the black mist of a dark synth and of its fleeting reedy harmonies.
It's a track which does a heavy contrast to the boiling "Summerwind", from Wind in the Trees, and of its furious ions pounding in all directions in a static dance of which the minimalist evolution passes by the heavy pulsations of a bass-drum, the strikings mislaid percussions and other ions rolling such as ball bearings which coordinate their rhythmic symbiosis in the funky harmonies coming from a synth and its languishing twisted solo and mystic mist. "Goodbye" is black and oniric, like a goodbye as we know to be a farewell. The slow modulations of the synths draw some poignant passages that church bells amplify in this funeral track where are humming dark and sad choirs. Bookworks continues to illustrate its heavy and stormy structures with "Meadow" and its heavy resonant pulsations which are throbbing in a world filled of eclectic tones. Choirs, strange robotic moans and melodious falls of chords fly over this heavy threatening approach which clears up little by little with the arrival of sequenced ions which sparkle in their harmonious trails, drawing these enchanting melodious approaches sculptured in sequences in cascade which cover the sonic world of “Backgrounds”. "Ambersage" floats with its clanic tom-toms which drum under a musical sky to clouds of ether. A synth is whistling there while that jumping ions gradually catch the beats of tom-toms, hijacking a rhythm which oscillates between its gregarious ambience and its passive modulations.
No needs to be a fan of Ron Boots to appreciate this compilation. If we feel an influence of the Dream, we cannot ignore the one of Steve Roach in this fascinating approach of crisscrossed rhythmic patterns that the Californian synthesist offered in his beginning of career (Now and Traveller, even Structures from Silence). “Backgrounds” breathes of originality for a compilation which goes out of the beginning of the 90's. The design of the rhythms in the shape of echoing canons and their harmonious movements are among these sonic elements which make that EM is a kind of unique art where the beauty explodes in the smallest ringing of chords to arabesques unreal. What a great way to discover the early works from this great EM wizard!
2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com