Belgian composer and synthesist Frank Van Bogaert’s latest CD, One Out of Five, is a greatest hits collection that brings together tracks from his five previous CDs, Colours (1998), Geographic (1999), Docking (2000), Human (2002) and Closer (2004).
Bogaert’s music is in the symphonic electronica tradition of synth artists like Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre and Deep Forest. Bogaert uses primarily synth sounds, augmented with samples and some traditional instrumentation, and layers them to give his music symphonic variety and scope. In particular, his use of CS-80 style sounds and timpani build on Vangelis’ idea of a synth orchestral palette.
Bogaert’s music also draws upon world influences. Bogaert uses the sound of instruments from around the world, world-music samples and even does a version of Rorogwela, a traditional folk melody of the Solomon Islands that was made popular by Deep Forest as Sweet Lullaby.
Highlights of One Out of Five include Human, a grooving synth-jam reminiscent of Vangelis’ Soil Festivities; Deserts, a melodic track that starts with a simple string melody and builds to a climax that combines world vocal snippets and bagpipe-like synthwork; Home by the Sea, a new age piece that starts with the sound of a penny-whistle over surf and then takes a tour of world instruments and sounds; and Geographic, a piece that starts with hymn-like grandeur and then moves to a driving world-music second section;
One Out of Five showcases Bogaert’s flair for tasteful arrangement of folk-like melodies and also his ear for synth orchestration. Though the CD clocks in at over an hour, it manages to be full of variety and will probably inspire many listeners to want to dig into his back catalog.
In addition to the music, it’s worth noting that Bogaert provides an elegant package for the CD, with an 8-page booklet full of beautiful images.
As far as I could tell, the CD doesn’t include any unreleased tracks, so Bogaert fans will have to wait for his next release to get a fix of new music. We’ll be looking forward to it.
Frank Van Bogaert’s CD, One Out of Five, is an excellent introduction to his music, and Bogaert has chosen his tracks and sequenced them to make a satisfying stand-alone CD, too.
- Home By The Sea
- Falling Leaves
- Atmospheric Conditions
- A State Of Mind