"Strand" is the Dutch word for beach.
- The Grand Banks [14:14]
- Serengeti Part 1 (the dry season) [9:17]
- Strand [13:28]
- Serengeti Part 2 (the rain season) [8:02]
- Rapids [11:59]
- Dust in the wind [7:22]
This music was conceived during the last 1,5 years (with many long intervals).
All tracks by Ron Boots except for "Dust in the Wind" which is by Kansas but extracted and re-arranged by Ron Boots.
All tracks recorded at "Dreamscape III" except vocals for "Dust in the Wind" recorded and edited at "Ace Studio" by Frank Van Bogaert.
Drums on track 1 and 6 by Harold van der Heijden.
Voice on track 6 by Ron Boots.
All guitars by Mighuel De Santos and Ron Boots.
Enjoy this music, I had a great time making it.
Every album by Ron Boots is eagerly awaited for. What will this Dutch master bring us next? Well, "Area Movement", which was conceived during the last 15 years (with many long intervals), describes some special places in the world. This ranges from Ronís own country The Netherlands (The "Wadden Sea") to Canada and the Serengeti National Park.
The style on "Area Movement" is quite melodically, sometimes even symphonic. In this case, "Area Movement" sometimes bares some of the same fine atmospheres of his early albums. The first track "The Grand Banks" already shows it. Starting with a soft piano part, this piece really "rocks". It features Harold van der Heijden on drums. Also, the sequences are excellent again. Another great track is "Rapids" in which the sequences somewhat remind of Ronís masterpiece "Tainted Bare Skin".
Ron loves many musical styles. The cover of the legendary song "Dust In The Wind" by the impressive progrock band Kansas shows his interests. In this song Ron sings and does that well. Maybe itís an idea for a whole album?
Ron Boots doesnít stop to surprise us with his music and his ideas. "Area Movement" is another example of his visionary.
2003. Press information
The Grand Banks.
Submarine plateau rising from the continental shelf, (93,200 sq km), off SE N.F., Canada. It is 480 km long and 640 km wide; depths range from 20 to 100 fathoms. The cold Labrador Current flows over most of the banks; the warmer Gulf Stream sweeps along the eastern edge, sometimes crossing the southern part. The Grand Banks are noted for the persistent dense fog (formed as warm air passes over the cold water) that engulfs the area. The mingling of the two currents along with the shallowness of the water forms a favorable environment for plankton and other small sea life upon which cod, haddock, halibut, and other fish feed. Lobsters are also found there. Fog, Storm's, icebergs, and the nearby transatlantic shipping lanes make it hazardous.
Serengeti Part 1 (the dry season)
Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value. With more than two million wildebeest, half a million Thomson's gazelle, and a quarter of a million zebra, it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. The wildebeest and zebra moreover form the star cast of a unique spectacular - the annual Serengeti migration.
In the open grass plains during the rainy months from November to May hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and Burchell's zebra congregate. The area is the starting point for one of the great wonders of the world: the Serengeti annual migration. Towards the end of May when the grass becomes dry and exhausted, the wildebeest start to mass in huge armies. All is far from peaceful, for it is the rutting season and each male tries to establish a stamping ground. Eventually, after several dummy runs, the animals begin their trek in a column several miles long to the permanent waters in the north of the Park. After moving westwards, the migration divides by some uncanny instinct, one group turning north-east and the other due north. Once started, little stops the stampede. What a sight this must be, I hope to see it before my end.
The Dutch Wadden Sea is a shallow, semi-enclosed part of the North Sea, mainly consisting of tidal mud flats, sand flats, sea gullies and salt marshes; the area is bordered by a series of dune barrier islands, the "Wadden Islands". The Wadden Sea stretches along the North Sea coast from Den Helder (NL) up to Esbjerg (DK) and is the largest estuarine area in Europe. Most of the sea and the uninhabited islands are State Nature Reserve. The area is of international importance being a nursery of marine life, a resting, moulting and feeding area for several millions of migratory birds, and a habitat for thousands of birds, seals and many other species. The area has been selected for European protection. The region, especially the Wadden Islands, is also a key recreational area for the Netherlands and Germany..
Serengeti Part 2 (the rain season)
The Serengeti's climate is usually warm and dry. The main rainy season is from March to May, with short rains falling from October to November. The amount of rainfall increases from about 508mm on the plains in the lee of the Ngorongoro Highlands to about 1,200mm on the shores of Lake Victoria. All is lush and green after the rains, but a gradual drying up follows which restricts plant growth and encourages the animals to migrate in search of permanent waters. With altitudes ranging from 920 to 1,850 metres - higher than most of Europe - mean temperatures vary from 15 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius. It is coldest from June to October, particularly in the evenings.
Everyone enjoys the exciting ride through the boiling rapids of a River of No Return through the Rocky Mountain's. Its rushing waters past the sheer canyon walls -- in some places over a billion years old -- make rafting on this world a thrill of a lifetime. Its turbulent water takes no pity and virtually no one escapes being doused by its vigor.
You may take off and take a turn in a two-man kayak to try their piloting skills through the massive boulders and the welling-up eddies. Every week the choices for navigating the river are constantly changing as its receding levels of flow uncover new formations. This is the ultimate ride.
Dust in the wind
Located in the Southern High Plains of northwest Texas. The Llano Estacado (Southern High Plains) was originally a prairie grassland before it became one of the most important agricultural production areas of North America. Today, cotton and grain crops are grown in abundance in this region. Blowing dust events also happen on a regular basis in this semiarid landscape. Although blowing dust can happen almost any time of the year in the Southern High Plains, the region is particularly vulnerable from late winter through late spring, when many large agricultural fields are bare and un vegetated, vulnerable to erosion by strong winds. Dust is also emitted from disturbed lands in the urban area. Under extremely strong winds, even partially vegetated land surfaces are subject to erosion.
2003. Ron Boots
Another fine example of European EM at its very best. There's something in this album to keep listeners who like Berlin School-style to epic symphonic music very happy. "Serengeti" Parts 1 and 2 are highlights for me. To use a well used phrase, music for the mind's eye! Marvellous.
2010. Bruce Gall / Sunday Synth
I just heard some samples and can't wait to purchase the CD. Ron Boots proves his mettle yet again.
2003. Sharad / India
I have only recently learned of the skilled Mr. Boots. After last month's purchase of "Liquid Structures", and seeing that he covers Kansas, I knew I had to have this one.
It does not disappoint. Ron programs his sequencers with considerable aplomb, bringing to mind perhaps Michael Hoenig at his best, with a touch of that special ambience that made the Nightcrawlers so enjoyable. But Boots is his own man, and his compositional style is unique and instantly recognizable.
There is a certain majesty to his work, a sense of grandeur that never becomes pretentious. The music envelopes you in its colorful embrace, recalling the same liquid warmth that made "Phaedra" a classic in its day.
The big surprise is the rather risky cover of "Dust In The Wind". Boots pulls it off, though, and shows that he has an excellent voice, to...erm, "boot".
Looks like Ron Boots will be joining that small handful of artists whose catalogue I must collect in its entirety.
2003. Scot Solida / USA
Boots is a dutch EM composer who put out his first cassette-album in the mid-80s. Here we have his latest. A whole string of albums passed since his debut and further albums showed important growth towards professionalism.
Boots is a master in subtlety, so smoothly does he introduce sounds, letting layer after layer come aboard, with an overwhelming atmosphere as the result. With Area Movement, he musically expresses some places on the Earth that have made a deep impression on him. All tracks are builders, coming out of the background, sometimes slow, sometimes faster, evolving in strong fine pieces; a perfect balance between rhythmic tension and refinement, and cosmic floating peace. Beside e-sounds, Boots or others bring in some acoustic and electric guitar and piano, which perfectly blend with the electronics. Like the composers who influenced him (Schulze, TD, Roach, Vangelis, and Kosmos), he knows his way with sequencers and is a true player, laying his soul into solos overtop themes, nowadays a rarity. But Boots doesn't shy away from modern times, so slight traces of dance can also be found.
Despite the odd last track, where Boots remakes Kansasí "Dust in the Wind", which he sings himself, you still are in for an hour of profound beauty.
2004. Roel Steverink / Exposť magazine no 28
Starting from an approach near to Space Sequencer Music yet one based on some elements typical of Synth-Pop and of New Instrumental Music as well, Ron Boots achieves, with "Area Movement" an excellent work, full of sensitivity and intense emotions. The melodies have a remarkable role throughout the entire album, and usually have an air of epic romanticism not lacking in melancholy touches, or festive shades.
The sequencers emphasize the emotional strength of the melodies, likewise contributing a vital portion of the melodic structure.
The album also includes a version of the well-known theme "Dust in the wind" by Kansas.
2004. Edgar Kogler
Ron Boots has become something of an EM hero in his own right by now with each successive release being eagerly awaited by the EM multitudes & he also seems to have taken on the role of favorite uncle & mentor to many an aspiring EM musician.
This latest album of his once again relies on his mix of sequenced/atmospheric/rhythmic synth music that has served him so faithfully over the years with the warm opening of "The Grand Banks" getting the album off in good style with the initially isolated piano chords gradually taking center stage as the heartbeat-like rhythm & the various melodic lines coalesce into something far more tangible, picking up impetus at just the right rate until it's reaches it's peak in a rhythmic, surging style with effective 'sample & hold' sequencer effects to boot (pun intended!).
This rhythmic outlook has been a constant feature of his later work (in comparison to albums such as the recently re-released "Dreamscape") & it's an important feature here, too, making it's mark most effectively on "Strand" providing the necessary empetus in unison with some surging bass sequences although "Rapids" is far less energetic & a lot more melodic than might have been expected from the title.
The choir sounds that are used throughout is always a winner in my book, helping to provide a nice link between the new & old style Boots.
Likewise, the ethnic touches to both the "Serengeti" tracks are both appropriate & welcome, especially for the subtle manner in which they're used which is the sign of a master craftsman at work & helps maintain that essential Boots feel, especially with the effective soloing that is introduced for the latter stages.
The closing "Dust In The Wind" will likely as not give quite a few of Ron's fans a shock & a half as not only is it a cover of the Kansas track (& stays pretty faithful to the style of the original) but Boots even sings on it!
Actually he proves himself a passable if not exactly world-beating singer & it does make a change if nothing else, as long as he doesn't make a habit of it!!
2004. Carl Jenkinson
Ron Boots is one of the leading practitioners of the new style of European e-music. Indeed, he is one of its pioneers. The style involves a combination of Berlin school sequences and deep atmospheric ambience. Area Movement is a set of six pieces devoted to important landscapes across the globe. Ron conceptualized these compositions over the last 15 years. He uses more acoustics than usual and different experimental sounds. He also sings on one track. As a synthesist, Ron is one of the worlds greatest electronicians. As a vocalist, Ron is one of the worlds greatest electronicians.
This album is full of great e-music.
2004. Jim Brenholts
This recording presents the Berlin School in another light. Boots has his own style and has thoroughly integrated the conventions of what has become known as the "Berlin School" into it. With many of these recordings, this reviewer finds himself thinking that a certain period or piece of the classic Berlin School bands has been an influence. But I did not feel that way about this recording. The result was that I focused on Boots' style and what he was trying to say. This made for an enjoyable listening experience and I recommend this recording.
Boots' style is quite mellow. His music flows expertly but is not generally harmonically adventurous. This recording does not reveal its fullness if the listener does not pay careful attention as there is no obvious "attention grabber" sound. All the Berlin traits are present but they are put to use in the service of an understated style.
Area Movement opens with "Grand Banks".
The listener hears some smooth synth drones layered with some piano-type noodlings. A slow and simple lead sequence emerges out of this and interacts with a percussive bass sequence. Very often, Berlin School bands use sequences as a feature of the music or as substitute percussion to drive the piece, but that is not the case here. Here, the sequences are "balanced" as part of a whole piece that includes ambient harmony and occasional melodies. Rather than "interlock," the sequences "interact" and are balanced against each other, each sequence voice occupying a place - bassline, a melody of sorts, etc. I found this sort of arrangement charming and engaging. I also note the percussive sequenced chords with a somewhat unusual tone color help distinguish the piece.
"Serengeti part 1" follows with some standout percussion that does not intrude, some interacting sequences again, and a relaxed melodic flow.
"Strand" uses a Berlin School hallmark - the repeating sequence that jumps octaves - as the basis for an entire piece and somehow manages to sound different. The tempo is relaxed and there is a sense of playfulness that adds immeasurably to the track.
"Serengeti part 2" follows with flute pads, ambient natural sounds and a nice bass sequence over which a mellow sounding synth lead is placed.
In "Rapids", the piece is dominated structurally by the interacting sequences with a familiar-sounding descending seconds harmonic pad behind it.
The only "miss" for me, was the cover of Kansas' "Dust In The Wind". The piece is performed competently enough and the vocal is pleasant but I couldn't warm up to it, mostly because I am not a fan of the original.
I think this will appeal to a wide section of this readership. Fans of traditional ambient and Berlin School music will like it very much and I believe the mellow style exhibited would appeal to New Age fans as well.
Boots is to be commended for really showing others what it means to be associated with a "school" and yet managing to create and execute your own style.
2004. Mark Morton / Wind & Wire
This release from 2003 offers 65 minutes of electronic songs inspired by impressive geographic locations, like the Serengeti, the Dutch Wadden Sea, the Rocky Mountains, and more.
Boots is joined on this release by Harold van der Heijden on drums and Mighuel De Santos on additional guitar.
In the first track, stately piano accompanied by symphonic textures usher the listener into icy waters, where bass tones establish a sluggish pattering that stirs the aquatic abyss in readiness for Boots' elegant synthesizers. A stern melody rises from the depths, goaded into view by softly defined percussion. Nimble chords emerge to swamp the harmonic flow, generating a tension that employs uplifting sentiments in tandem with dire consequences.
The next track explores the African Serengeti during its dry season. Brittle E-perc and languid atmospheric tones hang in the air. Inventive riffs inject a mood of grandeur to the arid landscape. Popping notes and swooping textures drift through the resonant mix. Synthetic elements conspire to transform hissing sibilance into a fog of engaging demeanor.
For "Strand", Boots again turns his creative skills to generate an aquatic environment. Densely swaddled in serene mists, surging chords achieve an air of mesmerizing panorama. Sharp keyboards produce a crystalline euphony punctuated by electrified lines that bisect the sky with their luminous passage. Searing guitars pierce this spectacle with dazzling pyrotechnics. The melody builds to intense proportion, replete with sparkling flocks of birds rising into the active heavens.
With the next track, Boots return to the Serengeti, this time during the rain season. Lazy rainfall is joined by subtle-but-snappy percussion and symphonic electronics. Tonalities rise, thick with moisture, as bongos generate a sense of movement through the wet region. Clever electronics simulate environmental aspects while the melody chugs along the travel route. These elements accumulate power until a breathtaking crescendo is reached.
Next, Boots explores a river rapids ride, starting out with slowly coalescing textures which gradually lead to a pinnacle of dramatic scope as the waters grow increasingly turgid and threatening. Astral chords shed revealing illumination on the adventurous voyage.
The final track is a version of the Kansas tune "Dust in the Wind". Synthetic strings adopt ethereal qualities amid the keyboards and swaying rhythms, generating a decidedly mortal view of the American prairie lands. Shrill guitar strains are accompanied by uptempo keys, producing an inspirational finale. This track features haunting vocals.
Detailed liner notes describe the geographic locales painted by each song.
2004. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Ronís latest release is another exceptionally strong one, with all the Bootsí staples Ė long, slowly developing pieces; crisp production and cool sounds; perfect blending of vintage and modern synth styles; and unparalleled sequencing and melodic themes.
A low drone, softly tinkling space sounds, synth choirs and sparse piano all make a fine dramatic beginning to "The Grand Banks". As usual, the incremental layering of sounds is superb, gradually moving from atmospherics to sequencing and finally to percussion, each element gracefully folded into the mix. Ron says "Enjoy this music, I had a great time making it," and it shows.
"Serengeti Part 1 (the dry season)" is very cool, if a little hard to describe. A shuffling deep pulse meanders about, along with clipped high synth notes that swish in and out. The sound is the same, or quite similar, to the high tinny notes in Jean-Michel Jarreís "Oxygene Part 5" that pan sharply from left to right and back again. Iím sure some of you could tell me the exact synth I mean. Anyway, itís a cool sound, and I like its placement here. Lightly brushed crisp cymbals are added, then a couple more synths and some percussion. This is followed by a lightly strummed guitar, or a close synth equivalent. Noteworthy is the fact that Ron does play guitars on the CD, along with guest musician Mighuel De Santos. The feeling is light and airy as this track moves along at just the right relaxed pace. Listening to it refreshes and invigorates.
The first two minutes of "Strand" keep the main theme of the prior track, in a totally different form so subtle that you might miss it. We then take an abrupt right turn into more energetic territory.
The rhythmic pulse here reminds me some of Ronís "Sonic Scenery Part 2" from Joie de Vivre.
The softest track is "Serengeti Part 2 (the rain season)", which shuffles along pleasantly.
To my mind, "Rapids" makes an excellent finish to the CD, another epic at 12 minutes.
I skip the last track, the remake to Kansasí classic tune "Dust in the Win.". I considered one vocal track on the last CD to be an okay one-time diversion. This one I found woefully out of place from the opening notes. Skip it, and the rest is another fantastic disc by Mr. Boots.
2003. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Is there anybody out there ? Well then check in on www.groove.nl and listen to the soundclips of the new Ron Boots CD. He is back !!!
I can't wait until the 27th of September.
2003. Jeff Wouters / Belgium
Ron Boots as always has yet another album with an uncomprimising stand on excellence in electronic music! Beautiful melodies and intriguing rhythms await the listener in an epic series of musical journeys. I would highly recommend this album to any electonic music fan.
2005. J. Harral / United States