• Sylvain Lupari

FOOD FOR FANTASY: Cool Vibes (2013)

Updated: Sep 7

The strength of Cool Vibes is 9 structures splendidly decorated by a musical fauna as unique as invigorating

1 Cool Vibes 8:42

2 Sundawn 7:46

3 Dream Exhauster 4:42

4 Timeshifting Area 8:31

5 Present Views 6:40

6 Eschnapur 8:32

7 GuitarMotion 5:28

8 Electron Dust 8:24

9 Magic Keys 8:05

NEWS-CD-11.215

(CD 67:03) (V.F.)

(Techno synth-pop New Berlin School)

The rhythm is soft. Decorated with a synth with tones of a cosmic and dreamy guitar which scatters its solos floating over the light frictions drum rolls, the album COOL VIBES infiltrates our ears with a wind of freshness. A Californian wind so dear to the wandering structures of its ancestor, Double Fantasy, where the funky/groove metamorphoses subtly for a more drum'n'bass rhythm, embracing, while passing by, the pads of sunny trumpets. The sequences invite themselves into this dance which floats like a dream while quietly Cool Vibes is bitten by more incisive riffs and is tortured by shriller synth solos, depicting marvellously the duality which tears constantly in two the synthesist of Aachen in his project in parallel to his solo career. Eclectic, Robert Schroeder's musical world revolves around his fantasies which also take shapes around his instruments' designs. Destabilizing constantly his fans with approaches which oscillate between pure Berlin School, funky/groove beats or some lascivious down-tempos, Schroeder aims straight to the point with his Food for Fantasy project and this COOL VIBES. The 9 tracks here shine with this Californian freshness where the guitar is the master of its cosmic inspirations when it's not downright some kind of rock'n'groove. Except that Schroeder has decided to draw the line and end Food for Fantasy which after 6 albums, among which two under the name of Double Fantasy, leave a musical will more interesting than we think.

The delicate structures which dream about the sun furnish the repertoire of Food for Fantasy. After a first track with a rhythm in constant motion, Sundawn melts in the ear of its soft rhythm with a guitar which sings under a sunset by trying to join stars. Riffs of electronic guitar scratch a melody which vanishes into silky pads of mist while the tempo buzzes of its laconic pulsations. Those who know Robert Schroeder know at which point he is so meticulous. To which point he likes to adorn his structures of parallel melodies, of which the harmonies revolve on cosmic dusts, and of lost riffs which have nothing to do with those melodies as well as to strengthen his increasing rhythms by hijacking them, the time to say phew, from their original axes to get rid of the slowness and switch to more invigorated structures. Hammered percussions, sequences which make of leapfrog and riffs which clean up the ears, Dream Exhauster spits in our loudspeakers a structure of rock which hangs onto the drum and its technoïd drives. The rhythm is very Teutonic, a little like Bowie in Berlin dance period, with howling riffs of electronic guitar which manages all the same to scatter some beautiful floating solos.

The guitar, or sort of, played by Robert Schroeder himself, is omnipresent here. If she floats of its soloing chords on the very ambient Berlin School Timeshifting Area ,doubtless the most appealing track with these sequences doing rodeo kicks in fine spirals, she tears up the ambiences in Present Views whose transforming structure is similar to Sundawn. Eschnapur is a good synth-pop which tries to get rid of a technoïd grip and of its banging of hands which resound through sequences swirling into fine syncopated spiral. Between the rhythm, sometimes tribal, and the morphic ambiences, Eschnapur explains itself the continual enrichments that Robert Schroeder puts into each of his tracks. There is nothing routine in COOL VIBES and everything is in perpetual movement. Even the slow rhythm of GuitarMotion, a cosmic melody which is inspired by Manuel Göttsching's play, and the very cosmic Electron Dust of which the slow introduction eventually ends to be harpooned by a timid techno wrapped by floating pads and solos. Magic Keys ends the adventure of cosmic rhythms with this guitar which has an ascendency on all this whole testamentary work from Food For Fantasy. The rhythm is soft and caresses our ears as Cool Vibes did in the opening.

For several fans of progressive electronic music style or Berlin School, Food for Fantasy is the antithesis of this movement which feeds on more experimental structures and improvisations centered on mathematical approaches. It's an album of synth-pop or early EDM if you want which makes the most of what comes along in all styles that Kraftwerk splendidly concocted with its Man Machine. We regret the evasive approaches of the duet of origin, Double Fantasy, on the very brilliant Universal Ave. On the other hand, give to Robert Schroeder what is due to him; the man is an ingenious composer and an excellent designer of sounds and of new equipment, instruments which make more than gild a style became anemic over the years. He injects within his structures, in solo and as well with Food for Fantasy, a personal touch that we will recognize between one thousand and more sonic elements which attract the hearing. And it's the strength of COOL VIBES which offers 9 structures splendidly decorated by a musical fauna as unique as invigorating where each composition stretches into rhythmic spasms and morphic phases as much unexpected as wished.

Sylvain Lupari (July 18th, 2013) ***½**

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