Reviews: Music for Keyboards2020-09-19T15:23:16+02:00

Reviews: Music for Keyboards

Axiom of Choice: Music for Keyboards – Review (NL)

The netherlands The Netherlands – Music For Keyboards

Lars Boutrup hails from Denmark, and this album is filled to the brim with keyboards and supporting percussion.

The music

Well, the title of this album leaves little room for guessing. The opener is typically an opener, preparing us for things to come. Boutrup spends some time building tension here, and it is not plain bombast.
Agent Orange is quite a bit more up-beat, almost danceable, especially with the beat present in this tune. For the rest, the keyboards simple solo over the drum beat, giving me a bit of a Harold Faltermeyer/Jan Hammer feel. The interlude has some strong Jarre like church organish play, but on the whole, the music is a bit too commercial for my tastes.
The Day After is quite a difference with its slow majestic beginning. The second half had slow drumming, some of them backwards, and the sound stays majestic with long sustained notes.

Alla Gypsy is quite frolic and fast, with the keys having a bit of a marimba feel, light to the touch. Towards the end more elements come in, and the sound becomes fuller. Flying In The Sky is more in the vein of The Day After with long sustains and full chords. There are elements of drama and maybe a bit of film music here.

Now who might have inspired Emersong? The song is bombastic, but surprisingly not flashy at all. More like ponderous and brassy. Still, of the songs thus far it sounds the most ‘proggy’. Only at the very end do the typical ELP trademarks come in.

Northern Lights is a slow opener again, but this time we quickly move into an up-beat section, with orchestral elements. The music has strongly filmic aspects as well, and strangely enough this gives no problems with the monotonous beat.
While The City Sleeps opens with piano, and this is pretty much what you get. I mean there are some keyboard elements as well. but the semi-clasicalness of the piano is all-pervading. In the second half, we move more into the direction of people like Fonya, do it yourself progrock artists with a focus on keyboards. The longest tune is Rockall and is reserved for last. The track opens darkly, but soon mellow synths set in. The percussion is quite pronounced throughout, and overall the bombast is pervasive. The keyboard lines are not particularly likable though. I guess, the reference point here is Vangelis, although the melodies are less interesting.


Music For Keyboards is meant for those into electronic music. Most of the percussion is ‘live’ and not programmed. Boutrup tries to make everybody a bit happy, alternating between semi-classical, soundtracks, up-beat danceable electronics, but always quite melodious and accessible. The music does not really spark anywhere, and Boutrup did include some passages with tensions and drama, and fortunately it is never trite or overly easy, even though the iTunes classification categorizes it as Easy Listening.

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July 11th, 2006|

DPRP: Music for Keyboards – Review (NL)

The netherlands The Netherlands – Music For Keyboards

There seemed to be a period early last year (2005) when almost every release I reviewed fell under the broad umbrella of Ambient or Electronica based music. Since then these particular releases have been absent form my CD player, until now that is, and with the arrival of Lars Boutrup’s Music For Keyboards. The album title tells us much about the music with Lars Boutrop undertaking all manner of keyboard duties. His only allie is Fredrik Sunesen who supplies drums and assorted percussion.
Prior to this release the name of Lars Boutrup had totally eluded me, but reading through his biography it would appear that he has been writing and performing since the latter part of the 70s, and recording and releasing music from the late 80s onward – initially with Simcess, then a solitary album with Rasmus Lyberth in 1992, later followed by a string of releases during the 90s with Sing Sing. EPs and albums with Big Bang and Masquerade take us from the 90s into the 00s and finally to this release from 2005. His site also reveals a vast array of compositions written presumably as “screen music” and are listed in his Movie house tour section.

What is evident from an early stage is that Lars Boutrup is a keyboard player in his own right and that Music For Keyboards is not just the product of a imaginative mind, a PC and some clever music software. The compositions show not only a clear musical ability, but also an number of influences garnered from the classical, progressive, new age, and electronic spheres. It is also evident that Lars has listened to many keyboard players in his time. So along with those perhaps more obvious pointers of Vangelis and J M Jarre certainly Emerson and Moraz are noticeable. Add Tangerine Dream to the melting pot and perhaps a clearer picture might start to emerge.

The album had an immediate “ear prick” with the slowly rising chords of The Perfect Stranger – is this some sort of electronic version of Tarkus? These thoughts were soon dismissed. Agent Orange is a bouncy early Jarre-like track, the constant bass drum beat is accented by various percussion parts, adding movement to Boutrup’s string washes and multitude of synthy bass and lead lines. Infectious! Same applies to Northern Lights and to a certain degree to the closing piece, although maybe not quite as successfully.
What was perhaps not immediately apparent with Music For Keyboards was the strength of the writing, and that may have been more attributed to a certain degree of dismissiveness on my behalf, which I apologise for. The minimalist approach of While The City Sleeps was initially a “skip bye” track, however a more in depth analysis of the piece revealed some clever and interesting arranging going on underneath the piano.

The Day After, Flying In The Sky and Emersong (might be a little clue in there) are sprawling efforts, drifting effortlessly across the speakers, whereas Alla Gypsy is a jaunty tune with a very gypsy-like Eastern European melody.

Music For Keyboards was a grower for me. I can’t say that at first I was greatly enamoured by the music, but as I have returned to it over the last few weeks, for the purposes of reviewing it for DPRP, I have certainly warmed to much of the material.

Conclusion: 6 out of 10

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Reviewed by: Bob Mulvey

Link to DPRP & review

May 11th, 2006|

Vampster: Music for Keyboards – Review (DE)

German flag Germany – Music For Keyboards

Ein Azurhimmel mit Wolken, dazu die Aufschrift “Music for Keyboards” – da denke ich unweigerlich an die anbiedernde, beruhigende Musik, welche vor dem Take-Off durch die Flugzeugkabine wabert, um den Passagieren die Angst vor dem Fliegen zu nehmen und die nervigen Laute unangenehmer Zeitgenossen dezent in den Hintergrund verfrachtet. Und nach den ersten Minuten von LARS BOUTRUPs Oeuvre erweist sich der erste Eindruck des Covers als gar nicht so unangebracht – hier ist in der Tat Musik am Start, welche den Start angenehmer machen könnte.

LARS BOUTRUP schafft mittels Keyboards, Synths und Hammonds unaufdringliche Soundlandschaften. Diese sind mal leicht progressiv angehaucht (etwa “While The City Sleeps”) – aber nur ganz leicht, von Jens Johannsonschen Experimenten ist man weit entfernt – dann wieder etwas melancholisch à la AIR (“The Day After”). Manchmal driftet der Däne in gar Super Nintendo Gamesoundtrack-Landschaften ab und schafft etwas dudelige Kompositionen wie “Alla Gypsy”. Die Professionalität kann man den einzelnen Kreationen indes nicht ansprechen, Patzer leistet sich der Herr keine. Doch von der Atmosphäre her erreicht “Music for Keyboards” zu keiner Zeit die Dichte der Werke von JEAN-MICHEL JARRE und auch im Bereich der Filmsoundtracks gibt es fesselndere Alben.

Was bleibt ist beruhigende, angenehme Hintergrundmusik – geeignet für gepflegte Dinners mit den Schwiegereltern oder eben: die Zeit bevor man sich anschnallen und das Rauchen einstellen muss.

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Link to: Vampster & review

February 6th, 2006|

Arlequins: Music for Keyboards – Review (IT)

Italy flag Italy – Music For Keyboards

Nelle note promozionali allegate in questo cd la musica di Lars Boutrup è stata pomposamente presentata come “rock, classical music and movie drama”, tanto basta per giustificare un titolo che non lascia spazio per molte interpretazioni… “Lars Boutrup’s Music for Keyboards” è composto da una musica facilmente riconoscibile in un pop-rock sinfonico strumentale dai risultati alterni, coinvolgente, visionario ed allo stesso tempo mellifluo e non particolarmente originale, decorato da orpelli elettronici e new age, con qualche vaga ed irrisolta ambizione di musica ambient.

Il tastierista danese Lars Boutrup ha realizzato con questo album il suo primo disco solista, disco realizzato quasi in completa solitudine con l’aiuto del batterista Fredrik Sunesen alle percussioni: Lars Boutrup in realtà è in attività nel campo della musica da oltre una ventina di anni, con all’attivo un discreto numero di dischi realizzati attraverso diverse bands (Simecess, Rasmus Lyberth, Sing Sing, Big Bang, Evil Masquerade ecc…) ed anche un discreto successo di pubblico… evidentemente sazio del rock’n’roll, Boutrup ha deciso di dedicarsi con il suo “Music for Keyboards” alla musica strumentale e meditativa, ispirato probabilmente da maestri come Vangelis, Patrick Moraz e… Tony Banks.

La qualità artistica di questo cd è un po altalenante, Boutrup alterna composizioni piuttosto ispirate ed intense a momenti sin troppo prevedibili nel loro svolgimento ed anche un tantino kitch (ad esempio, la spensierata “Agent Orange”): la produzione limpida e pulita dei suoni gioca un punto a favore per “LB’s Musica for Keyboards”, le atmosfere evocate sono quelle dei grandi spazi incontaminati, una sensazione di illuminazione e rinascita spirituale, sensazioni ed atmosfere che si concentrano soprattutto nella parte finale di questo controverso cd.

Lars Boutrup sembra averci proprio lasciato il meglio delle sue capacità negli ultimi quattro brani di “Music for Keyboards”, in effetti l’imponente eleganza sinfonica di pezzi come “While the City Sleeps” o “Northern Lights” possono valere ben più di un ascolto… è lecito dunque aspettarsi da Boutrup ulteriori sviluppi e miglioramenti per un’eventuale seconda opera solista.

Giovanni Carta

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Link to Arlequins & review

January 18th, 2006|

Re-flexion: Music for Keyboards – Review (DE)

German flag Germany – Music For Keyboards

Hinter Music For Keyboards steckt der Keyboarder und Komponist Lars Boutrup, der in der Vergangenheit bereits mit Rock-, Film- und klassischer Musik auf sich Aufmerksam machte. Viele Veröffentlichungen gehen auf sein Konto. Music For Keyboards ist das erste Solo-Album des Künstlers. Beim Label Excess Records erschien Ende 2005 das instrumentale Werk.

Auf Music For Keyboards liefert uns Lars Boutrup neun elektronische Klanglandschaften, die von sphärischen Elementen begleitet werden. Die Reise führt durch unerforschte Winkel verschiedenster Universums. Das Auge gleitet rasant über die Wasseroberflächen der klarblauen Ozeane. Die Musik lebt wie die tierische und pflanzliche Artenvielfalt der Weltmeere. Ungezähmt reihen sich harmonische Sounds aneinander und verwandeln die Stücke in treibendes Gewässer voller Überraschungen.

Der Klangkünstler Lars Boutrup experimentiert mit den unterschiedlichsten Sounds und beweist, dass er die elektronische Technik voll beherrscht. Man spürt aus den Titeln heraus, dass Herr Boutrup bereits langjährige Erfahrungen und ein Gespür für gelungene Melodien hat. Er interpretiert in den neun instrumentalen Tracks spannende Bilder. Bilder, die ich mir gut in Filmen vorstellen kann. Die Musik ist bestens als Filmmusik geeignet und sicher auch dafür ausgelegt. Auch wenn eigene Bilder in meinem geistigen Auge entstehen, bräuchte ich zur Musik noch unterstützende Filmbilder, welche die Kraft der Songs unterstützten. Wer selber einen Eindruck von Music For Keyboards erhaschen möchte, sollte folgende Titel antesten: Agent Orange, Flying In The Sky und While The City Sleeps.

Die neun Kompositionen sind gut, aber leider auch nicht mehr. Zum Teil wirken die Songs zu verspielt und verschwinden schon bald wieder aus den Gehörgängen. Das einschlagende Erlebnis fehlt. Wer jedoch auf Künstler wie Jean Michel Jarre steht, sollte auf jeden Fall in das Werk Musik For Keyboards von Lars Boutrup hineinhören.

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December 2nd, 2005|

Tarkus: Music for Keyboards – Review (NO)

Norway flag Norway – Music For Keyboards

Musikk for keyboards, står det, og hva annet er det da å forklare? Lars Boutrup har komponert mye slags musikk (selv om pressemeldingen ikke gir konkrete eksempler), men dette er hans første soloalbum, og det er i grunnen ikke noe dårlig forsøk. Med bare trommer og tangenter har Boutrup produsert en rad med fengende instrumentaler som minner mer om post-Gabriel Genesis enn om Tangerine Dream. Innen progressiv tekno er dette ganske lettvinte saker, men passer bra hvis du ønsker å høre på noe behagelig og samtidig bittelite progressivt.

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Link to Tarkus PDF & review

November 8th, 2005|

Zeitgeist: Music for Keyboards – Review (UK)

UK flag United Kingdom – Music For Keyboards

And now, ladies and gentlemen, all the way from denmark, Europe – Mr Lars Boutrup! Which is a wholly inappropriate way of introducing this refined album of instrumental, prog electronica.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Lars has worked in the classical field and that of silent movie music as, at its best, there is a cinematic, sweeping feel to his sound.

It covers a wide range from the bouncy “Agent Orange” through the bombastic “The Day After” and into the album highlight, the organ heavy “Emersong” – yes, really. Nearly as good is the nine minute album closer, the portentous “Rockall”.

For fans of keyboard driven prog this should give much pleasure.

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October 7th, 2005|

Prog-Nose: Music for Keyboards – Review (BE)

Belgium flag Belgium – Music For Keyboards

The man behind this album is Danish keyboard player and composer Lars Boutrup. After years in the business with rock, silent movie music and classical music, Boutrup is now releasing his first solo effort. He clearly has a sense for cinematic drama, painting some grand opening sequences that lead to a few poignant melodies. Hes very much interested in reflecting on the elements of nature. The massive, thick keyboard sounds evoke in the listeners mind a sense of being part of this infinite universe. Not uncommon of Scandinavian musicians, Boutrup has succeeded in creating a soundtrack to our liberating experience of wide open spaces, with their lakes, mountains and fjords. Sometimes an Emersonian organ adds to the different climates. Thus the aptly titled Emersong reminds us of a major influence on Boutrups playing. There are moments of sheer fun too, such as the light-hearted Alla Gypsy. All is suitably supported by Fredrik Sunesens ponderous drums and assorted percussions. Amateurs of keyboard music with a good tune will enjoy this.

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September 3rd, 2005|

Rock Report: Music for Keyboards – Review (BE)

Belgium flag Belgium – Music For Keyboards

Lars Boutrup – Music For Keyboards s/t (Excess Records, 2005)

First solo album from this Danish keyboard player and composer, who is well up in rock music as well as in movie and classical music. Music For Keyboards counts nine dreamy instrumental pieces, mainly composed on keyboards, organ and synthesizers. Apart from drums and percussion, all instruments are played by the master himself. Dont expect heavy stuff, but comforting music you can play whenever youre in need for it.

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September 1st, 2005|

Encrucijada-Melodic: Music for Keyboards – Review (AR)

Argentina flag Argentina – Music For Keyboards

LARS BOUTRUP – Lars Boutrup’s Music for Keyboards – Ex’cess Records (2005)

La propuesta de LARS BOUTRUP no crea ninguna sorpresa si uno ve el título de esta obra. Es que en realidad es eso: Música para Teclados. Uno bien podría pensar de que se trata de un trabajo de músico destinado a músicos exclusivamente, pero no es así. El tecladista danés es un gran compositor que ha fusionado distintos géneros musicales como la música clásica y el rock, dando como resultado un particular estilo que tiene muchas similitudes con el género progresivo, en varios casos.

Lars se encarga prácticamente de todos los instrumentos (teclados, órganos, sintetizadores), excepto de las baterías y percusión, en este caso ejecutadas por Fredrik Sunesen. “Music for Keyboards” es una obra completamente instrumental y muy experimental, pero muy agradable y delicada para el oyente. La tapa de disco crea un interrogante: ¿Será este un trabajo más del movimiento New Age? Pero la respuesta surge instantaneamente al escuchar sus canciones. El trabajo de Lars está mucho más emparentado con las bandas de sonido de films y con la música clásica, que con el New Age.

Entonces, a partir de esto también se deduce que en varias oportunidades sobresales de esta placa muchos segmentos progresivos y rock. Canciones como “Agent orange”, “Northern lights” y “Rockall” confirman esas hipótesis. Mientras tanto, otros cortes como “The perfect stranger”, “While the city sleeps”, “The day after”, “Flying in the sky” tiene su cuota de música clásica. “Emersong” es rock 100% Progresivo, pero “Alla gypsy” resulta un frenético corte en el que Lars demuestra su velocidad para con los teclados. En definitiva, si te gusta el lado más experimental del Rock y sobre todo la música instrumental, vas a encontrarte con un trabajo de gran calidad.

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August 30th, 2005|

Metal Planet: Music for Keyboards – Review (DE)

German flag Germany – Music For Keyboards

Ein dänischer Musiker namens Lars Boutrup hat zusammen mit seinem Schlagzeug spielenden Kumpel Fredrik Sunesen ein Album voller Melodien zum Träumen aufgenommen. Wie der Titel der Scheibe schon verheißt, kredenzen uns die beiden Musiker keinerlei Klänge, die eventuell in Richtung Gitarrenmusik tendieren würden, sondern ausschließlich Kompositionen bei denen das Keyboard die tragende Rolle spielt (ja, danke, wir haben´s verstanden. Andi).

Diesbezüglich gerät man als Musiker und Komponist immer in Gefahr, dass die Chose im Endeffekt als Hintergrundberieselung für alle möglichen Situationen abgestempelt wird und der Hörer nicht die Leidenschaft des Komponisten nachempfinden kann. Leider wird wohl auch Lars Boutrup immer wieder mit den Begriffen „Fahrstuhlmusik“ oder dergleichen konfrontiert werden, wenn von „Music For Keyboards“ die Rede ist, obwohl man durchaus auch Passagen entdecken kann, die für reichlich Atmosphäre sorgen können. Immer wieder fühle ich mich an Jean Michel Jarre erinnert, mit dessen Klängen ich in meiner Jugend immer wieder konfrontiert wurde, für die ich mich aber auch nur bedingt begeistern konnte.

Bei allem Respekt vor der Fähigkeit eines Musikers wie Lars Boutrup, aber auf dieser Scheibe fehlt mir persönlich der Tiefgang und vor allem die „Seele“. Die Musik an sich klingt zwar ganz nett und ist auch unaufdringlich, rauscht jedoch fast ausschließlich an mir vorbei (vielleicht fährst Du zu wenig Fahrstuhl… Andi).

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August 28th, 2005|

Gaffa: Music for Keyboards – Review (DK)

Denmark flag Denmark – Music For Keyboards

Lars Boutrup var engang medlem af grupperne Simcess og Sing Sing og har siden blandt andet lavet en del soundtrack-arbejde, hvilket kan anes her på …Music For Keyboards. Pladen indeholder ni skæringer af Boutrup på keyboards, synthesizere og orgel og med trommer og percussion af Fredrik Sunesen. Når jeg lytter til albummet, føres jeg tilbage til 80’erne. Musikken lugter blandt andet af Jean Michel Jarre og Harold Faltermeyer og får én til at mindes eventyrfilm som The NeverEnding Story. Den er således på sin vis charmerende, men kun i meget små doser. Mens det er tydeligt, at Boutrup er en rutineret musiker, der skriver stemningsmættede numre, som ikke ville være dumme i soundtrack-regi, er lyden på …Music For Keyboards overdrevet kitschet og pompøs, og det er svært ikke at finde det småhumoristisk, når et totalt overgearet track som Agent Orange fylder højttalerne. Er man vild med kitschet instrumental keyboard-musik, bør man checke denne plade ud. Ellers er det bedst at lade være.

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Link to Gaffa & review

August 26th, 2005|

Artrock: Music for Keyboards – Review (SE)

Sweden flag Sweden – Music For Keyboards

Lars Boutrup en keyboard spelande herre som varit aktiv i såväl filmmusiken, den klassiska dito och rockmusik. Som exempelvis bandet Evil Masquerade på deras debutalbum Welcome To The Show år 2004 (pampig rock av klass J). Nu släpper han sitt första soloalbum och som titeln Music For Keyboards rör det sig om denna musik art. Till sin hjälp har han också Fredrik Sunesen på trummor.

Nio spår med en hel del olika karaktär, ändå går det inte att undgå en del jämförelser med legenden inom synt musiken, Jean-Michel Jarre han med den odödliga plattan Oxygen.

Ett sådant spår är den nästan nio minuter långa Rockall. Några av låtarna är lite mera åt det symfoniska hållet med en stor dos stämningsfulla partier. Emersong är just en sådan låt med en del tvära kast mellan ackorden, nästan som de progresiva rockgrupperna använder sig av. Att Lars har skrivit en hel del muik för stumfilmer kan man ana i de lekfulla Alla Gypsy.

Pianot får vara huvudinstrument i det mera klassiskt betonade stycket While The City Sleeps.

Keyboards dominerande plattor som denna kräver nog den rätta sinnestämningen för att riktigt uppskattas fullt ut. Till slölyssnande eller i vilande ställning, djupt försjunken i sina hörlurar passar den bäst. Det är nog så att tyngden i musiken saknas utan hela kittet av instrument, och ibland krävs nog även en del vokala ljud som grädden på moset, för att hålla intresset på topp.

Om man nu inte är en keyboard fantast vill säga!


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Conny M.

Link to Artrock & review

August 22nd, 2005|

Tempi Duri: Music for Keyboards – Review (IT)

Italy flag Italy – Music For Keyboards

Per farci un idea di questo cd i paragoni che potrei fare sono quelli che ci riportano indietro negli (non troppo però) quando un tastierista svizzero Patrick Moraz diede vita ad un progetto di questo assieme al batterista inglese Bill Bruford e l’esempio più fulgido di questa duo fu un album intitolato “Flags” che ricordo come un album estremamente legato a sonorità jazzistiche e progressive,ma con in più il fatto che il disco in questione era totalmente strumentale e dava una visione diversa su come si potesse concepire dell’ottima seppure con una struttura semplice,altro esempio e forse più vicino stiticamente parlando è stato il progetto messo su da Jordan Rudess tastierista dei Dream Theater il quale assieme a Rod Morgestein batteria che ricordiamo in seno ai Dixie Dregs prima ed ai Winger dopo.

Questo chiaramente a grandi linee in quanto la musica di Lars Boutrup ricorda molto di più alcune dei Tangerine Dream più recenti anche se con i dovuti limiti del caso anche perchè in alcuni momenti come ad esempio “the Day after”si avvicina a certa New Age elettronica ma in questa sede seguita con più gusto.

Inoltre c’è da dire una cosa molto importante su questo artista danese,infatti i più attenti tra o si ricorderanno la sua partecipazione come special al disco d’esordio dei metallers Evil Maqurade.mi direte ma che c’entra Boutrup col metal ? Domanda più che giusta,ma evidentemente Lars è un poliedrico ed un eclettico e con questo “Music For keyboards” da una lettura diversa di come si possa proporre dell’ottima musica;la conclusione dopo tutta questa elucubrazione, è che se siete abbastanza aperti mentalmente parlando riuscirete a trovare nuove sensazione da questo incredibile artista.

Stefano Bonelli

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August 18th, 2005|
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