”The Nearest Faraway
Place Vol. 3” is the third and last in a series of three albums.
Gert Emmens has borrowed the title from one of his favorite bands
the Beach Boys. With ”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 2”,
the writer of this Tearsheet wrote that with that album the Dutchman had
created his best work until now. This gave Gert quite an assignment for
Vol. 3. But things can only get better, so to say, and Gert has
managed to rise above himself again on this wonderful album. Gert is an
absolute master in electronic music because of the mix he manages to
create: this is a combination between Berlin School-sequencer based
music, fine, warm, melodies, fantastic ambient elements and even a
little bit of progressive rock. ”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3”
is again a masterpiece that will undoubtedly have an appeal to many
lovers of electronic music. It is Berlin School but with so many
different elements attached to it that it nearly becomes a style of its
own. There are many things happening on the album. Also, a lot of credit
goes out to the guest musicians on the album like Jan Dieterich
on guitar, Cara and Tessa Asenjo-Fernández (voices) and
Laila Quraishi, a.k.a. Cadenced Haven, with which Gert
created the special album “Peregrination” together. Part 15
immediately introduced the special sequencersound of Gert. The guitar of
Dieterich plays an important role in the excellent Part 16,
as well as Gert’s gently crafted sequences and inventive use of ancient
drum boxes, which he loves a lot. On Part 17 fantastic
atmospheres introduce a sequence that could have come right out of an
album of Tangerine Dream from the second half of the seventies.
This piece grows and flows. Dieterich’s David Gilmour-like
electric blues-like guitar sound is again present on Part 18. On
Part 19 the sequences become a bit harder and metallic as well as
more full. And the solo is also beautiful. Gert keeps the drum boxes on
almost every track. This music almost reads like a symphony, a long
symphony with three Volumes. Not only the “old” Tangerine Dream
comes in mind while listening to this album, also TD from the
eighties is featured in Part 19. Part 21 and
“Conclusion” are shorter pieces (for Gert’s case). In Part 20,
together with excellent atmospheres and Mellotron choirs, a vocoder can
be heard. In “Conclusion” Cadenced Haven pays a
contribution in a symphonic, euphoric end of Gert’s journey to the
nearest faraway place. With ”The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3”
this great series of albums have ended. Gert wouldn't be Gert if he
didn't come up with a new intriguing idea in the near future. Keep
watching the skies…
The latest (and final chapter)
installment of 'The Nearest Faraway Place' series' is indeed an album
that whet my appetite for more when the last track had finished playing. Each
and every track totally mesmerized me and made me want more of the same the more
I listened to it. Gert has done it...again!
There are eight individual tracks on this CD, but the whole installment should
be listened to as if it were composed as a one-piece composition, as the tracks
floats into one-another.
The first track, Part 15, starts slowly in a very moody and dark sense,
very similar to the album 'Encounter' by Michael Stearns, but
later fills your ears with Gert's typical trademark sound that bounces back and
forth in a hypnotic manner. Captivating and spacious EM of the highest order!
From hypnontic and spacious moments to something more emotional and yet again
moody, we get to hear 'Part16'. This track includes some of the finest
moments on the entire CD, with tasteful guitars played along with some heavy
sequencing in a splendid mix. It reminds me alot of Gert's first 'Nearest
Faraway Place Vol.1' album (which also took use of guitars to a certain
extent). Top stuff, one of my favorite tracks!
As the CD is so versatile, structure wise, not one track sounds the same, and
yet another track is proof of that!
'Part 17' is another fantastic piece of EM that filled me with joy! This
is probably the most 'uptempo' and rhythmic sequencer track on the disc, played
in such harmony, and is also quite similar to what you can hear on Gert's album
'The Tale of the Warlock'. It's sound palette & structure is ever
changing, and will continue to amaze and inspire each time you listen to it.
Good re-play factor!
'Part 18' continues with the sounds of heavy traffic and other typical
street ambience. Soon after you will be greeted with some of THE most emotional
sounds EM has to offer. This is one of Gert's most emotional pieces to date, if
you ask me. And after the 6 minute mark you will, yet again, be greeted by some
lush guitar playing together with Gert's vibrant sequencing. Top performance!
Next track, 'Part 19', continues with a long awe inspiring and spacious
intro, which soon settles down and transforms into sections with a highly
thematic EM feel, almost sounding a bit like the 'Geodesium' albums. This
track would be a perfect companion to a Planetarium Show. Sensational!
And as if that wasn't enough, the voyage seems never ending as we approach
'Part 20'. Again, another thematic piece that breathes in and out with deep
space elements, but after the 2 minute mark or so it really slows down alot with
sad, emotional, and very touching synth lines. A little bit in the same style as
'Crystal Voice' by Tangerine Dream. After a few minutes a Inferno
of Gert's fast paced rhythms strikes us again and rounds off the track in a nice
'Part 21' starts with a synthetic voice of a 'robot', and it seems to me
it's trying to tell us something, I'm just not sure what. This is the shortest
part out of the 8 and sounds as if it's closing the album, it has that typical
feel. Not much to mention here. Make up your own mind on this one. A rather
experimental piece, with less melody and ambience to it.
As for the last track, named 'Conclusion', Gert makes one of his first
appearances with a new talent called 'Cadenced Haven'. The music here
stands out a little bit from the other Parts we have encountered so far. It
closes the disc very laid back and moody, in a sad way. A very thoughtful track
that did impress me quite a bit. Good job and a warm welcome to Cadenced
So to sum this album up, it's strength lies in the emotional and moody parts of
the compositions. The only weakness I found lies in 'Part 21'. It just
didn't cut it for me. Other than that, this is yet another well-produced album
that has great re-play factor! My final words are, It's bound to take you to yet
another 'Faraway Place'. Highly Recommended! Excellent!!
Sylvain Lupari /
Guts Of Darkness
Faraway Place Vol. 3 is the last part of this
cosmic trilogy that the Dutch synthesist began in 2008. Once again,
Gert Emmens covers his sound galaxy by a pleiad of synth lines with
his unique tones equal to his gears conception, where plentiful strata
wrap of their foggy cosmic intertwine sequences lines. Sequences,
sometimes hesitating sometimes biting but always constant, which cross a
cosmic tale under foggy steam synth lines and pleasant weeping solos. A
musical universe signed Gert Emmens with a beautiful complicity
between analogue and digital. A sound universe where the borders of
imagination belong as much to the listener as its designer!
A distant synth line ripples lazily on Part 15 opening. We could
imagine ourselves at a cosmic fair where mechanical streaks tear the
firmament below subtle bass pulsations. A sequence comes along. She
waddles at good speed, wrapped that she becomes by a beautiful layer of
a lyrical synth which frees soft solos through synth mist, whereas the
rhythmic bustles in a universe where synth breaths to multi- coloured
tones embrace a languishing rhythmic which finishes its race under
droplets and cosmic thunders. With years, Gert Emmens left his
sound imprints in the wonderful world of electronic music. All that the
Dutch synthesiser touches is inevitably transformed into musical
A long movement divided into 8 parts, The Nearest Faraway Place Vol.
3 presents structures with morphic and floating intros which dive
into progressive rhythms with always striking sequences.
Part 16 offers a more cosmic intro with Jan Dieterich's
guitar which frees soft vaporous strata in a most heterogeneous sound
universe. Mellotron strings carry us to a strange ethereal waltz,
guiding us near a wriggling sequence which skips nervously to shape a
pace which hems on a beautiful bass line. Part 16 becomes then a
big cosmic rock, little as Part 20 finale, where Gert Emmens
controls skillfully the rhythm with increasing and decreasing sequences
which furrow over vaporous inserts and great synth solos.
After its heavily cosmic intro, Part 17 bites to full teeth in a
sequential movement which recall a lot those beautiful TD years.
A heavy and nervous sequence that runs breathless beneath the wandering
hazes of a foggy synth, until the rhythm explodes and deviates under the
strikes of e-drums. Beautiful peaceful solos float above this rhythmic
incandescence where we re-know amply the sound universe of the Dutch
synthesizer which doesn’t stop surprising with its loopy solos and those
soft synth blows so personalized that bicker between sequential
permutations. Great Emmens there! With its peaceful tempo,
escaped from the morphic depths of its introduction, Part 18 is
the most accessible musical piece among The Nearest Faraway Place's
project. A beautiful track sits on a sober sequential movement, where
guitar and synth are exchanged solos and vaporous strata.
After a haughtiness cosmic intro where synth lines hem above stars, a
threatening sequential movement bombards the still indecisive rhythm of
Part 19. A ceaseless race where the sequential impulse undergoes
subtle modulations, among breaths of a foggy synth before exploding
beneath a synth to twisted and languishing solos.
Part 20 offers a caustic and threatening intro, before becoming
supple with a beautiful wave of a synth at once nostalgic and protective.
A soft and beautiful intro collided by increasing sequences which draw a
tempo skipping soberly under a synth to ghostly breaths. Structured in
three phases, the movement becomes more hard-hitting with the emergence
of electronic percussions which are gobbled up by synth solos which hem
and contort under a heavy vitamined tempo. Afterward, we close eyes and
we contemplate the end of this long 3 parts cosmic trip with a floating
ending where strata confront and collide in a cosmos of ether on Part
21 and mould lovingly in the beautiful orchestrations of
The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3 is in the continuity of the
first two volumes. An album where Gert Emmens can seem
predictable, but continues to amaze with a subtlety in tones and
rhythmic modulations that makes his music as unique as it sounds. As on
each of the albums from the Netherlands synthesizer, the music pours
between a wonderful complexity of structures and pleasant melodies that
hang on to an ingenious sequenced vision and a synth that kicks away its
long solos twisted in a strangely foggy poetic cosmic. Some great
Gert Emmens, as he always used us to.
The CD follows on from
Vol 2, with ‘Part 15’ of the series. A high register sequence
surges through a swirling backing, seeming to gain energy as it goes. A
gorgeous silken melody provides a softening contrast. This is an
uplifting opener full of positive energy which packs quite a punch.
‘Part 16’ features lonesome guitar tones over dreamy, shimmering
pads. A skipping sequence becomes the main feature but the track really
takes off with the second bass laden line of pulsations and tranquil
guitar lead. Things never get over the top, just enough syncopation to
get the head gently nodding.
The next part is initially all rather soothing, shimmering like a heat
haze until suddenly things take a darker twist. An urgent sequence belts
forward but then brighter pads return, lightening the mood once more.
‘Part 18’ begins with street sounds and the chiming of a clock.
Bright pulsations create a happy atmosphere over which hover soothing
melodic motifs. More little guitar touches increase the feeling of well
being still further.
The following track is also rather beautiful, crystalline note droplets
weaving a wonderful picture all of their own. This is delicate stuff
enhanced by a gorgeous lush backing. All is change just before the fifth
minute however as an excellent chugging sequence leaps forward.
Ethereal pads get the 20th Part underway. Just close your eyes
and let the wonderful sonic textures sooth your mind. As in previous
tracks however, just before the half way mark, a sequence makes an
entrance. This time a second soon comes to join the first. Lead pads
swell and as we go on things become increasingly euphoric. Vocoded
speech introduces the penultimate part before things morph into more
The album comes to an end with the appropriately titled ‘Conclusion’.
It’s a rather symphonic sounding piece, again beautiful but also with a
touch of melancholy.
Artemi Pugachov /
Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
The third and final
installment of the "Nearest Faraway Place" trilogy from Gert
Emmens begins with melancholic and mysterious pads. Soon the
soundscape is replaced by an unexpectedly optimistic sequence. A
romantic lead line then emerges. This is melodic and cosmic at the same
time and is very typical of Gert Emmens in style. The sequencing
on this track is excellent; the solos tasty and reflective. I should
also mention the great programming of synthesizers. Gert has really
mastered his instruments over the years. As I've mentioned already,
Part 15 is typical of Gert Emmens so if you love his style,
there's no doubt you will enjoy it. There's also that extra symphonic
touch throughout. The track even ends with Vangelis-like electric
piano notes on top an "L'Apocalypse des Animaux"-like soundscape.
So good... Spacey slide guitar sounds herald the coming of Part 16.
Unique music, cold and yet somehow warm and comforting, very evocative
of the beautiful cover art. An "Oxygene"-like arpeggio appears
out of nowhere, surprising you with its sheer power and beauty.
Transforming into a nice bouncy melodic sequence, it accepts yet another
pulsation which is then joined by a pad and that spacey guitar by Jan
Dieterich again. Overall the sound is more along the lines of volume
1 of "The Nearest Faraway Place" trilogy. You know, sort of a
loungy, rainy, reflective type of thing. The final part of the piece
relies on a slow moving electronic rhythm and an oboe-like lead melody.
A solemn symphonic theme introduces Part 17. Amazing, but it
feels like you're flying when listening to this. You can almost see all
those mountains and snowy peaks below. A rapid sequence enters the
stage, sounding like classic Tangerine Dream on steroids. Soon a
rhythm appears and a typical Gert Emmens lead. This is dynamic,
rhythmic and melodic EM that you've come to expect from this artist.
However, this track is perhaps like a slightly pumped up version thereof,
partly because of the hyperactive sequence and partly because of the
dynamic flow of the piece - the melodies are faster and everything
changes quicker than usual. The reflective, theremin-like lead at the
end is something unexpected, though.
Street noises and recorded voices introduce Part 18, along with
the sound of a tolling bell. A slow, echoing sequence appears along with
reflective pads. And I am telling you here and now, guys, that this is
some top-notch Gert Emmens music in a slow, spacey style. Nice
and flowing, it just gets under your skin. After a while a dynamic
sequence enters and the more recognizable Gert Emmens style
shines through. However, the track has none of the usual melancholy,
relying on major chords and melodies - a very optimistic experience and
a nice change of pace. And, yes, I did enjoy the Floydian guitar
of Jan. A touch of melancholy does manifest itself throughout the final
stretch of this track, though. What I really liked was the beginning of
the next track. There's that spacey prog vibe that I find hugely
enjoyable with imaginative sounds throughout. Ideal stuff to just sit
back and enjoy with your headphones on. A marching sequence is then
introduced together with eerie phased pads. Several key changes follow
before we embark on a typical Gert Emmens journey with soft
rhythms and a flying Minimoog solo.
Part 20 starts with a mysterious soundscape that I wish had
lasted longer, because it's really evocative, really atmospheric and
immersive. Nice sequences appear together with a mournful lead. A
propulsive rhythm starts for what seems like one of the most active
Gert Emmens tracks I've heard of late. It has one of the nicest
synth solos as well - jazzy and flowing.
Part 21 is a short vocoder interlude, a big surprise and
absolutely not something I expected to hear. However, as a fan of
vocoder voices (when done properly) I found this piece hugely enjoyable.
"Conclusion" is the final piece of the whole trilogy, done in
collaboration with Cadenced Haven. It's a reflective, romantic,
symphonic piece of grandiose impact. A nice finishing touch, it
represents an emotional climax that's hard to resist. I was deeply
touched by it. Thanks, Gert and Laila for this nice piece of music.
If you enjoyed previous volumes of "The Nearest Faraway Place",
you just have to have the third volume in your collection. And of course
it's a must for Gert Emmens fans and fans of melodic / sequencer
EM in general.
Roberto Vales /
Ultima Fronteira Radio
Nuevo trabajo de
Gert Emmens publicado por Groove Unlimited.
"The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3" es la tercera y última parte
de esta trilogía, una serie donde el compositor holandés nos ha
demostrado sus ideas y sus conceptos musicales, un hombre que se ha
convertido en todo un maestro de la música electrónica. En esta ocasión
ha contado con la colaboración de Jan Dieterich (guitarra),
Tessa Asenjo-Fernández (voces), Cara Asenjo- Fernández (voces)
y Laila Quraishi aka Cadenced Haven (teclados).
Disco muy recomendable para todos los amantes de la buena música
electrónica, de manos de un maestro que disco tras disco, no sigue
enseñando que la música electrónica todavía está viva, que aún se pueden
crear bellas composiciones que nos hagan recrear paisajes imaginarios y
que permitan volar a nuestra imaginación.
Matt Howarth /
This CD from 2010
features 77 minutes of stately electronic music. For this release,
Emmens is joined by guests: Jan Dieterich (on guitar),
Tessa Asenjo-Fernandez (on child voice), and Cara
Asenjo-Fernandez (on adult voice), and Cadenced Haven (aka
Laila Quraishi) on keyboards.
Pleasant electronics produce tuneage of pacific serenity with a touch of
subtle vitality. The electronics are stately and versatile, blending
delicate tones with softly shrill pitches to achieve a well-balanced
resonance that seethes with high appeal.
Gentle keyboards establish lilting melodies that glisten with beauty as
they drift overhead. Basic themes are set, then looped to run throughout,
while additional riffs are then layered in to provide liquid
embellishment. There are a few instances of light e-perc, but this music
generally has no need of strident tempos, relying more on a sense of
fluidity in its structure.
Guest guitar is present in two tracks. The lush sustains of a slide
nature contribute a haunting edge to the openings, then adopt a spacier
sound as they offer languid jazzy riffs to the surging flow.
With this release, Emmens turns to other worlds for musical
inspiration, although those "other worlds" may not exactly be of an
extraterrestrial nature. These foreign realms could just as easily
reside within the imagination of far-thinkers or the more desolate
vistas of our own planet. Whatever the case, the resulting moods are
ones of expansive detachment, isolation from the rigors of civilized
Im Jahr 2008 erschien
„The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 1“, das aus einem Livemitschnitt von
Gert Emmens Konzert im Oberhausener Gasometer bestand. Ein Jahr später
folgte dann „Vol. 2“ und Gert erklärte, das dies sein Abschied von der
Elektronikmusik sei und er fortan in einer Rockband Musik machen wolle.
Ganz überrascht war ich dann allerdings, als ich beim E-Day am
22.05.2010 Gert mit einem Stand sah und er seine neue SoloCD mit dem
Titel „The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3“ präsentierte.
Zum Glück hat Gert der Elektronikmusik
nicht den Rücken gekehrt, sonst wären diese tollen melodischen und
rhythmischen Elektroniksounds, die ich bei seiner Musik so liebe, nicht
knüpft nahtlos an seinen zweiten Tel an, obwohl man das bei
Elektronikmusik ja immer schlecht sagen kann, da sich die Alben eines
Künstlers, der einen eigenen Stil hat, ja immer ähneln. Aber Gert
besitzt das Gefühl herrliche Sounds zu erstellen, in die man sich sofort
fallen lassen kann und so geht es mir auch bei seiner aktuellen CD.
der Stücke des Albums tragen die Titel „Part 15“ bis „Part 21“, der
letzte Track den Titel „Conclusion“ und weisen Laufzeiten zwischen 3:23
und 12:43 auf. Allerdings sprengen satte sechs Stücke die
der Opener „Part 15“ bietet solch tolle Harmonielinien und Melodiebögen,
dass ich am liebsten in die Boxen springen möchte. Das ist Gert at it’s
best. In „Part 16“ klingen einige Sounds durch, die an Jean Michel Jarre
erinnern. Als Gast agiert hier Jan Dieterich an der E-Gitarre und gibt
dem Stück mit einem sehr schönen Solo die richtige Würze und verleiht
dem Track noch mehr Volumen. Das passt ganz hervorragend zusammen und
sollte von Gert öfter mal eingesetzt werden.
„Part 17“ zieht Gert dann den Sequenzerrhythmus ordentlich an, so wie
man es von ihm streckenweise kennt. Darauf legt er eine unwiderstehliche
Melodie. Das ist wieder so ein Stück zum dahinschweben und abdriften.
18“ beginnt mit einer Straßenszene. Am Anfang hören wir vorbeifahrende
Autos, Menschen sprechen miteinander und eine Turmglocke läutet. Dann
erklingt eine sehnsuchtsvolle Harmonielinie aus den Keyboards und
Synthies. Flächen schweben durch den Raum und bilden ein sehr erhabenes
Klanggemälde. Nach etwas mehr als drei Minuten starten aber die
Sequenzer und es wird rhythmischer und auch melodischer. Auch dieses
Stück wird von Jan’s atmosphärisch rockiger E-Gitarre verfeinert. Ein
tolles Stück, sobald er mit seinem Solo einsetzt. Es bekommt dadurch
einen leicht rockigen Anstrich, ohne Gert’s Flair zu übertönen.
Während der Beginn von „Part 19“ noch recht verträumt und erhaben klingt,
legt Gert nach gut fünf Minuten eine Schippe drauf. Die verträumten
Harmonien müssen nun einem Rhythmus weichen, der fortan den Ton angibt.
Wie ein Zug schreitet dieser Track voran. Auch „Part 20“ ist zweigeteilt
und hat zunächst ruhige Töne, im zweiten Teil aber einen mitreißenden
Sequenzerrhythmus zu bieten. Vor allem dieser zweite Teil ist wieder so
ein Knaller, der alles hat, was man sich von Gert erhofft.
21“ ist ein 3:23minütiger Track, bei dem auf Synthieflächen einige mit
Vocoder verfremdete Sätze gesprochen werden. Atmosphärisch, aber nicht
wirklich spannend. Abgeschlossen wird die CD dann mit einem
Appetithappen auf die CD „Peregrination“ von Cadenced Haven, auf der
Gert ebenfalls mitgewirkt hat. Es handelt sich um einen ambienten,
sphärischen und fast schon epischen Track, der die typische Handschrift
von Gert trägt (er hat den Track auch mitgeschrieben).
„The Nearest Faraway Place Vol. 3“ hat Gert Emmens gezeigt, dass er aus
der Elektronikszene nicht wegzudenken ist. Wer seine bisherigen Alben
mag, der kann hier bedenkenlos zugreifen.