Remy Stroomer & Wolfram Spyra -
Planet Of The Arps

(CD 2019, 60:53, Deserted Island Music, DIM-007 / 19041-2)

The tracks:
  1- Beneath The Planet Of The Arps(24:25)
  2- Escape From Planet Of The Arps(05:29)
  3- Conquest Of The Planet Of The Arps(15:33)
  4- Battle For The Planet Of The Arps(15:25)


Dutch electronic musician Remy Stroomer was born in 1979, in the wonderful medieval Dutch city Haarlem. At the age of nine he starts keyboard lessons, soon he makes his first compositions, and his debut on stage, in 1994. He begins as a solo artist, later he joins other bands and artists, the music ranges from electronic and jazz to rock and progressive. On the Royal Conservatory in The Hague he starts Sonology in 1999. In the same year he releases his first album entitled Exhibition Of Dreams, followed by The Art of Imagination in 2000, that CD is awarded as #3 in the category Best Newcomer In Electronic Music, at the prestigious German Schwingungen Festival in 2001.

During the years Remy turns out to be a prolific musician. Since 1999 he has released more than 15 records. Between 2007 and 2010 he delivers a series of concerts in the famous Great St. Bavo church in Haarlem. He is the support act for Tangerine Dream on the annual Dutch EM festival E-Live in 2008, performs in different countries, and collaborates with many musicians, from Ron Boots, Eric van der Heijden and Gert Emmens to Eric Wøllo, Bas Broekhuis and Space Art. And with Petter Janse he founds the improvisation duo Mäläskä, including concerts and the debut CD Uncle Jim's Cidney Factory.

In 2019 Remy celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut album Exhibition Of Dreams, with the release of two limited box sets and an artbook. And looking at the near future, he is planning to release a new concept album entitled The Other Side and a concert tour, in early 2020.

Now I would like to focus on Remy and his album Planet Of The Arps, the name is a tribute to Halton Arp and his Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, Alan R. Pearlman and his legendary ARP synthesizers, the musical phenomenon arpeggio, and The Planet Of The Apes SF movie. It contains excerpts from concerts at the Zeiss Planetarium Bochum (2012, Germany, performed by Remy Stroomer) and the Chill At The Castle - Electric Edition - at the Dutch Ruïne Van Brederode in 2014 (performed by Remy Stroomer on synthesizers, Wolfram Spyra on synthesizers and Roksana Vikaluk on vocals).

The music on Planet Of The Arps is rooted in 2010 as an ambient composition of around 60 minutes. Remy was not satisfied about the result and asked Spyra for help. Due to availability problems it waited until the Chill At The Castle concert (2014) to perform both a part of 20 minutes from that composition, supported by Roksana Vikaluk on vocals. And after all these years Remy goes to work and makes a remix of the live events, with the original 60 minutes frame, in early 2019.

Beneath The Planet Of The Arps (24:25): The album kicks off with the longest composition on this CD, the entire running time the sound is very atmospheric featuring soaring keyboards, soft synthesizer - and percussive sounds. In the end the track is embellished with celestial high pitched female vocals. This is the realm of minimalistic music, if this appeals to you the music will turn into a pleasant hypnotizing piece of work. Post-Seventies Klaus Schulze comes to my mind, but with a modern flavor.

Escape From Planet Of The Arps (05:29): The second track is a short piece featuring a spacey atmosphere with Mellotron choirs, synthesizer flights and percussive sounds, again blended with those distinctive female vocals, adding a delicate element of emotion to the music.

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Arps (15:33): Like in the previous composition the atmosphere is spacey with Mellotron choirs, industrial sounds, halfway soaring keyboards and the exciting sound of a sequencer joins. Soon this is blended with synthesizers, now the music is closer to the Berlin School, but with an own touch from Remy. Gradually the musical climate turns lusher with beautiful strings, the pulsating sequencer and fat synthesizer drops, a nice mix of sounds.

Battle For The Planet Of The Arps (15:25): In the first part the tight beat, soaring strings and catchy synthesizer flights reminds me of early JM Jarre, simply wonderful. Slowly the music builds and builds, now featuring a percussive sequencer sound, this is the most dynamic composition on the album. Then again, those celestial female voices, blended with different synthesizer drops, a fat bass-like synthesizer and strong sequencing, what an unique piece of electronic music. Finally, a dreamy, a bit melancholically strings sound, like a requiem, a beautiful closing section of this concept album.

To me this album sounds as a journey through electronic music, with captivating own musical ideas.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)

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