Journey by Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij

Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij


6 tracks

Running time: 1:14:38
Released: 04/2007

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  01   Journey - 8:03
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  02   The Endless Running Messenger - 15:34
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  03   A City Awakens - 11:48
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  04   Rolling Thunder In The Mountains Of Hope - 11:54
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  05   Red Clouds Over A Misty Swamp - 9:30
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  06   Regaining Breath In The Eye Of The Storm - 17:49
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More Info

In just two albums Gert and Ruud
established themselves as one of the
most important Berlin School inspired acts
currently around. Ruud really is the king
of the sequencer. I have always thought of
him as a cross between Chris Franks and
Redshift style Mark Shreeve. Gert also
knows how to handle sequences but he is
more of a melody man who I think of
as the Dutch equivalent to early John
Dyson. The title track gets the album off
to an excellent start. Wonderful deep
bubbling alien sounds provide a short
introduction before a brace of very
rapid sequences surge from the speakers. A
third, more bass laden one provides a
further salvo of pulsation, all
underpinned by Heavenly mellotron. A
searing lead, which would sound excellent
live, flashes forth like lasers bouncing
off a series of mirrors. 'The Endless
Running Messenger' has a dark atmospheric
beginning full of swirling shimmering
metallic drones. These are punctuated by
dripping effects. The whole thing has a
rather subterranean feel to it. Soft
pastoral pads lighten the mood as if we
are nearing the surface and can feel a
gentle breeze from above. A four-note
sequence strikes up accompanied by more
tron. The pulsations become increasingly
complex as a melancholy melody hangs in
the air.

'A City Awakens', certainly gave me a jolt
of energy as first a lovely rumbling bass
sequence then a rapid staccato one surge
forward feeding off each other
exquisitely. Yet more pulsations join the
fray as things become even more intense.
As with the opener, when the leads come
they are of the type that would get the
pulse racing in a concert setting -
so of course also ideal for air keyboard!
'Rolling Thunder in the Mountains of Hope'
(the long winter nights must just fly by
coming up with these titles) uses some
wonderful sounds to create quite a spooky
atmosphere. The sequence of course isn't
far away and this time it's a lovely deep
chugger that would have been well at home
on 'Ether'. It becomes more devastating by
the second (with mellotron backing of
course- I mean why alter something that
works so well!). I found it impossible to
keep my head and hands still as I lost
myself in the wonderful cascade of notes.
After the half way mark things become even
more syncopated, a pitch bending lead line
mixing with oomph laden virtual guitar.
This is awesome, the best track on the
album so far.

'Red Clouds over a Misty Swamp' (I blame
TD's 3 AM at the border....') gives us a
break from the sequences for a short
while. Cataclysmic crashes subside to an
excellent collage of electronic effects
and crystalline shimmers which then mutate
into lovely ethereal pads. Nicely calmed
we plunge into the final track 'Regaining
Breath in the Eye of the Storm' (I'm
saying nothing). Initially it's all rather
eerie stuff. The mood changes to euphoria
instantly on the arrival of the sequence -
and what a fantastic sequence it is,
reminding me very much of AirSculpture.

In the seventh minute things are really
cranked up so I responded in kind by
increasing the volume on my amp to truly
irresponsible levels - the shaking floor
turning to a near earthquake as they
increased the intensity of the sequences
still further- fan bloomin' tastic! Things
did subside a little in the tenth minute
but the sequences still do their wonderful
thing- just a little subtler than before.
So the guy's third joint album is another
triumph, the fourth and last tracks being
especially awesome. (DL)