The original version of this album saw the light of day in 1994 and proved that Rob was an aspiring member of the burgeoning Dutch EM scene. This isn't the sort of album that you can use as background music and then go away whistling your favourite tracks as, for the most part, easily accessable tunes are not what this album is about. Instead Rob puts an impressive list of top-drawer gear to good use, proving himself, over the course of these 14 tracks (11 original plus 3 bonus tracks to this re-issue that were recorded in 1994-95) a dab hand at weaving complex and intricate patterns of interlocking sequencers and melodics with just a light rhythmic colouring. Having said that, when he does opt for a more melodic approach, as he does during "The Trivial Round Of Life", the album's original closer and the new closer "In Locked Places" (where a similarity to Tangerine Dream is discernable, mainly in the sequences) the results are pretty spectacular. "Truceless" is another stunning example of his melodic skills and is certainly up there among the best that EM has to offer.
Like most instrumental synth artists the debt that Rob owes to T. Dream is immense although, to his credit, he has put a lot of work into establishing his own style and this works with tracks such as the opening "The Ability To Dream" or the busy "Electrons" that demonstrate his talent for composing tracks that are of medium length (between 3 and 9 minutes) but which cover far greater ground and have far more to say than many tracks of twice the duration (which isn't a rarety in the instrumental EM world!). That all the tracks are constantly evolving and never allowed to become overly repetitous is another welcome step and one that the enthralling "Colors Of Rain", where the rapid backing sequences really do evoke a heavy but refreshing rainfall work with to their obvious advantage, something that can easily be said about the album as a whole. Despite being recorded 2-3 years later than the original album the additional bonus tracks fit in perfectly, so much so that you'd never have guessed they were recorded later if you weren't told so with the wonderful "Dream House" in particular proving a most engaging track where a wonderful melodic basis blissfully caresses your ears.
So if you're of the opinion that instrumental EM is repetitious and monotonous then all you need to do is lay back, let the music enter your mind and watch all your prejudices float away.
Artist Link: http://www.groove.nl