Van Bogaert, Frank - Docking

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Groove Unlimited
Catalog Number: GR-043
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:45:00

This Belgian composer started out as the lead singer with Belgium's answer to the Human League: 1000 Ohm. He continued with his interest in synthesizers and bought the famous Ace Studios in order to fully concentrate on music and production. The last couple of years he has released Colours and Geographic, albums which have been welcomed with open arms by synth purists. In April 2000 Frank received three Schwingungen Awards in Germany: one for best artist, one for best CD and one for best title!

The use of the colourful sounds together with his approach to production has us referring to Frank Van Bogaert as the twin brother of the big Vangelis. Frank Van Gelis? It's not because Frank owns his own recording studio that his albums are a demonstration of what is available, and possible, at his studio. Of course it's great promotion if one can deliver an album which has the strength of Docking, his latest effort. The album opens with the title track that has Vangelis written all over it, especially where the majestic soundscapes are concerned. Whilst Frank had already introduced little bits and pieces of world music on his album Geographic, he does it again here, yet very sparsely, such as the slight Eastern feel contained in "The Drift," done by means of what sounds to me like a koto, but could well be Vollenweider's harp. The exploration of the world accents goes one further as tin whistle introduces "Home By The Sea," whilst percussion leads us yet again to the shores of Vangelis!

"Where Tthe Stars Shine Bright" has a repetitive piano pattern, kind of in the same minimalistic way as that of Wim Mertens. "Guitars" is the self-describing demonstration of some of the best guitar samples Frank could lay his hands on, resulting in an uptempo Al Di Meola like showpiece. To prog lovers "Churches" will sound the most interesting because it comes close to Pink Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine." Well, that's before the percussion sets in anyway, because from then on the song leads a life of its own, containing snippets of Deep Forest, Enigma, and other Adiemus influences. The same kind of adoration for the native spirit continues in "Hymn." The rhythm for "Landfall" goes very tribal, making this album sound different than the average "cosmic" record. Once more Wim Mertens comes to visit (not in person but in style!) during "Beauty" when brittle piano dances with lush symphonic orchestrations. Docking closes with "Epilogue," which kind of analyzes the powerful symphonic textures apparent in Vangelis' music.

Not bad for a "tiny" Belgian to be compared with the big maestro himself, but then again Frank Van Bogaert is not your everyday "synth-guy." Knowing his solo albums come together when all of the other studio work is finished, I wonder what this guy would be capable of should he have the privilege to devote all of his time to composing and recording his own stuff. About time you started to check this guy out!

For those who want to know a little more about the equipment used :


  • Access Virus B (recently added - hasn't been used on previous albums)
  • EMU Vintage Keys (often used on all albums)
  • Korg Mono/poly (used for sequencing and Fx)
  • Korg M1 (mostly used as background strings )
  • Oberheim matrix 1000 (used for sequencing)
  • Roland SH2 (a lot in use for special sweep Fx )
  • Roland Juno106 (used almost on every track)
  • Roland D50 (most of the time it's just gathering dust)
  • Roland P 330 (only used for pilot piano parts or so)
  • Roland A80 (master keyboard)
  • Yamaha CS5 (used a lot as lead synth)
  • Yamaha CS70 (this is really the best synth in my collection-lovely machine !)
  • Yamaha SY77 (very often used for pads,brass and weird fx)


  • EMU E-synth (128 Mb) (Workhorse for acoustic sounds)
  • Akai S3000 (20 Mb) (loops and percussion)
  • Akai CD3000 (16Mb) (loops and percussion)

Want to hear more then surf to where you can find three tracks from this album under the catalogue number GR-043 and three tracks from his previous offering Geographic under catalogue number GR-024. Enjoy !

Docking (8:26) / The Drift (6:28) / Home By The Sea (6:54) / A State Of Mind (7:10) / Where The Stars Shine Bright (3:25) / Guitars (5:36) / Churches (6:18) / Hymn (4:37) / Landfal (5:05) / Beauty (4:00) / Epilogue (3:06)

Frank Van Bogaert - everything

Docking (2000)

Genre: Electronic

Origin BE

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 930
Language: english


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