'OceanoGraphy' is the third release of Synth.nl, aka Michel van Osenbruggen, who got inspired by the earth ocean's and the many sea creatures living in them. The 12 cinematic and melodic tracks with lots of well-chosen environmental sounds clearly show a further refinement of his skills and sounds, creating a nice feel-good atmosphere and open space to dwell in. 'Antartico' starts out nice and very smoothly, carrying a certain Frank VanBogaert-like edge with its warm, encompassing sound, after which the other tracks continue the sonic voyage with catchy sequencing, clear solo voices and thick-layered synth layers. The expert mastering by Ron Boots gives an extra dimension to this well-executed work of spacious mood music, which occasionally contains elements of Jarre and Vangelis. I have not doubt this music will be embraced and liked by lots of EM-fans. Mission well accomplished, Michel!
Behind the modern and recognizable artist name Synth.nl goes the Dutchman Michel van Osenbruggen. 'OceanoGraphy' is his third album after 'AeroDynamics' and 'AtmoSphere'. Michel is somebody who not only creates music, he also thinks about the world surrounding him. The music of Synth.nl brings this together. 'OceanoGraphy' is inspired by the Earth oceans and the creatures living in them. This album is a journey into the deep waters of the oceans. That is something else than a lot of other electronic music-albums that bring us into deep space. The album is endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund that receives a part of the revenue of the cd. The albums opens with 'Antartico'. It is a big sounding piece with a wonderful theme that almost has traces of Vangelis but -in case of melody- also of Michels fellow Dutchmen Peru (remember them?). His music has many faces but in general it has an excellent structured melodical sound that almost has traces of progressive rockmusic. 'Baleanoptera' is a fine example of this. Also, there is a somewhat melancholy thought put into the music.
Interesting concept album from Dutch artist Synth.nl is what I am going to review below. This work is dedicated to the Earth's oceans and the creatures living in them. Accordingly, each track is named after a specific ocean or a marine animal. "Antartico" kicks in with an atmospheric intro full of wave samples and gentle pads. A relaxed rhythm starts and a nice melody supports the flow. The mood is that of serenity and a sense of wonder permeates this composition. An atmospheric section follows before we return to the melodic theme. "Baleanoptera" starts with the sounds of whales before mysterious chords provide a nice flowing backing to a funky bass line. A loungy rhythm kicks in and a menacing synth theme plays on top. More melodic themes follow and the track acquires a darkish mood that's something not very typical of Michel van Osenbruggen's oeuvre. "Atlantico" is more upbeat, with a steady rhythm pushing things forward and some nice arpeggios and soloing. I like the lovely analog timbres Michel is using on this track. It also has one of the catchiest melodies. "Carcharodon" - a track dedicated to the Great White Shark - begins with very Jarre-like timbres (think "Rendez-Vouz" pads mixed with "Oxygene" EMS twitters).
When the harmonies meet rhythmic complexities, or when the influences of Jarre cross the romantic arrangements of a dreamy Vangelis, that gives OceanoGraphy. A very beautiful album that depicts pretty well the vision of the Dutch synthesist. For his 3rd opus Michel Van Osenbruggen is inspired by the oceans and the survival fragility of its aquatic fauna. A work which wants to be a intra terrestrial hymn with a strange spatial fusion, supported by a certain rhythmic heaviness which has nothing to do with the grace of oceans. Antartico opens on a very light touch. A beautiful title with a melodious thematic which is near Vangelis style where we can hear a magnificent felted and fluted mellotron pushing this great melody close to New Age territories on a very sensitive and hooking synth and keyboard. A soft track that could make melts the hardest ones. Balaenoptera (Rorqual of the Atlantic Ocean) is quite its opposite and shapes marvelously the heavy movements of this graceful whale. A hiccoughing bassline hems on a synth which undulates in an oceanic background soundscapes.
Michel van Osenbruggen aka Synth.nl has made fun, melodic, upbeat electronic music inspired by a variety of topics. This time out he tackles OceanoGraphy. 'Antartico' is very dreamlike to start before a softly percolating sequence bubbles up, followed by a lighthearted, pleasant melody. Osenbruggen excels at creating tunes that will play in your head long after the disc has finished. 'Balaenoptera' has a more dramatic, exciting flavor, again very nice on the sequencing, melodies, and various synth sounds. Tracks alternate between this more majestic feel and a more playful tone. Many have a cool pulsating undercurrent like the gently undulating synths of .Megaptera. that keep things moving along. The title track is excellent, starting as a midtempo piece with really nice synth pads in the middle, then it gets darker and more dramatic, followed by a lighter section to finish. 'Indico' and 'Chelonia' bring things down a couple notches, soft and slow with a relaxed mood. And so it goes from one good track to another, not a bad one to be had here. If you need something to brighten your spirits, OceanoGraphy should do nicely.
This release from 2009 offers 73 minutes of pleasant electronic music. Synth.NL is Michel van Osenbruggen. Aquatic textures waft beneath airborne electronics, bouncy keyboards and stately rhythms to craft pleasant tune age. The electronics are gentle and achieve a balance between dreamy and mildly energized. A versatile array of sounds is utilized, resulting in depth as well as scope. Sweet chords coexist with bass pulsations, producing a well-rounded sonic palette. Keyboards generate pacific melodies through constant key manipulations, relying only minimally on loops. A persistent stream of engaging riffs is delivered, displaying emphasis on compositional dedication over technological repetition. The rhythms maintain a steady locomotion but without becoming too overt. A temperate pace is established. The beats are un intrusive but possess enough substance to lend complementary oomph. While these compositions are all devoted to aquatic elements, that doesn't mean they're all flowy and low-key.
Hinter dem Pseudonym Synth.NL verbirgt sich der niederlädische Elektronikmusiker Michel van Osenbruggen. Bereits im Jahr 2007 hat er mit seinem Debalbum „AeroDynamics“ für Aufsehen in der Szene gesorgt. Auch sein zweites Album „AtmoSphere“ konnte sich gut behaupten und sorgte daf, dass er in der Kategorie für den besten Neuling bei der Schallwelle-Preisverleihung nominiert wurde. Für sein drittes Album, das den Titel „OceanoGraphy“ trt, hat er sich etwas ganz besonderes einfallen lassen, das allein schon den Kauf zur Pflicht macht. Er spendet von den Einnahmen einen Teil an den World Wildlife Fund, kurz WWF. Die Inspiration für das Werk hat er sich wrend eines Tauchurlaubes geholt. Bei dieser Gelegenheit hat er nicht nur einige der Tiere gesehen, er hat auch Sounds, die auf dem Album zu hen sind, aufgenommen und gesampled. Mit den zwölf Stücken nimmt uns Michel mit auf eine Reise in die Tiefen des Ozeans und zeigt uns die Welt der Wale, Delfine, Haie und vielen anderen Wesen, die vom Aussterben bedroht sind.
Op zijn vorig jaar verschenen tweede album 'AtmoSphere' verkeerde Michel van Osenbruggen (beter bekend als Synth.nl) in hoger sferen - en dat mag je letterlijk nemen: de cd neemt je mee op een fascinerende reis door de verschillende atmosferische lagen. Met zijn nieuwe album gaat Van Osenbruggen de diepte in. 'OceanoGraphy' is een conceptalbum over de diverse oceanen en de wezens die zich in de diepten ophouden. Net zoals zijn voorganger bevat 'OceanoGraphy' vriendelijke, 'open' elektronische muziek, waar niemand zich een buil aan kan vallen. Voor de verandering eens een keer geen ellenlange excursies in een parallel kosmisch universum, maar nummers die gemiddeld zes minuten duren en op smaak worden gebracht met subtiel getegreerde natuurgeluiden en samples (walvissen in bijvoorbeeld 'Megaptera' of geluiden van Michels duikboottrip in het titelnummer), relaxed voortkabbelende beats, sfeervolle ambient en af en toe een synthsolo.