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ALAN CASE

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Alan Case biography
Alan CASE, born Ernst van der Kerkhof, is a multi-instrumentalist who's been making music since 1989. His material, similar to KAYAK and The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, is basically good symphonic pop: a mixture of straightforward rock songs, dreamy ballads and lots of melodious, catchy tunes - some of them with a decidedly proggy flavour. Sadly, his solo work was completely ignored by the music industry in his native Holland and he ended up with a Japanese label who released several of his songs on compilation albums.

The two albums credited to his name ("Wide Awake" and "Dark Matter") are actually one and the same, only the second contains three extra tracks. CASE surrounds himself with 7 musicians and shares the vocals with three other vocalists. Although most of the 16 tracks on "Dark Matter" are short, their quality is undeniable. However, the album also contains an epic 11-minute song featuring an impressive variety of tempo changes, complex passages, elegant arrangements and absolutely beautiful melodies. The production is very good and the only flaw may be the sound of the drums, which come out a bit flat at times.

Recommended for some fine melodious neo-prog.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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ALAN CASE discography


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ALAN CASE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 4 ratings
Wide Awake
1997
3.64 | 8 ratings
Dark Matter
1999

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ALAN CASE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dark Matter by CASE, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.64 | 8 ratings

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Dark Matter
Alan Case Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Dutch musician Ernst van der Kerkhof known in musical scene as Alan Case was part of the dutch band Dilemma in the early '90s when decided to go solo and manageing to release two albums, or better said only one because his first album Wide awake is same album with his next Dark matter but only the second one has some bonuses added. Dark Matter was issued in 1999 and gone unnoticed then as now. Hmm, many pretend to be an excellent melodic neo prog album with some AOR elements thrown in, well, is good for sure but nothing is colose to greatness here. The pieces are short melodic in aproach, symphonic/neo combined with pop catchy parts something between Alan Parson Project, Toto, Asia with Pendragon for example. 3 vocalist are present here, all done an ok job, the best tune is Fast Asleep, an 11 min piece with nice intresting parts, maybe the best tune of the album, also are few more that caught my attention, the opening I Wonder Why and one more. All in all a decent release, nothing more, nothing less, is ok for those whoa re more into melodic neo prog. 3 stars.

 Dark Matter by CASE, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.64 | 8 ratings

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Dark Matter
Alan Case Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Dutch musician Ernst van de Kerkhof, born in 1964, was involved is several projects since the late-80's under the guidance of guitarist Eddy Bopp, member of the Hard Rock band Vandale.They formed together the short-lived group Mystix, that split up in 1992, and the next year van de Kerkhof participated in the Eurovision contest, representing Holland.1995 sees him in the line-up of Dilemma, recording the ''Imbroccata'' album, then a couple of years later he released his solo work ''Wide awake'', surprisingly offered by the Japanese label Avalon.Two years later the same album was re-released with three bonus tracks under the title ''The dark matter'', featuring Bopp, Mystix'es singer Debby Nagi and several other guest musicians.

I admit that the first listening led to the false results of a mediocre album, because after several spin ''The dark matter'' prooves to be a really superb album with excellent songwriting and series of impressive, beautiful melodies.Basically the style is a mix of AOR and Neo Prog with a few ballads thrown in for good measure, but the most surprising fact is that I can find a striking weak moment in this album, despite the obvious commercial vibes.Several tracks could easily end up in a BOSTON or TOTO album, being delicate, melodic and pompous AOR compositions, but even these have something to offer: a Classical-inspired interlude, a great acoustic crescendo or simply an outstanding chorus full of emotion.Other tracks are closer to the sound of PALLAS, TRISTAN PARK or even GENESIS, led by full-blown synthesizers, melodic guitar lines, a few symphonic vibrations and tremendous vocal parts, placed mainly in the second half of the CD, like the great ''Nighteye'' or the long and melodic ''Fast asleep'' with the PENDRAGON-influenced bombastic keyboards.The few ballads appearing here and there are absolutely great, far from the cheesy songs offered by other bands, featuring sensitive vocals, multi-vocal lines and dreamy arrangements.

Since the release of this album, the traces of this man have been unfortunately lost and it seems this album will be his sole document that has been left behind.But do yourself a favor and track this down, because it is one of the greatest examples of well-crafted, accesible but also highly artistic Progressive/Symphonic/Pop Rock.Highly recommended.

 Dark Matter by CASE, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.64 | 8 ratings

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Dark Matter
Alan Case Neo-Prog

Review by robertlandrum

4 stars Alan Case (born Ernst van de Kerkhof) is someone who deserves more praise in the Dutch music community than he gets. He's received positive reviews for his music in such publications as Wonderous Stories (UK) and The Progressive (US). While he describes his musical style as Progressive, it's a little more pop. Still, his songwriting is first rate and Dark Matter is the culmination of years of work. Get the CD. You won't be disapointed.
 Wide Awake by CASE, ALAN album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Wide Awake
Alan Case Neo-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a Japanese copy of an album with a Dutch artist, who has been around since 1989 in different projects. His real name is Ernst van der Kerkhof, and Alan Case is only a pseudonym. Alan CASE handles some of the vocals himself together with four other vocalists. Sometimes the vocalist sounds like Paddy McAloon (PREFAB SPROUT) and Michael Hutchence (INXS). Mainly Alan is a great keyboard player and a good songwriter.

In Alan's music you can hear influences from seventies prog bands and pop. He grew up listening to The BEATLES, QUEEN, LED ZEPPELIN, and DEEP PURPLE. Later he began listening to GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, KANSAS, RUSH, YES and classical music like Bach and Mozart. The album contains commercial progressive pop/rock. Sometimes the music is a little more progressive with tempo changes and complex passages. The music could be compared to many various artists. Besides the aforementioned bands there's also traces of CAMEL, Jeff CANNATA, GENESIS, JETHRO TULL, MARILLION, MEAT LOAF, MOODY BLUES, Alan PARSONS PROJECT, SUPERTRAMP and YES.

Alan is playing keyboards, acoustic guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. To his help he's got some fine musicians to accompany him. He's keyboard-playing sounds influenced by Keith EMERSON and Rick WAKEMAN. But then again, which progressive keyboard player doesn't those two influences?

The best songs are "Fast Asleep" (the albums most progressive tune and a tribute to KANSAS) and "Wide Awake" (an instrumental track). This is a really good album even though you could criticise that it's to pop oriented. Looking back at 1997 this CD is one of the highlights that year. So I suggest you to go get a copy right now.

Thanks to Eric Walker for the artist addition.

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