Emmer's miscellaneous musical career, which encompasses free jazz, rock, electronic noise (he was a member of the Factory-signed band Minny Pops), and points outlying, is reflected in the startlingly diverse music on Recitement.
Way before Facebook took over, before Whatsapp and Twitter updates and global news every second, there was, once upon a time, MySpace. I was an avid member of it around 2007, as most musicians were at the time. I posted some music of my own on my profile page and one day I got a call from NYC, from a person who said he represented a well known music producer.
Dutch musician Stephen Emmer worked with the unique voice of Associates’ Billy Mackenzie on his 1982 imaginary soundtrack Vogue Estate.
Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory channels Scott Walker on Stephen Emmer’s darkly sumtuous, orchestral tribute to his late Associates bandmate Billy MacKenzie. As classy as a gleaming vintage Rolls. - About Untouchable, the single.
Once of the moderately missed Minny Pops and The Lotus Eaters, Stephen Emmer featured spoken-word interludes from Lou Reed and Richard Burton on one of his infrequent solo albums.
'The album is a set of lush, timeless songs, by which you can wish over and over again that they were sung by Scott Walker' -About International Blue
The Amsterdam native started his career in the ‘80s, releasing a solo album titled Never Share in 1982. He went on to spend time playing in such seminal new wave British bands as The Lotus Eaters and the Associates, before quietly returning to The Netherlands. There he found great success scoring Dutch TV programs and films. In 2008 he released Recitement which featured his music combined with spoken-word performances from artists like Richard Burton and Lou Reed, as well as the Dutch film actress Sylvia Kristel, among others. In 2009 he brought out Time to Face the Music.
With a 40-second opening that could almost be used to set the scene for a Hollywood blockbuster, the musical genius displayed on the instrumental for this track is something special.
'Untouchable' is a ballad, but whereas you may think of these types of songs being soppy and full of self-pity, this is one that manages to give the impression of being completely in control and possessing an immense amount of power.
“Fans of Lou Reed will be pleased he has undertaken a project with a degree of musical integrity again..”
“Ever wondered how Bowie’s low would have sounded if the Art Of Noise had produced it and recruited Richard Burton to do the vocals?”
“Imagine a walk through a gorgeous park and eavesdropping on different conversations....well, that’s exactly what this record conjures up”
“This enormous project amounts to a stylistic mass wedding, free from all rules”
“Spoken word combined with original music composition never sounded so good”
“Buy this for that condescending friend who is always bragging about having heard it all. I will make him listen and listen again (and shut him up as well).”
“Both the intelligent words and elegant music make a refreshing change from the scrappy guitars, vacant pop and clumpsy lyrics cluttering up the charts”
“Emmer here achieves the same super soft penetrating power of Air, yet mostly acoustic..”
“Recitement is both diverse and imaginative enough to pull even the most recalcitrant listener..”
“a supple mix of jazz, easy listening and filmmusic, soothing Kunst-Musik..”
Dutch musician and composer Stephen Emmer has enjoyed a successful career for over 50 years. His eclectic body of works spans a multitude of genres and professional incarnations; from working as a new wave artist in the 80s with the electronic/art band Minny Pops, to working on soundtracks for Dutch television companies. His last album Recitement featured spoken word pieces from the likes of Lou Reed, Sylvia Kristel, and others, set to his music. His latest project, the album International Blue, is a tribute to the late Billy Mackenzie of The Associates, and features the vocals of Glenn Gregory.
Dutch-born composer, former member of one-time Joy Division support the Minny Pops and ex-Associate and Lotus Eater Stephen Emmer brings together a collection of songs with special guests to show off the joys of crooning. Along with his guests vocalists, he is joined by other former Lotus Eaters and one-time Cure member Michael Dempsey while the album was produced and mixed by the legend that is Tony Visconti.
Acclaimed composer Stephen Emmer pays tribute to the pop crooner on latest effort “International Blue,” the long-gestating follow up to his 2008 spoken-word slab “Recitement.” The 10-track new album features powerful vocal contributions from Midge Ure (Ultravox), Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17), Liam McKahey (Cousteau) and Neil Crossley (Furlined). -About International Blue, the album.
What's the story? Dutch musician and composer Stephen Emmer released his first album, Vogue Estate back in 1982, working with the fantastic voice of Associates' Billy MacKenzie. However, it was fully 30 years before a follow-up emerged - Recitement, in 2008, a record which featured spoken word contributions from Lou Reed and Serge Gainsborough. -About International Blue, the album.
As soon as Untouchable kicks in, you realize it's a tribute to the late, great Billy Mackenzie, The Associates frontman who had a passion for majestic arrangements, sweeping string and big tunes. As a tribute, it's brilliant - and it should be, considering the talent behind it. - About Untouchable, the single.
International Blue comes with serious support. Produced by Tony Visconti, the album’s guest singers include Midge Ure, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory and Liam McKahey (Cousteau).
Stephen talks to Music Radar about his studio set up. "I like the room to have a hybrid vibe; analog and digital. My assistant Lau has a Masters degree in Sonology and can even program max deep patches, but also has the old-fashioned expertise of tonmeisterschaft."
2014 has seen Ure contribute to the orchestrated great adventure of ‘International Blue’, an album celebrating the art of the crooner. Assembled by Dutch composer Stephen Emmer, the album also features Ure’s old pal Glenn Gregory from Heaven 17.
Janice Long (BBC Radio 2) interviews Midge Ure about Taking Back My Time and Stephen Emmer International Blue collab.Listen
Tony Gillham from BBC Radio Jersey interviews Stephen Emmer about International Blue.Play Stephen Emmer Interview
With his new album Untouchable – a tribute to Billy Mackenzie of The Associates – sung by Heaven 17′s Glenn Gregory, pop crooners have clearly been on the mind of composer Stephen Emmer a lot recently.
Janice Long (BBC 2) interviews Glenn Gregory about Untouchable single collab with Stephen Emmer.Play Glenn Gregory Interview
De carrière is lang en divers. In 1979 maakte Stephen Emmer deel uit van Minny Pops, was even later medeoprichter van het blad Vinyl, maar verdiende daarna vooral de kost als componist van toegepaste muziek voor commercials en opdrachtgevers als de NOS en RTL. International Blue is pas zijn derde soloalbum, na Vogue Estate (1982) en Recitement (2007).
"Ik wil een nieuw avontuurlijk kleurenpalet. Ik creëer complexe suikertaarten. Ik stapel. Ook 'The Wall Of Sound' van Phil Spector was meer dan alleen veel lagen. Het geluid bezat gedetailleerdheid. Dat hoor je tegenwoordig te weinig."
De Nederlandse componist Stephen Emmer heeft op 7 juli zijn nieuwste album International Blue gelanceerd. Met dit album, waarop hij samenwerkte met Midge Ure, Glenn Gregory, Liam Mckahey en Neil Crossley, wil hij de luisteraar blijven verrassen. 'Ik wil dat mensen na een zesde keer een nummer te hebben geluisterd er nog steeds nieuwe dingen in ontdekken.'
De Nederlandse componist Stephen Emmer heeft op 7 juli zijn nieuwste album International Blue gelanceerd. Met dit album, waarop hij o.a. samenwerkte met Midge Ure en Glenn Gregory wil hij de luisteraar blijven verrassen. “Ik wil dat mensen na voor de zesde keer een nummer te hebben geluisterd er nog steeds nieuwe dingen in ontdekken.”
Elles de Bruin interviewt Stephen Emmer in 'Twee Dingen' bij Omroep MAX op NPO 1.
Quote : ‘The music on Recitement is wonderful..’
Tony Visconti talks about his collaboration with composer/arranger/musician Stephen Emmer and vocalists Glenn Gregory, Midge Ure, Liam Mckahey & Neil Crossley as well as about how he produced the International Blue album.Watch Video
Midge Ure talks about his involvement in 'International Blue' and 'Taking Back My Time'.Watch Video
Quote : 'Very impressive!'
'With International Blue he has topped himself, creating a gorgeously atmospheric soundscape of emotional music. This world needs more ambitious and visionary musicians like Stephen.'
Glenn Gregory from Heaven 17 talks about Stephen Emmer, Billy Mackenzie and his involvement in International Blue. Interview recorded during the IB album launch at Abbey Road Studios.Watch Video
Quote : 'I have listened to the album and it is extraordinarily beautiful. Truly transporting'
'This music is simultaneously lush and ominous, panoramic and intimate. In a much better world than this one, Emmer and Visconti would be creating the next generation of James Bond movie themes'
Quote : ‘This musical work by Stephen Emmer comes highly recommended.’
Quote : 'Luscious and beautiful'
Quote : ‘I can hear this as the next Bond Soundtrack’
Liam McKahey interview during the International Blue album presentation at Abbey Road. He talks about 'Blown Away', Stephen Emmer and how he got involved in the International Blue project, for which he wrote 3 beautiful songs.Watch Video
Quote : ‘Absolutely great’
Neil Crossley from Furlined talks about how he got involved in 'International Blue' and how 'Sleep for England' initially came together.Watch Video
Quote : "Stephen Emmer is one of those musicians/composers who knows the musical rules best and therefore also how to break them"
Quote : "Really love what I've heard so far. Great stuff!" [about Recitement]
Quote : "I love your album. The music is great" [about Recitement]
Quote : "I dig your music" [about Recitement]
Quote : "I like what you're doing a lot" [about Recitement]
Quote : “Wow, amazing!” [about Recitement]