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REWO Records
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Age: 49
Joined: 16 May 2011
Posts: 1769


PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:08 am    Return to the Stargaze Reply with quoteBack to top


Return to the Stargaze by René van der Wouden

1. Return to the Stargaze 16:07
2. Red Star Dwarf 17:32
3. Moonbeam 17:23
4. Sounding Rockets 17:23

This album is part of a trilogy of the Stargazing series. The first album "Stargazer" was released in 2015. This is part 2.

The musical style is: Berlin School kind of sequencing with those typical Tangerine Dream's Roland Synth Horns combined with 70-ties space music and Klaus Schulze inspirations.

For those who prefer the physical format there is the CDR option which you can order via the Merch site here on Bandcamp. This album is exclusely available on Bandcamp as a download and CDr.

releases December 1, 2020

All music composed and produced by René van der Wouden, Autumn 2020 Netherlands.

Equipment used: Moog Voyager, Arturia Matrixbrute, Sequential Circuits Prophet REV2, Korg Proloque, Behringer K2, Clavia Nordlead 2X, Roland Fantom G8, Korg M3, Yamaha Motif XS6, Arturia MicroFreak and Kurzweil PC3LE6.

Software: Logic Pro X, Waves, Arturia EFX

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Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 3050
Location: Sevilla


PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:30 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Bought this morning (given that today is Bandcamp fair trade day).

Very good album Rene. Congratulations.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying”
(Groucho Marx)

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REWO Records
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:06 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you very much Alvaro. Personally I think it is one of my better outputs over the years.

It's compagnion ASTROMEN is planned for early January, but maybe I release it a week before Christmas.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:26 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top


RENE VAN DER WOUDEN: Return to the Stargaze (2020)
Updated: Jan 30, 2021

“There are some great moments in this album where at no time did I feel that René van der Wouden lacked inspiration”

1 Return to the Stargaze 16:07

2 Red Star Dwarf 17:32

3 Moonbeam 17:23

4 Sounding Rockets 17:23

REWO Music

(DDL/CD-R 68:27) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, Progressive EM)

RETURN TO THE STARGAZE is the suite of this album which generated the popularity of René van der Wouden in the firmament of cosmic sequencer-based EM of the Berlin School style. It was in 2015 that Stargazer appeared in the bins and on the wires of Internet. Before knowing RETURN TO THE STARGAZE, I did not know about this Stargazer saga which will know its outcome with Astromen, my next column about REWO. René sent me this Stargazer, that I should review soon, in order to establish comparison points. I didn't find any! RETURN TO THE STARGAZE is more ambient with more convoluted rhythmic structures which command more than one listening in order to better assimilate them. If the introductions of Stargazer's titles are long, here it's the endings that would have a better impact if they were cut by a few minutes. I am thinking among others of Moonbeam which is a real bomb with a too long finale. For the rest, I found a solid album with hypnotic rhythms and a lot of imagination in terms of setting. There are some great moments in this album where at no time did I feel that René van der Wouden lacked inspiration. He who finished 2020 with 5 albums, including 3 consecutive ones, and a series of compilations ...

Synth blades that screech in the hollows of rubbery wooshh, and aerial effects as prismatic ones' are at the origin of the slow atmospheric opening of the title-track. A storm of cosmic winds whistles with a rush of speed and in the shape of zigzags and yet this unreal choir. Return to the Stargaze presents an intro sewn into a high-tension cosmic setting. The sequencer releases a ghostly-looking line flowing through this storm of wiishh and waashh. Wreckage debris can be heard colliding whereas eddies are sucking the remaining debris around haunting voices. It's between the jets of the ballasts that the sequencer sculpts a zigzagging movement a little after the 5th minute. Uncertain, the rhythm takes its aplomb while chatting with jets of mist and with an effect of extraterrestrial dialogue from a creative synth. Hypnotic, this rhythmic procession touches no ground, if it's only this thin floor made of resonances which gives it a footrest. This approach gains in intensity while crossing an ambient cosmic panorama in a form of Berlin School having even brought its wall of chthonic voices. It's only after 13 minutes that this sequencer's mirage receives support. And it comes from percussions, not really on fire, which make the drum rolls, giving the sequencer one more argument to bring out another rhythmic line with a more accentuated flow.

Atmospheric but lively, these are the first 3 minutes of Red Star Dwarf. Wooshhs from afar have this tail of debris and of lost voices dragging behind. Synth waves roam between the two ears with this false tone of vuvuzelas and trumpets worn out by cosmic sand. The echo of mechanical knocking, like industrial noises, disappears as the sequencer makes circulate a line of keys which oscillate while being hammered by various chords, including the hums of a line of buzzing drones. A bass line stings this stationary rhythm which goes up and down with harmonies stuck to its undulating movement. Too fluid for this mass of ambient sounds, the rhythm drifts towards a phase of lunar elements and lets itself float in these lines of voices which come and go since the opening of RETURN TO THE STARGAZE. The sequencer reactivates its rhythmic line around the 10th minute. Of same velocity, this rhythm adjusts to the intensity of its lunar envelope, to this more biting bass line and these small lines of fluttering sequences which get excited in this progression which has become a celestial suite for cosmic orchestrations. Let's say this is not where I'm going to write; wow that's some very solid REWO! But it's an intense atmospheric title with a good creativity from René in the choice of his cosmic effects.

But yes, I would write wow for the superb Moonbeam!

Its opening is sewn in the inspirations of Klaus Schulze's Moondawn years. Layers of ether and grainy vocals should beware of attacks of resonant bass hiding a superb, sneaky and soaring movement of the sequencer. The swing of this hypnotic rhythm is perfect. It goes from ear to ear in a false stereo effect, the intensity of one go being stronger than its return. Those who think of Remy's nocturnal structures are on the same wavelength as me. The decor of the rhythm is this evasive wave which extends its dimensions with a bluish tone. Suddenly, a crackling shadow envelops the structure of a cloud of tonal radioactivities, while the decor awakens to the sounds of layers of apocalyptic trumpets. Percussive elements inspired by Electronica and psybient mimic the swing of the rhythm, even giving it a second skin, which is more nervous. It's around the 9th minute that Moonbeam activates its second skin. Spasmodic skin with a cybernetic tone and bassline that forms the bulk of its upward momentum. But everything changes! In a space-time of more or less 4 minutes, the title seeks its identity in the bursts of percussive elements before carving out a place on a rhythm forged with lively and radiant oscillations, propelling the title towards these conventional electronic rhythms, always with its desire for struggling.

No! It's not Tangram! It's Sounding Rockets which wants to pay homage to this prosperous period of Tangerine Dream. A shadow of rhythm spreads its skeletal keys in a mist that remains as immense as intense. This mist with orchestral arrangements also hides percussive elements, like tinkles that are never too certain of what they are, and electronic chirps which remain stuck to this rough rhythm which emerges further on in a corner of a seraphic garden. In short, René van der Wouden takes all his time to weave an atmospheric web and its precious hiding places, including synth layers that are truly from the Schmoelling era, before releasing another structure of hypnotic rhythm. This time, it's this cachectic series of sequences that have all become fat and intimidating with their rays of reverberation. We are around the 7th minute and René is already attaching seductive percussive elements to it which always add a dimension to his rhythms which are not always easy to assimilate. But this time, let's tied to our Tangram memories and you get a feel for this structure. It's pure Berlin School that goes up and down and where REWO has only removed a key, history that the rhythm hobbles a bit. We go up and down with clickers and tssitt-tssitt, and then with finely sharpened and whistled solos so that they remain discrete. The rhythm sequence changes tones to timidly return to its initial engagement, leading Sounding Rockets to an ethereal haze finale.

A very nice album of pure cosmic EM! This is what awaits you if you set out to discover RETURN TO THE STARGAZE.

Sylvain Lupari (29/01/21) ****ÂĽ*


Available at REWO Bandcamp

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:28 pm    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Review (translated from German)

René van der Wouden - Return To The Stargaze
REWO Music (2020)
(4 pieces, 68:30 minutes playing time)

The Dutch electronic musician René van der Wouden used the Corona year - like some other artists - for creative activities in his own studio. After the two releases "Sounds Of Silence" and "Cinnamon Horizons", the result can be seen in three further albums that he will bring out at the end of 2020. The first is the album "Return To Stargaze", on which he continues his 2015 album "Stargazer".

During the lockdown René had to stay at home for quite a while and during this time he heard a number of Tangerine Dream albums from her Virgin phase. That inspired him to record a sequel to “Stargazer”. René placed four long tracks with running times of around 17 minutes each on "Return To The Stargaze".

It starts with the 16-minute title track. Spacy sounds open this first track. For a good three and a half minutes, René initially only lets spacey sound collages loose on the listener. Then at least a sequencer rhythm comes up and after four minutes you can hear some harmonies in the background. But it takes a good five and a half minutes until the picture clears up and harmonies, surfaces and rhythmic elements develop into a melody line. That sounds catchy and from now on you can lose yourself in the music. Further surfaces and harmonies then change into a very spacey part and you seem to be floating in orbit. Just wonderful. Towards the end it gets really rhythmic and dynamic.

Intoxicating synths can then be heard first in the second, 17:32 minute track “Red Star Dwarf”. That sounds pretty industrial at first. Renè allows himself up to the third minute to start then - first with a sequencer rhythm and after another half a minute with a hymn melody. The sequencer rhythm takes over the substructure all the time, on which René then varies a few harmonies and surfaces. The “Berlin School” flashes through. You literally float through space and time.

"Moonbeam" then brings it to 17:23 minutes. This track starts with synth choirs and has something sublime about it. Here, too, it takes three minutes for a rhythm to develop. René adds softly pearling surfaces and melodies to this sequencer-oriented part. The rhythm becomes more powerful as it progresses and varies several times in the second part. This keeps the piece varied.

The last track "Sounding Rockets" is also 17:23 minutes long. A sequence of sounds, mixed with hissing sounds, introduces the track, which after a few moments comes up with wide areas. René plays with different sounds here and always uses the sequencer. The melodic passages in particular are convincing along their entire length.

"Return To The Stargaze" is the continuation of the 2015 album "Stargazer". On the new album René van der Wouden once again placed very spacey pieces that seamlessly follow on from his 2015 work. Highly recommended for all friends of this music genre.

Stephan Schelle, December 2020

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