If One Door Closes
In his kind Kees Aerts is a pillar in EM industry. In addition to being one of the founders of Groove, he helps discovering and promotes new talents in EM, thus organized festivals in the Netherlands. Music? He collaborated on some Ron Boots certain albums, mainly in concert and released an album in 1997, Slices of Time. Since then, he wrote music for certain compilations, films or for his own pleasure. If One Door Closes is the fruit of it's passion, spread over a period of almost 20 years. A collection of 12 titles composed between 1990 and 2008, touching this way a large range made up concerning thus touches a temporal large range while combining styles and flavors. And it starts with Undelivered Delivery. A title which howls nervously, after a loud atmospheric intro with industrial samplings, on a heavy bass line. A bass that bites a hiccoughing sequence, on an aggressive synth to loopy solos. A wink of eye to the 70's, Space Art and Frederic Mercier. A catchy small jewel with a superb analog zest, as we find everywhere on If One Door Closes. I think in particular of Dragonfly and his Kraftwerkian approach. An amusing and hanging electronic counting rhyme. All the opposite of Monkeys with it's fast tempo in staccato, on a light atmospheric tone; Paloma, a sympathetic rumba with a melody a hint nostalgic, which points out Jarre; The Challenge and Another Door Open with it's angelic synths. Put to me Down, Scotty gets into a futuristic approach à la Blade Runner. A sequence to tabla percussions sonorities settles, accompanying a beautiful melody whistled on a discrete synth. A very beautiful title which precedes one of the two long titles on If One Door Closes, Decision Time. A track written in 2008, Decision Time borrows the paths of Robert Schroeder, with a misty vocodor, who blows on light undulating bass. A bass which permutes in a superb heavy sequence, animating a pulsating and resonant rhythm, in a good ethereal universe. The mellotron synth is and moulds a dreamy and sensual line.One of the two progressive titles on this opus, the other being Move Forward and Discover. Entering the Unknown is the most catchy track If One Door Closes. Percussions hammer a heavy and hypnotic tempo, whereas the keyboard makes dance it's chords with a nervous approach. A delicious harmonious paradox. The Sun Shines, The World Smiles and Sunray are two titles written in collaboration with Ron Boots. Synthesized melodies which hang and which we could easily whistle on flexible beats, nervous but discrete. If The Sun Shines, The World Smiles seems more nostalgic with it's waves which drive back a bit of sadness, Sunray is quite simply bright of life. A world of romance and hope which hangs on the first listening. Move Forward and Discover is the other progressive electronic title of this Kees Aerts 2nd opus. Writing also in 2008, it begins with a fuzzy synth with analog sound effects and pulsations, à la Jarre. A heavy and nevrotic sequence explodes, involving a wild beat which hops nervously under enveloping waves. Other sequences divide the rhythm, with fine analog percussions recalling the universe of Jarre on Oxygen and Equinox. Superb solos wrap this musical torrent, which is surrounding by celestial choruses and mellotron waves to make dream EM purists. A really great piece of music . If One Door Closes is a surprising spatiotemporal collection. Kees Aerts makes us travel through the history of EM with an astonishing sense of beauty. Beautiful hanging melodies, to more complex ones which astonish by their harmonious sides, here is good EM that should please to everyone. A kind of Best off, of an artist who remained too quiet from a long time. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness I listened to the 3 soundclips. I'm no reviewer, so I won't try. However, my favourite piece was The Sun Shines.... ( I especially liked the little 'cascading' chord that runs throughout the piece. ) Decision Time.... was very nice. 'Move forward ......' surprised me. Knowing that there were a couple of tracks with Ron, when I heard this one I assumed this was one of them. I was therefore surprised to find out this wasn't one of them. This track sound more like Ron Boots than Ron does. Look forward to this album when it comes out. Nice to know that nagging pays off sometimes Dennis Moore I loved to hear it. As a great fan of StarTrek, I loved track 2 right from the beginning! :-) It is really 'spacy'. I liked the songs with the jungle or nature sounds as well. I have a whole CD, without any music, just the original sound from the rainforest and it's inhabitants from New Guinea and I love to hear this, too. My favourites are 'The sun shines, the world smiles' and 'Move Forward and Discover'. Claudia Schallenbach The door has finally opened for Kees to release a new solo CD after... how much? Let's say about 10 years, no less. This one here is basically a collection of rare and unreleased tracks from the 1990 - 2008 period. We kick off with 'Undelivered Delivery' which first appeared on the now very rare E-Dition #1 sampler CD in 2004 and is based on an older piece from 1990. Street noises give way for a super fat analogue bass and a quirky melodic line. A rapid sequence starts as Kees improvises on an analogue synth. This is bright, crisp and positive EM. It's quite dynamic and propulsive. However, at 4 and half minutes it doesn't have enough time to fully develop and engulf you. Nice track however that could serve as corporate music for some airline company. 'Put Me Down, Scotty' is a track from 2003. It begins with movie samples and very fat sawtooth synthesizers. A mean bass sequence appears, coupled with an electronic rhythm. The track then suddenly gets much brighter, as major chords played with synth pads appear. There's a nice melodic improvisation going on, as new bleepy sequences become more prominent. Another bright synthetic piece. 'Decision Time' is one of those new tracks composed and recorded in 2008. It is also the longest track here, clocking in at 13+ minutes. A vocoded voice greets us in a way that reminds on Robert Schroeder's 'Harmonic Ascendant' (a vocoder magnum opus in my book). However, Kees uses a much brighter, more ethereal texture with shades of melancholy and mystery. Extra low bass pulses appear and develop into a complex sequence. A new, mid-range sequence appears as the track becomes somewhat melancholic. There are also cosmic elements in the form of Jarre-like synths and effects. A more sparse section follows, with sounds drenched in reverb. However, the melodic / propulsive sound returns after a while, getting solemn towards the end. 'Entering the Unknown' is an old track from 1990. It starts with typical digital sampled rhythm from that era. A melodic theme is then introduced - simple but neatly done. Arpeggiated synths support the rhythm but as a whole the track remains rather minimalist in it's approach. Tinkling synthesizers, a rhythm and a pad is all we get really for 6 minutes. Nice and harmonic. 'Dragonfly' is another track from 1990. This time it's a short (about 3 minutes), and super funny one. A cartoonish melody over a bed of programmed synth rhythms is nothing extraordinary of course but it did make me smile. Electronic Music for children? You bet. 'Monkeys' is yet another short track from 1990. It starts with captivating jungle noises and then we get fat analogue twitters and yet another cheesy synth melody on top of a pedestrian rhythm and quirky bass lines. Another cartoonish track that will make your children happy. 'The Sun Shines, The World Smiles' was recorded in 2006 together with Ron Boots. We are back to 'serious' EM territory now. Bright synth choirs are joined by a fast electronic rhythm and strange voice samples. Soon a bass sequence appears, as various twitters, pads and other synth sounds fill the gaps. A very nice melancholic lead melody is heard in what is probably the best track of this album so far. Good stuff for traveling. I should also mention the great soloing. The track ends with the sound of waves that bring us back to 1990. 'Paloma' is a piece in an exotica style with a tropical rhythm and a suitable melody. Sounds like Hawaiian barbecue music played by a couple of slightly drunk EM musicians. Nice and funny stuff. 'Sunray' is another piece done in collaboration with Ron Boots, this time from 2003. The music here sounds exactly like it's title. Airy pads, positive bass lines and an upbeat rhythm are combined for a bright and uplifting melodic EM number. 'The Challenge' is another piece from 1990. It starts with a heavy drum rhythm, and a bass line creeping up from beneath. The track then gets brighter, with pads and a whistling melody. 'Move Forward And Discover' is a new one from 2008. It begins with a fairly Jarre-like synth pad (reminds on 'Equinoxe'). A heavy bass sequence appears in a dramatic fashion. This track is the most propulsive, Berlin School-like composition on this CD. A blistering solo takes us straight to the cosmos, as we fly through stardust with engines switched to full throttle. Great stuff! The sound of a closing door brings us to the last track and 'Another Door Opens', a door made in 1991 I must add. This last track consists of an upbeat rhythm and some pompous brass melodies. 'If One Door Closes...' is a diverse but very nice collection of tracks from Kees. Recommended for fans of melodic EM. Best cuts: 'The Sun Shines, The World Smiles', 'Move Forward And Discover'. Artemi Pugachov / Russia Man I have chills....., I mean this is So Powerful, This is by all means Kees BEST Solo releases to this day, I gotta get this a.s.a.p. In other words a CD with a kick, Track 11 is Awesome! Mike / The Cosmic Frequencies 'If One Door Closes' is the second full-length CD of Kees Aerts, released after a hiatus of almost ten years, and which (is my impression) would never had been out by now if several people hadn't asked for it. Well, the disc compiles 12 mostly older tracks, some going back to 1990, and a few more recent pieces. The musical style is of a highly melodic, accessible and sequenced nature, ranging from rhythmic contemporary instrumental music to more synth-pop oriented stuff. Beside that, the elements 'fun' and 'enjoying the joy of life' play an important part in of of them. I imagine some may find the music too easy and a bit simple (e.g. 'Entering the Unknown', 'Dragonfly') but between them are gems such as 'Put me down, Scotty', the dynamic 13-minute 'Decision Time' (with some nice sequencing and vocoder singing), or the moody 'The Sun Shines, The World Smiles' made with Ron Boots. The real highlight is found at the album's tail: the excellent, highly energetic 12-minute 'Move Forward and Discover', which fires all electronic engines. This said, the collection of new, old and previously (un)released tracks on 'If One Door Closes' offers something for everyone. Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion.