Released: 2009 By ACE Studio
Out of stock
An album that explores new territories
Harry ‘JoJo’ de Vries
Ive already been raving about Frank Van Bogaert several times.His albums Human (2002) and Nomads (2007) are among the crme de la crme of contemporary electronic music.This is due to the compositional quality, the monumental and overwhelming melodies, the strong rhythms, his technically strong playing and the beautiful and crystal clear production.His latest Air Machine is a concept album on which Van Bogaert sees the earth in a metaphorical way as a failing air production machine.This caused by age but most of all by abuse of man.This concept as well as the imagination evoking music could have been of big support to Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth
On Air Machine Van Bogaert collaborates with Norwegian guitarist Erik Wllo. Eriks atmospheric guitar style adds an extra dimension to the already rich compositions and sound of Van Bogaert.The strong rhythm section is not only provided by Van Bogaerts keys and bass but also by percussionist Walter Mets and drummer Marcus Weymaere.Again the production quality is of the highest level, just listen to those hits in Insomnia, the quality of your speakers is tested here.Besides the influences of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and most of all Vangelis, Van Bogaert really has his own sound because his work is immediately recognizable.
Opener Dead Planet continues a bit in the style of Nomads, beautiful melodies and rich orchestration as if it were a classical symphony.So also the strong The Thin Line.But Van Bogaert dares to explore other territories as we can hear in the jazzy All Has Stopped on which the fretless bass playing is on par with the greatest.Getting Wllo on board shows that Van Bogaert wants to explore new territories and not get stuck in electronic music only.And this is how it should be with progressive music !Cold Steel with its choir arrangement just gives me goose flesh, that strong is the emotion !
Once more Frank Van Bogaert has topped whatever he has done before or the least one could say is that he easily manages to maintain the high quality level of his previous works.This is a big compliment because we all know how hard it is to stay on top.But thats just were he stays, no doubt.
2009. Harry ‘JoJo’ de Vries
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
This release from 2009 offers 50 minutes of stately electronic music.Van Bogaert plays: grand piano, electric piano, synthesizers, string arrangements, bass, percussion, drum programming, and vocals on one track. Wollo plays: electric and acoustic guitars, and guitar synthesizer. They are joined on this recording by: Marcus Weymaere (on drums), Walter Mets (on percussion), and Rudy Vander Veken (on additional guitar on one track).
Stately electronics and astral guitars create inspired tuneage supported by sinuous rhythms.Textural flows establish shimmering auralscapes that serve as backdrops for lush electronics. Keyboards delineate majestic melodies of expansive properties. A blend of synthesizers and piano evokes a well-rounded sound, contrasting cosmic airs with organic flairs. The keyboards generally display a rich emotional power, but there are also instances of gentle contemplation in which delicate passages instill a soothing luminosity.The guitars inject a searing nature that brims with unrestrained puissance. Emphatic guitar passages lift the music to stratospheric altitudes with their nimble pyrotechnics. This ebullience is tempered by the occasional appearance of acoustic guitars, lending an earthy touch to the overall grandeur.The percussion bolsters the noble music with motivational locomotion, providing rhythms that are tastefully immersed in the mix instead of overwhelming things.One track features vocals.
These compositions tell the tale of a geological machine (our planet) whose atmospheric production is threatened by age and abuse. This fragility is communicated by the music, but each tune mixes objective concern with a very human optimism that a curative solution is within reach, conveying dire anxiety seasoned by hopeful outcomes. Each track urges the listener to embrace their reliance on the planet and act to save their home from self-induced failure. The uplifting music is flavored with a touch of melancholic unease, stimulating a sense of hopeful sympathy for the endangered environment.
2009. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Stephan Schelle / Muzikzirkus Magazine
Belgian composer Frank Van Bogaerts new album is a collaboration with Norwegian guitar player Erik Wllo. Its also Franks first concept album.All tracks together tell the story of a failing Air production machine, the Air Machine. This concept has also been impressively interpreted by graphic designer Michal Karcz.His cover design reminds us of the works of Pablo Magne or Hipgnosis.The album has 10 tracks in which Frank and Erik, besides the typical electronic elements, also use a lot elements and influences out of Progressive Rock. The latter is mostly due to the atmospheric guitar parts of Erik.
With Dead Planet the album opens very atmospheric and symphonic. One has the feeling to be standing on the edge of a vast landscape over which the wind blows. Then Franks monumental music kicks in, working like an overture or a soundtrack. The song closes with only wind, leaving the listener in a somehow sad mood. Mechanical sounds open the second track Air Machine.The basic melody of this track is first played on the piano. Then the goose flesh evoking Guitar synthesizer takes over. Besides Mark Dwane only Erik Wllo can play this instrument in such a sensitive way. Both piano and guitar interact in such a way that they build a real tension, the frontiers between Electronic and Rock music vanish. Insomnia, with its over eight minutes playing time the longest track of the album, is a slowly evolving, fascinating track with atmospheric guitars and very beautiful synth lines. Enchanting atmospheres and moods are created, touching the listeners soul. Hyperventilate, which has a more rhythmic feel, is again being carried by luscious piano playing. The track evolves into a rocky one because of the drum programming. All has Stopped takes us back to a slow and loungy pace whereas swirling synths and exciting rhythms in the track Breathe make sure the power is back on. This song also has very beautiful melody lines but the special thing about it is Franks singing. His relaxing way of singing really fits the song and once more gives the album an unexpected turn. The percussion gives this track a slight ethnic touch. The next four tracks continue in this rich atmospheric and mood full style, of which The Thin Line, with acoustic guitar, has a very epic and also classical feel. When the collaboration between Frank and Erik results in such fantastic tracks, I can only say I want more.
This album is really addictive because the melodies and harmonies are sostay in the head.Both have delivered a truly gorgeous album that I can only highly recommend to both fans of Electronic music and melodical Progressive rock.
2009. Stephan Schelle / Muzikzirkus Magazine
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