Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij seek a simplicity of expression. On their collaboration Signs (73'25") they have temporarily abandoned their most excellent sequencer music in order to expand their reach into the abstract world of aural exploration. They know that abstraction can be easier on the eye than it is on the ear. Yet utilizing a well-honed sense of sonic innovation Emmens & Heij manage to realize an engaging, even astonishing, unending miscellany of sound - all this in a music so surreal that it resists commodification. Texturally rich Signs engulfs the listening area as it carves out an even greater space within the listener's mind. Their calibrated barrage of electronics is imbued with a poetic introspection. Sounds unfurl as the arriving slow moving whooshes, building metallic drones and glowing gusts of harmony are soon swallowed up by burbles and crackles of synthetic tones - then sonic currents shift, flood and recede to leave us floating in a softly reverberating soundscape. Without the presence of a rhythmic element chronological awareness is lost. The sporadic placement of guitar or piano chords does offer an identifiable access point, but the other zones and areas that this work opens up are completely imaginary - their meaning known to their creator alone. Emmens & Heij never settle for repetition when they can offer permutations and then move on. They create an atmosphere looming with serious portent within a musical form known for its provocations. Mechanical talents on full display this duo plays with a new depth and amplitude. Not playing toward a destination; they play for the journey. But perhaps the greatest single reason for listening to this CD is for us to receive in the span of 70 minutes a complete message. With a meaning beyond words, this kind of album is the most basic form of poetry.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 22 May 2014