wanderer of time




releasedate: 2003, March


1. Wanderer Of Time     
2. Gaspra     
3. Alien Matter     
4. Elektra World     
5. The Voyage Of Voyager I        

coverdesign: Pablo Magne
mastering: Ron Boots
more info and soundclips here
ordering: groove unlimited

guests: Frank Emmens, voice on track 5; Jan Dieterich: guitar on track 5





Travis Briggs for Wind and Wire:

Gert Emmens represents a unique creative force in today's sometimes frustratingly derivative and stagnant EM scene. His soundscapes, while clearly inspired by the Berlin School, also showcase Emmens' soaring melodic sensibility and outstanding sound palette, which manages to sound polished and pristine while still retaining all of the character and richness of the analog aesthetic. Although Emmens flirts with the now tragically overdone Rubycon style, the prevailing tone of his music always serves to distinguish him from that rather pedestrian infatuation with rehashing the past.

Ominous drones and metallic reverberations introduce the tour de force title track, but Emmens quickly disrupts the atmospherics with a brooding mid-'70's Tangerine Dream sequence. As the nearly 20-minute piece evolves, Emmens incorporates many traditional Berlin School elements such as apocalyptic choirs and wistful mellotron flutes. However, the song's most memorable moments are provided by his signature innovations on the basic retro architecture, which take the form of lush, expansive pads and transcendent, evocative melodies of a caliber not often found in the Berlin School genre.

The next piece, "Gaspra", besides featuring euphoric sequencing and subdued yet uplifting orchestral melodies, brilliantly embodies the essence of Emmens' style by evoking a sense of free-spirited grandeur. Certainly this distinctive "cosmic groove" formula is complemented by the inclusion of mellow synthetic percussion, which accentuates the listeners' sense of being enveloped and propelled by empowering astral energy currents. "Alien Matter" follows, and refreshingly juxtaposes the previous track with its decidedly enigmatic persona. This impression is conveyed by the piece's myriad of discordant sequences, all overlaid by various otherworldly synth washes and unnerving, atonal melodies.

"Elektra World" initially features alluring yet subtly insidious melodies underpinned by spectral choirs and quasi-rhythmic sequencer glurps. This section then segues into more traditional Berlin School territory, although the distinctive Emmens' touch maintains an underlying presence throughout the piece's duration. Overall, although it's certainly not a distasteful track by any means, I found "Elektra World" to be the least successful on the album simply due to generic sequence construction. Fortunately, the closing track "The Voyage of Voyager 1" more than compensates with its delicately riveting sequences and majestic, rapturous lead lines. Emmens' heightens the exhilaration still further by employing a very CS-80-like sound during some of his inspired solos, which Vangelis fans may recognize from such seminal albums as Spiral and China. Overall, it's the highlight of the album.

Wanderer of Time was my first aural excursion into the thrilling and accomplished realm of Gert Emmens' soundscapes, and I have since been inspired to purchase 2 more of his albums, such was my enthusiasm for his music. Anyone interested in Berlin School inspired material that captures the spirit of the glory days without resorting to mere mimicry should check out Gert Emmens, and particularly Wanderer of Time, immediately.



This Dutch synthesist not only pays homage to the spirit of the Berlin School, but does it on vintage analog instruments from that time as well. His third release, WANDERER OF TIME, contains 5 long tracks ranging for 10 to 20 minutes in length. It contains all the classic elements  haunting sequences, strong rhythms, symphonic sounds and great effects. Tangerine Dream has not done this classic sound for years sadly. The opening track, a 20 minute opus, sets the scene for an album of timeless sounds. The album closer "The Voyage of Voyager", with its slight echoes of Vangelis and fat solos on Yamaha CS-80 is the perfect closer to this excellent work.


Stefania Carezzoli (of 21stcenturymusic Italy) www.21stcenturymusic.it

Inspired to electronic of the past, this album can satisfy everyone for its music so great and full of haunting sequences, very nice melodies, and special effects and sounds. Gert gifts to listener a strong impact already from the first track, showing all his professional art until the end of cd. Another musician who knows to be great today, keeping open the road of the old "Golden Age" of EM, giving sentiments and emotions never dead, and doing the happiness of many fans.
Very good cd.


Paul Rijkens:

Dutchman Gert Emmens is not unknown anymore in the world of electronic music. In 2001 his second album ''Asteroids'', released on the Quantum label, caused quite a fuss because it contained a melodic variation on the Berlin School. The nice thing about his music is that he not only draws his inspiration from the ''Golden Age''of electronic music, but he also largely performs it on electronic instruments from that time.
''Wanderer Of Time''
could easily become a classic in the retro-scene. It has it all: haunting sequences, traditional sounds, great effects, nice rhythms and beautiful melodies.
Tangerine Dream couldn’t have done it better in their big years. The epic title track, which opens the CD, already sets the standard for the rest of the album. The very melodically ''Gaspra'' is a composition Gert created for the double compilation-CD with is provided with the 27th issue of the English electronic music magazine ''Sequences''. ''Alien Matter'' contains some of the best sequences on the album. ''Elektra World'' and ''The Voyage of Voyager I'' also have influences from Vangelis because of the fat solo’s from the Yamaha CS-synths (remember the harmonica-like solo sound in Vangelis’ ''Ballad''?). 
''Wanderer of Time''
is an album, which might place Gert Emmens on one of the top positions of retro-electronic
music. Dutch treat.  


David Law (SMD):

Dark brooding sonic touches give the opening to the title track a rather cosmic feel. We are soon shaken to our senses though as the first rapid rumbling bass sequence spews forward. The introduction of some tron places us very firmly in Berlin School territory. A second sequence, this time a high register one, makes an entrance and fairly bounces along between the pulsations of the first- wonderful stuff! Vast pads swell lifting us up as if we are soaring high above awesome mountain ranges. The main sequence suddenly darts off in another direction in the fifth minute and instantly the backing also changes. Yet another sequence comes in, melodic pads creating something of a euphoric feel. This ecstasy is heightened still further as a laser sharp lead flashes over it all. Things never stay still as every element morphs this way and that until in the ninth minute we transcend once more to the darkest areas of Space. Out of this emerges some moody flutey synth.

Gert can't keep his hands off that sequencer for too long though as gradually a new pattern of notes starts to float through the air, caressing the soul rather than whipping up a frenzy. Dark drones and computer type twitters get 'Gaspra' underway. A very deep sequence rumbles forth gaining added oomph all the time; contrasting soft pads impart a little gentleness. The calm mood is brought even more to the surface in the fourth minute as a laid back rhythm is stirred into the mixture. It's back to the cosmos again for 'Alien Matter'. At first we gently float along then the engines are engaged and we hurtle forward on a waves of pulsations. A dreamy melody shimmers over the top, only to disappear, along with the sequence, for a short interlude of gentle drift before the sequence comes back with even greater vigour. Mellotron is again deployed and rather awesome it is too! Rhythm is added along with twittering effects and a new stabbing lead line. We have shifted up yet another gear. Whoosh, wiz, twitter twitter and 'Elektra World' gets underway. Some lovely ethereal / symphonic type pads take things forward and an inevitable sequence (I'm not complaining- honest!) tinkles along low in the mix.

A little more oomph is imparted as a slow drum line comes in then the best melody on the album so far takes the mind on a journey all of its own. It's then all change in the sixth minute as a faster sequence scatters all that has gone before it. All the backing elements fit the mood perfectly, having the same sort of 'feel' as TD's 'Stratosfear'. We finish the album with a track demonstrating the 'lighter' side to Berlin School. 'The Voyage of Voyager 1' begins with a wonderful collage of 'well out there' sounds and effects. A lonesome lead line sort of hangs in the air above it all creating a feeling of peace and well-being. The sequence, which arrives in the third minute, is also quite melodic, even joyful, combining with the rhythm perfectly. The feel good factor gets even more so with the introduction of another positive melody. This mood continues right until the end as different elements come and go.


Ron Boots in E-news # 329 (February 22th, 2003):

This week saw the birth of Gert Emmens' "Wanderer of time" on our own Groove label. A CD which is for me the music to be beaten this year on the melodic Berlin school style. What a gem it is, lush chords of strings and Mellotron,
great soloing on top of crisp and bouncy sequences, and for the desert great FX sounds swirling through the music. Space magic like only a few times a year they come by.

When I first heard this music back in August or September 2002, I was struck by the joy when listing to Gert's music. I knew his work from Asteroids but this Wanderer takes him to a higher level of musician. I played the CD-R
(pre-release and afterwards the copy of the master ) over and over in my car on some long drives and it gave me the feeling of timeless passing of time.
You just drift away in this music and realize that 70 minutes later you are 160 KM further and not noticed that this time had passed. (for your concern I was not speeding, I was driving in Germany and they don't have speed limits on most of the freeway's:-)

The same often occurs to me when I am playing my favorite music albums of The Blue Nile, Genesis (the old ones) Neil Young and so on. But not that often on a Electronic Music CD. With a fellow musician you always listen with a different ear. Except when I feel it is in perfect harmony like with this new release 'Wanderer of time" (Title fits like a glove) To give you an idea, I have this same feeling with "Western Spaces" a collaboration of Roach, Burmer and Braheny. some Schulze and TD albums and Synastasia's "Ephemaral". Node's Node, Ashra's "New age of Earth" (this list is far from
complete by the way)

It's that feeling of timelessness bringing you in an equilibrium state of joy and relaxation. Go and listen to our sound clips and I assure you, you will enjoy this one tremendous. I am giving it a spin again right now.