Peter Swart - Migration

(CD 2024, 40:49, OOB Records)

The tracks:
  1- Take Off(2:15)
  2- Crossing Borders(2:08)
  3- Across the Mellow Sea(1:49)
  4- A Resting Place(2:08)
  5- The Meadow(2:23)
  6- The Ancient Pool(2:10)
  7- Flying Over(2:55)
  8- Bird Suite(5:10)
  9- Courtship(3:30)
10- Autumn Calling(2:59)
11- Drifting(2:21)
12- Coastlines(3:43)
13- Desert(3:31)
14- The Trap(3:39)

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This is the new album by Dutch musician Peter Swart (classical - and electric guitar and keyboards), assisted by Koos van Reeven (drums and percussion). He is heavily influenced by the symphonic rock music of the seventies and his inspiration is found in dreams, paintings, literature, fairy tales and science fiction.

Although Migration is Peter Swart's 6th studio-album since 2003, this new effort is my first musical encounter with his music. In general the sound is very mellow featuring tender guitar and piano play, and soaring keyboards, blended with the sound of saxophone, flute and violin, generated from his keyboards. Often the tastefully arranged compositions evoke images of nature to me, very relaxing, close to ambient and new-age music, but more elaborate than usual in that genre.

The 4 more dynamic tracks contain hints of the 70s symphonic rock that Peter Swart mentions as a huge inspiration in the info sheet.

Courtship (3:30) : First twanging classical guitar and flute, then a slow rhythm (the saxophone and mellow synthesizer flights remind me of Camel) and in the end fading choirs.

Coastlines (3:43) : The intro guitar runs strongly evoke parts of the legendary Hotel California (The Eagles) twanging guitar intro. Next beautiful classical guitar, in a slow rhythm, with the sound of seagulls, and sensitive electric guitar runs, a wonderful musical climate.

Desert (3:31) : This track starts with dreamy guitar and keyboards, then a slow beat with mellow saxophone and moving electric guitar runs, in the vein of David Gilmour.

And finally The Trap (3:39) : Dreamy saxophone play, in an ominous atmosphere. Now guitar and keyboards join, gradually the music turns into more more lush with bombastic keyboards and delicate slide guitar (by guest Bouke Caton), concluded with tender piano.

Peter Swart makes beautiful, very pleasant guitar-oriented music on this album. But as a reviewer for a progrock magazine I would like to hear a bit more dynamics, a bit more electric guitar, a bit more powerful keyboards. Because now the balance is too much on laidback music (like New Age and ambient), that's a pity because Peter Swart has the potential, it's up to him to deliver more dynamic music, for the progheads.

*** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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