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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Ambient Occlusion (2016)

Ambient Occlusion follows the path of Dream Access but in a more experimental sound envelope

1 Palpitation 8:52 2 Gravity 6:37 3 Rigid Body World 8:20 4 Ambient Occlusion 9:19 5 Motion Blur 5:49 6 Operating Systems 10:19 7 Live in Harmony 6:51 8 Meditation 6:00 9 Something Happened 6:53 Spheric Music ‎| SMCD 2035

(CD 69:00) (V.F.) (Modern Berlin School)

We like or not Robert Schroeder! We cannot be between both because his universe is very stylized and sometimes rather difficult to tame, so much the quest for sounds is the essence which gives the go to write music. And AMBIENT OCCLUSION is no exception. A little more experimental at the level of sounds, but not too much to bother whoever it is, than Dream Access, this last album of Aachen's magician offers another panoply of the styles which marked out his music since his comeback in 2005, but in a sound envelope always so spicy. Always in search of renewal.

And we get this as soon as the first ambiospherical movements of Palpitation. Arpeggios roam weakly in luxuriant layers from synths which multiply their effects and their colors between those of the cerebral sedation and the hearing curiosity. The turbulence of sounds explodes by fragments, surprising and fooling the senses. And like Schroeder's usual signature, fragments of melodies get loose from the atmospheres to roam as these unfinished rhythms which arise from psychedeli-cosmic ambiences of who we owe the wonderful Paradise and Harmonic Ascendant. And moreover, it is a little bit at that era that Robert Schroeder leads us with Gravity and his introduction filled with dialogues extraterrestrial. The echoes of the knockings of the machines spread an effect of a reverberating rhythm behind a heavy electronic curtain. The main structure of rhythm is sat on a game of percussions to tones as ill-assorted as the convoluted pace. The synth is not outdone and shapes some sweet floating harmonies which crawl such as vampiric shadows on this structure which dives, for a short moment, in a nice multi-sonic immersion. It's the very first favorite here. Rigid Body World is a little bit in the same style, but with more melodious elements. A wonderful sound brook makes wave and sparkling its prisms made of beautiful crystal-clear sequences. Perturbed by brief explosions and caressed by the airs of a lunar saxophone, this structure of rhythm, more seraphic than lively, gets loose to undulate in solo or teams up with quicker elements to swing between an ambient phase and in an up-tempo filled of ambiences as so charming than striking. The title-track is the 2nd pinching to the soul. A delicious line of bass sets up a soft structure which winds a wall of sound elements of all kind. We are in the jungle, as in the cosmos. Knockings and sequences crumble shadows and percussive effects in what looks like these old soft and lascivious rocks of the 70's. Little by little Ambient Occlusion gets loose from its intro deliciously borrowed to this psychedelic rock of that era in order to sneak in a phase of cosmic Groove which is haloed of glaucous voices effects and by beautiful effects of the analog years.

Decorated with similar elements, but less psychotronic, Motion Blur offers a fluid nice Chill Out with a good play of bass sequences and of sober percussions. With its thick cloud of melodious stars, its cosmic effects, its astral choirs and its solos forged of organic elements, the synth has the look of an intergalactic beast. Smooth and aerial! Operating Systems is a long title which crumbles its fragments of rhythms in a universe of sound experimentation with atmospheres which flirt between a very floating Berlin School and an anesthetic Chill Out. Here, the ears dominate the senses! Live in Harmony is my best time in this album. A kind of title which comes from nowhere with a livened up, a little bit jerky, rhythm built around a great movement of sequences which broaden their stroboscopic luminosities and the percussions borrowed from the hymns of Chill Out dances. OK, the voices articulated roughly can disturb! But the effect of light dance which the rhythm offers, the musicality and the contrasting harmonies of this structure of rhythm reaches an inconceivable symbiosis. Then imagine with the effects, the implosions a bit dramatic and the cosmic layers ... A delight! After a Meditation which has exactly the texture of its naming, but in a sound universe always so sought, Something Happened ends AMBIENT OCCLUSION with a structure of up-tempo slowly anesthetized by lush layers and effects of voices in a sound dimension multiplied tenfold by this desire to go farther and even farther from Robert Schroeder. Another very good album!

Sylvain Lupari (July 23rd, 2016) *** ½**

Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby

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