Ron Boots – Acoustic shadows

 7,90 10,00

Released: 2006 By Groove Unlimited

SKU: GR-125 Categories: , , , , Tag:


  1. The Unknown Soldier [11:37]MP3 soundclip of The unknown soldier [3:00]
  2. The Battle of the Somme [17:23]MP3 soundclip of The battle of the Somme [3:00]
  3. Acoustic Shadows [13:47]
  4. Assault [10:04]
  5. Desolate Fields [8:42]MP3 soundclip of Desolate fields [3:00]
  6. Dresden [9:24]

Dedicated to the unknown soldier

Additional information

Weight 105 g



Jewel Case

15 reviews for Ron Boots – Acoustic shadows

  1. Jose A / Synth Caresses

    Amongst the extensive and stunning catalogue of Ron Boots (1962), I have chosen Acoustic Shadows to open my blog, since its a CD I especially cherish. This Eindhoven musician has been into electronic music from 1986 to this day, and he regularly releases one or two albums per year. Hes also the man behind, one of the best electronic music distributors in Europe and also an organiser of E-day and E-live his music blends elements from the Berlin School and prog rock, with a (sometimes) more melodic approach to both of them, a characteristic to a lot of electronic music from the Netherlands.

    The album begins with The Unknown Soldier, a kind of tribute to all the ordinary men and women fallen anonymously during wars. This time, Ron is ably helped by Kees Aerts deft hand, who contributes with sound effects on this track alone. The track oozes some tension throughout, as if we were in for some nasty surprise, as the days and weeks before a war breaks out.
    Then comes The Battle of the Somme. At over seventeen minutes, this track almost reaches epic proportions. Again the tension is there from the very beginning. A narrator describes the terrible landscape after the bloodshed at the Somme. Theres a sequence that keeps subdued in the mix, until it slowly grows in power and places itself at the centre. Boots plays some solos here, although they are also restrained in speed and volume. Perhaps a bit too long a track, but nice anyway.
    The third track is Acoustic Shadows. Even though this is clearly a concept album, in that theres one leitmotiv running through it all (war), not for a single moment does it depict a depressing, sad atmosphere. I guess it is not supposed to be optimistic either. You can reflect about how much suffering wars cause and still enjoy the music. Its not a cynical exercise. Its conscious listening. With a message. This eponymous track flows along quite nicely. It has an ethereal beginning and very early into the piece rhythmic sounds join in. This is chill-out mood for a while with the sound of a faraway synthetic saxo playing. Percussion appears after two and a half minutes. Then Ron starts to solo in his very unique style, but keeping things very restrained all the way. At 5:30 the track begins to grow in strength with a slightly heavier solo from Mr Boots. Never going wild, but managing to maintain your attention. God, this is gorgeous! After three minutes, the solo stops. Some eerie sounds draw the piece to a halt, but the bass sequences keeps pumping on the background. The rhythmic sounds of the beginning return again and Boots rebuilds the piece again. This time the percussion sounds are those of bongos. The atmosphere is never tense, but rather relaxed. And its worth every minute of it. At 11:40, sounds start to fade out, stripping down the piece little by little, until we reach a peaceful end to it.
    It melts with the next track, Assault, which begin with a voice explaining what an acoustic shadow is: basically, within a mile or so, the protagonists in the heat of a battle are unable to hear properly the strong sound of cannon balls and weapons being shot, despite the fact that observers from a distance can hear them clearly. This phenomenon is called acoustic shadow. This explanation is followed by a tense windy noise. Then comes the voice of a woman talking about the horrors of war. At the two-minute mark, Ron Boots unleashes the most powerful sequence he has ever created. Pumping from both sides of the stereo image. The climax of the album for sure! I remember a friend of mine telling me about the first time he listened to this CD on his headphones at night on his bed, feeling a bit drowsy and suddenly being hit by this massive sequence (and being delighted by it, at that!). At the eight minute mark, the sequence abruptly ends, while the track is still lingering quietly for 30 seconds or so, right until another voice describes more horrors of those soldiers who lie wounded or agonising after the fight.
    This cruel narration gives way to Desolate Fields, the scene after the battle. It unfolds slowly, menacing in tone. After 45 seconds, Ron begins to elaborate a slow sequence and soon its followed by a solo on top. Once more, it is a restrained one. You can imagine a panoramic view of buildings destroyed, blood everywhere, soldiers dying and an awkward silence pervading it all. After that, the sequence disappears, leaving white noise effects. Nothing much really happens throughout this track, but what it does, it does very nice.
    More effects take us to the final track, Dresden, which is initiated by a narration of what happened to this German city during WWII: a severe case of over-bombing. For half a minute, we have subdued sounds, till another voice tells us what the city looked like after the attacks: a monument to total war. After this sombre statement, a slow sequence not unlike the one we heard in the previous song. Again, this piece goes along quite smoothly. Another sequence, more melodic this time, comes in, with added percussive sounds and a rocky solo, which draw the track to its close. Once more, as the piece approaches the end, Ron deconstructs it by removing almost all the layers he had put in before: the solo stops, the sequences disappear, the percussion stops and it nicely rolls to its fadeout.

    Acoustic Shadows stands right amongst the best Ron Boots has ever produced, and thats saying a lot. Just look at his long list of recordings.He doesnt hide where his influences come from: the golden period of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, namely, nice sequencing with sharp solos on top. However, he does it with talent, passion and depth. Hes managed to create a voice all of his own, and for that matter his voice deserves to be listened to. Dare do it; you wont regret it.

    2013. Jose A / Synth Caresses

  2. E.G. Teljeur (Epiphany)

    Het gebeurt niet vaak dat een muzikant die al zoveel cd’s heeft geproduceert in staat is om succesvol de sterke punten van zijn vroegere werk te combineren met zijn eigen muzikale ontwikkeling.
    Ron Boots is het gelukt. Dezelfde sterke ‘donkere’ sfeer uit Too Many Secrets heeft hij op inventieve wijze kunnen combineren met eigentijdse klankbeelden. Alles wat je op de cd hoort staat in dienst van het uitgangspunt.
    De muziek op deze cd staat zo vol van sfeer en indrukken dat het gebrek aan een gemakkelijk in het gehoor liggende melodielijn niet echt hinderlijk is.

    Kortom… Kopen! Luisteren, en genieten.

    2000. E.G. Teljeur (Epiphany)

  3. Jos Lieffering (Phochos) / Nederland

    Een prachtig album, deze nieuwe van Ron Boots. Weer mooie sequences en klankbeelden verweven. Dit is werkelijk genieten geblazen.

    2006. Jos Lieffering (Phochos) / Nederland

  4. Ronald Nieuwenhuijze / Nederland

    Bedankt voor dit indrukwekkende album. Ik luister er nu ruim een week onafgebroken naar en kan er maar gn genoeg van krijgen. Telkens weer van begin tot eind. Wat een schitterend album Ron, gefeliciteerd. Muziek en onderwerp sluiten naadloos bij elkaar aan.

    2006. Ronald Nieuwenhuijze / Nederland

  5. Lothar Lubitz

    Remarkable work, musical and topical. Musically converted with respect to a serious unfortunately still actual theme.

    2006. Lothar Lubitz

  6. Sylvain Lupari / Guts of Darkness

    Ron Boots does it again. After his stunning Area Movement two years ago, here is another fine piece of art. Acoustic Shadows is a wonderful musical journey that shows the skill and the creative abilities of Ron Boots.
    Melodic half way between ambient and rhythmic moves, Boots succeeded in making us see and feel his music. Which is quite something in a musical world where words and lyrics are absent? He brings us, where he wants us to be. This is great music, with strong sequencers lead, good percussions work and wonderful synth moves.
    A musical story that will please all EM fans especially those who like progressive EM.

    2006. Sylvain Lupari / Guts of Darkness

  7. Mike / USA

    Great atmospheres, sequencing, solos, etc. This is definitely one of Rons best yet. Really didnt care for the last two releases, just feel the vocals ruined the entire cd, however this one is fabulous, like the idea of incorporating the voiceovers from the wars, very different, worked well with the music.
    Great work Ron, keep it coming.

    2006. Mike / USA

  8. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

    Ron Boots returns with Acoustic Shadows. Black and white photos of wartime and headstones adorn the cover. While the music is classic Boots sequencing with catchy rhythms and melodies, several tunes are sprinkled with narration. These track plays like an entry from a soldiers diary or history book.

    The Unknown Soldier” gives the disc an appropriately rousing start

  9. Theodoros Sotiropoulos / Greece

    An excellent electronic album. I like it.

    2006. Theodoros Sotiropoulos / Greece

  10. Paul Ellis

    This album is brilliant!!!!!!!!!
    I am just amazed at how perfectly balanced it is.Every element in exactly the right place, not one misstep.I think it’s one of the best EM albums, ever.
    Track 2 is a particular favorite.It has all the mood and mystery I could ever hope for in an EM piece… Gorgeous!I have it on my MP3 player at work and have been playing it over and over.

    2006. Paul Ellis

  11. Ren van der Wouden / The Netherlands

    This is a very interesting concept-album about one of the failures of mankind, namely that of war. Minimal music with a glance and details of sound and compositional structure. It’s the musical opposite of Bruce Springsteen‘s memorable rocksong War (what is it good for)”

  12. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity

    This CD from 2006 features 71 minutes of dramatic electronic music.
    Joining Boots is Kees Aerts who contributes additional effects on the first track.

    This music possesses a strong theme, that being a sonic appraisal of war as seen from a historical perspective. The tunes are salutes to all the soldiers who have lost their lives on the battlefields of the world. Although not a cheerful subject, Boots‘ music is far from dark or cynical. His compositions serve as a tribute to courage and determination. The sentiment that war is abhorrent and should be globally abolished is quite evident.
    Lofty electronics collaborate with sparkling rhythms to produce music of a highly dramatic nature. Sweeping textures generate shadowy mien for a bevy of nimble-fingered riffs and seething sequences, all of which blend to form a grand presence. Melodies evolve and undulate with stately mannerisms, standing tall and exuding confidence. Shimmering fogs thick with auspicious sentiments waft through the tunes, lending a grim reality to the somber pieces. Cycles are born that breed tension with crafty application, instilling an air of mounting vitality.
    Boots flavors his music with dynamic percussive, but he also creates lavish rhythms through the compressed looping of electronic noises, producing sinuous tempos of non-impact character. This tends to imbue the melodies with additional verve.
    Battle sounds and radio newscasts pepper the pieces, helping to establish the context for these moody compositions. Drama runs high in these tunes, while melodies reach for stratospheric heights littered with sincere hope.

    2007. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity

  13. Stephan Schelle

    Mittlerweile drei Jahre ist es nun her, dass Ron Boots, der niederlndische Meister der elektronischen Musik mit Area Movement sein letztes Soloalbum herausbrachte. In der Zwischenzeit hatte er im Jahr 2004 mit Frank Klare auf Monumental Dreams” ein musikalisches Lebenszeichen abgeliefert. Das neue Werk

  14. Erwin Broers / Belgium

    Typically Ron Boots… solid programming, very nice soundscapes, sophisticated special effects and massive sequences make for a nice listening experience. So far the good news…
    Hate to say it but Ron has once again a hard time hiding his one weakness, ie. his soloing or rather the absence of it. The music does not linger” as there are no clear themes or melodic parts. Also

  15. Zia Ka

    @ The top of his sound. Mediative and provocative

    2008. Zia Ka

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