A project about the oceans of the world and the creatures that live in them.
- Antartico [6:34]
- Balaenoptera [5:45]
- Atlantico [6:56]
- Carcharodon [6:15]
- Megaptera [5:05]
- Oceanography [7:40]
- Tursiops [5:04]
- Indico [5:12]
- Chelonia [5:17]
- Artico [6:14]
- Orcinus [5:46]
- Pacifico [5:48]
My inspiration for this album came from the Earth's Oceans and the creatures living in them. While listening to this album you will be taken on a journey through the deep waters of our Oceans.
You will travel together with whales, dolphins, sharks and sea turtles. Most of these animals are endangered or even threatened with extinction by the way! We should really care more about the life in our Oceans. I hope to get your attention for this mysterious world in this way. I would be a real shame to loose it for ever. This album is officially endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for this reason.
A part of the revenue of this album will also be donated to the WWF to help preserve these beautiful animals. I sampled a lot of sounds again myself as well above as under water.
In "Oceanography", we travel through an adventure in sound where synthesizers narrate episodes ascribed to Synth-Pop, Space Sequencer Music, Techno and Ambient.
The music is rich in melodies that combine the epic and the romantic, the mysterious and the cosmic.
The rhythms also have a remarkable role. Based on sequencers, they are wrapped with percussion in various parts.
The final result is a fresh, impressive album which will at once connect with the followers of good electronic music.
2010. Edgar Kogler
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. A fine keyboard strums soft chords before the bass becomes accessory of heaviness on a superb synth which drags an impressive sound mass in a fanciful amphibic world.
A heavy title, quite as the mega weighting Megaptera, who finds grace on a splendid hemming and coiling synth filled of kiss-curl laments.
Loud and atonal, the intro of Atlantico rolls with an extreme gravity on a sea agitated of intertwined waves. A spiraled rhythmic, coated by mellotron choirs and by clacking percussions thus a synth to ascending arpeggios, draw a musical structure that recalls the great moments of Jarre in a halieutic carousel stuffed with heavy twisted solos.
With its cosmic approach to thousand striations and shooting stars analog effects, Carcharodon crosses more the space than the abundance seas on a good structure of loud bass with a melodramatic approach.
Oceanography divides the opus into two, bringing a less heavy and more harmonious approach for the following tracks, with a synthesized lament which enjoys a beautiful synth to sighs of a faunistic submarine variety, on a slow tempo knocked off by arpeggios that sparkle on a mellotron that shape the movements of tides.
There is a beautiful artistic creativity on Tursiops where we hear dolphins sing and to jump on a broken rhythm by a beautiful synth to aquatic waves.
After this sweet sea lullaby which is Indico, Chelonia moves with the elegance of marine tortoises on a slightly hatched cadence and a synth with tropical flavor saxophones solos. With its slashed tempo that a hiccough on ground swell melodious synth witch explodes of good solos, Artico distances itself from quieter structures giving to ocean titles of OceanoGraphy. By far, itís the liveliest track on this second half.
Softer, Orcinus spouses a dreamy structure with a beautiful piano and a bass sequence which stutters under a synth very near the soil of Vangelis, quite as melodious Pacifico who closes with the same harmonious approach as Antartico had made at opening.
When an artist succeeds to sculpture his music so that we can visualize its storyand\or message, we can easily assert that its purpose is reached. OceanoGraphy of Michel Van Osenbruggen (Synth NL) aims right to the target by offering a beautiful and tender poetic music with amazing rhythmic structures, sometimes heavy, slightly complex, but always melodious.
A beautiful album which we taste eyes closed with soundscapes and sounding images which will certainly please the fans of Vangelis and Jarre, any areas include.
2009. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness
"OceanoGraphy" is the third release of Synth.nl, aka Michel van Osenbruggen, who got inspired by the earth oceanís 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!
2009. Bert Strolenberg
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). After a while, a simple melodic theme is heard which is then joined by nice analog bass and a warm soloing synth. This is great EM with a sense of menace lurking inside.
"Megaptera", dedicated to Humpback Whales, not surprisingly, begins with whale samples set upon the background of nice pads. The track quickly gains momentum with an optimistic theme that recalls Jarre or even some theme from one of those 80's b-grade movies. A nice change of pace next to the rather austere music that came before. The samples of whale song appear several times throughout this track.
The title track then flows effortlessly with a theme so melancholic and bittersweet you'd think you've heard it before. In fact, there's something familiar and nostalgic about it. It's also slightly classically-influenced to my ears. If you enjoy the more melodic / romantic works of Jarre, you will like this.
"Tursiops" lifts that atmospheric lever a notch or two, providing a nice experimental sequence / arpeggio, a relaxed rhythm and nice breathy pads. On top of this, a pleasant melody created with a lovely analog timbre plays. There are also lots of environmental samples on this track.
"Indico" is the most romantic and soft of the bunch - a slow melodic motif, punctuated by a weeping synth solo.
"Chelonia" is dedicated to our best friend in the seas - the dolphin. It's a gentle track with trademark bass arpeggios, a relaxed rhythm and a melody that glides smoothly like dolphin upon waves. A nice lead line is all we really need for an excellent EM track.
"Artico" kicks in with the sound of blizzard until various sequenced sounds appear as well as a nice pad. Rich in tone colours, effects and lead lines, this rhythmic track has a strong epic melody that reflects the severe weather conditions that the territory of Arctic ocean is known for.
"Orcinus" is the most mysterious track of the lot. Slow, reflective and atmospheric, it's perfect relaxing stuff. Again the programming of sounds is excellent.
Intense analog timbres get the closing track "Pacifico" underway. Soon a rapid one-note sequence appears, but as the rhythm and melodic theme kick in, we are clearly in typical Synth.nl territory, which means a tasty and easy-listening mix of relaxed rhythms, great melodies and atmospheric effects. It's a fitting and optimistic way to finish this great melodic EM work.
Just like Michel's previous offerings, this immaculately recorded and mixed album was released on the Dutch EM label Groove Unlimited and endorsed by WWF.
2009. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
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.
ĎBaleanoptera" is a fine example of this. Also, there is a somewhat melancholy thought put into the music. His manages to come with some great synth soloing. Just listen to "Atlantico".
The heavy symphonic grandeur of Vangelis can be heard again in "Carcharodon" and in the brilliant "Indico". In the positive sounding "Megaptera" sounds of whales are included in the music. The melody here is very nice. Michel should be capable of making film music. For instance, the title track is very imaging.
"Tursiops" again has a simple but very uplifting melody. On "Artico" and the menacing "Orcinus" there is a slight hint of Jean Michel Jarre.
The music on "OceanoGraphy" is somewhat more quiet than on his first two cds but on "Chelonia" and "Pacifico" the rhythms from these albums can be heard. Again, mixed with traces of the Greek grandmaster.
Michel is a great talent who, with "OceanoGraphy", clearly has put himself in the bigger league of electronic musicians. And the statement he makes on this album is one that only must be appreciated and followed.
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. That temperament is found in some of the pieces, but other tracks exhibit a degree of understated intensity. These floating melodies are nicely seasoned by spry embellishment, and this state of animation is held in tasteful restraint to keep things affable yet engaging.
2010. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
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.
2010. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space