This fourth release from the Belgian musician Frank Van Boggaert Bogaert's sees this increasingly important musician mixing many different styles of electronic music with a homogenous feel that often beats even the most famous names at their own game.For instance, listen to the opening duo of the gentle "Awakening" & the triumphant & exhuberant "Ballet" & you realise that here is the man who stole Vangelis' crown & while the ethnic touches show some Enigma likenesses this superb piece effortlessly wipes the floor with Cretu & co in terms of melodic complexity & in the warmth that Frank injects into each number.This is even more evident in the lively "Technologika" which mixes a Scottish-style lead synth with up-tempo rhythms for an utterly irresistable piece.The ethnic voice samples that colour certain sections see Frank making use of all the possibilities that modern EM has to offer & mixing them in a style that, even if it's not totally innovative (I thought of Tangerine Dream on more than one occasion whilst listening to this track!) is expertly executed & does have a definate personal touch.
Frank De Ruytter's sax adds to the chilled-out feel of "Meander" which possesses a mood that is gently but unmistakeably cheerful & not at all diluted by the engagingly dynamic mid-section. While this might, in some cases make for a rather twee 'new age'-style album this music is far too emotionally involved to be dismissed in such a fashion & It's this asset that breathes life into the whole album, whether it's the gentle piano-led "Lullaby" or the globally-influenced "Reve D'Afrique" where the African chants easily put across to the listener this track's global influences. In a similar manner the lively "Ouverture Des Enfants" just as accurately captures the carefree joys of the children it describes whilst the tenderness that shines through this track & the album as a whole means that the title of the closing piece "Warmth" is a most appropriate one!!
"Human" & "Reunion" both benefit from some superb piano work, with Anthony Boast's Viola Braguesa (a Portugese instrument) providing a fitting counterpoint on the latter track while the initially isolated notes that are sprinkled like icing over "Naked" gradually become the focal point of the piece until the strings & human voices add to the ever-present romantic feel of the music.
Whilst certain artists who work in this field of EM have the tendancy to go overboard in terms of overt sweetness Frank avoids these pitfalls & it's this fine balancing act that makes this album the success it so obviously is.
Artist Link: http://www.groove.nl