Review “Sounds of Silence”

translated from German

René van der Wouden – Sounds Of Silence
REWO Music Netherlands (2020)
(4 pieces, 41:27 minutes playing time)

The first of two albums that the Dutch electronic musician René van der Wouden released in 2020 is entitled “Sound Of Silence”. The pieces were created and recorded in February and March 2020, i.e. shortly before or at the beginning of the Corona crisis. The cover shows a cloud-covered sea shore, while the back of the cover shows a rain-wet pane. It seems a bit bleak and gloomy. Does that also apply to the music?

According to René, there is no concept behind the album. Rather, he has dealt with different styles because he always likes to experiment with different styles. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, a very homogeneous album was created.

René also placed four pieces on this album. It starts with the 9:39 minute “Improbable”. It quickly becomes clear that René has by no means played dark music, because cozy, soft surfaces initially move through the room. After a few moments, a sequencer rhythm is added, which gives the piece a certain drive. The sounds and harmonies advance stoically, but have a captivating effect on the listener, as René repeatedly sprinkles in sounds and harmonies. From about five minutes on, it becomes gorgeous, because the slightly melancholy harmonies literally slide under your skin.

Shimmering sounds then open the almost nine-minute title track. René combines surfaces with sounds shimmering back and forth, which creates a very special atmosphere. After a good two minutes, the sequencer starts and slowly moves forward from the background. He then holds out this mood until the end.

“Cloudy Mysteries” has a playing time of 11:29 minutes. Mystical sounds can be heard first. Here René also uses some somewhat dark sounds, which, however, never seem threatening. After a little more than two minutes, the picture brightens up and hymn-like sounds that are reminiscent of the “Berlin School”, among other things, now appear. Then from minute four a driving sequencer rhythm sets in and brings momentum to the track. Harmonies and surfaces then drift along with this rhythm.

The conclusion then forms the 11:21 minute “In The Calmness Of A Blue Evening Sky”. The piece begins calmly and floatingly, in which the surfaces and harmonies are only decorated with a few dabs of sound. This gentle mood runs through the entire piece.

With “Sounds Of Silence” René van der Wouden has succeeded in creating a varied album that – contrary to the cover – has no gloomy, but rather pleasant, floating sounds ready. A nice album.

Stephan Schelle, October 2020

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