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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Bochum Live 2011

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

We have here a poetic and cosmic Robert Schroeder who spreads all of his skill

1 Moderation (Concert Introduction) Hosted by Stefan Erbe 1:20

2 The Way to Cygnus A 14:20

3 Oscillation 12:40

4 Dreamland Prologue 4:40

5 Dreamland 7:35

6 Dreamland Epilogue 3:50

(CD 46:14) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, EDM)

BOCHUM LIVE 2011 was recorded as part of the ceremonies surrounding the prestigious Schallwelle Award gala. An intimate concert where only 250 spectators were invited to this invitation of the musician and designer of electronic music instruments who unveiled a new piece of equipment from his already well stocked arsenal. For the occasion, Robert Schroeder was assisted by drummer Gigi Frieg and, to everyone's surprise, by Bernd Kistenmacher for the Dreamland parts. An offering? Absolutely! Together, this one-night trio takes us on a journey into the musical world of Robert Schroeder, where the early impulses of Berlin School-style were on rendezvous, accompanied by the more contemporary and groovy approaches of the famous Aachen synthesist.

The stammering introduction of The Way to Cygnus A is heard in a silence as opaque as the void from which only a few weak coughs can be heard. With such an appealing title, one guesses what will follow, with reason and especially without disappointment. A dark wave emerges, tracing the sober floating linear movement of the legendary Galaxy Cygnus-A to which fine synth lines will hang, undulating and wavering among an astral choir and superb fluted breaths. Resonant streamers swirl around the suspended choirs, kicking off this marvelous sequence that has so lulled our dreams. The Way to Cygnus A takes off from an updated rhythm with good percussions that roll and hit a rhythm that has become groovy. A slightly jumping rhythm supported by a good bass line that wraps this minimalist sequence which grinds the hearing, like the sweetest of earworms, where the laments and strident twisted solos bring us back to the first cosmic premises of Galaxy Cygnus-A that undergoes here a whole musical restructuring. A temporal rendezvous where the synth solos are more biting and the rhythm more alive, in particular with this glockenspiel solo which reinforces the charm of this astonishing musical sculpture that time, nor the modifications manage to wear out. It's simply superb! Oscillation presents us with the best of Robert Schroeder's musical worlds and slips gently into the ashes of The Way to Cygnus A with a very similar sounding intro. The beat takes shape over thin pulses that beat at a good rate while being belted with the synth wails unique to Schroeder's metallic cosmic universe. The pace picks up with the arrival of keyboard riffs and more sustained percussions that is backed by tssitt-tssitt cymbals, embracing a fine soft techno vibe. The synth goes for some nice solos while the drums pound out a rhythm that takes a minimalist tangent and dancing keyboard chords add a melodic approach.

The universe is streaked with metallic stripes criss-crossing in a musical firmament that gradually takes refuge in the vapors of a cosmic universe where everything turns in slow motion. We are subjugated by voices which whisper in the sound effects of a title which becomes the meeting point between the very Californian sounds of Double Fantasy and the cosmic and poetic universe of Robert Schroeder. And slowly, Oscillation emerges from the cosmic limbo to re-embrace its bewitching opening rhythm, guiding the listener into the minimalist plains fed by delicate synth riffs. Dreamland Prologue transports us to the world of Klaus Schulze and his sultry Body Love's PTO. It's a superb track built on a flickering synth wave where delicate piano notes and synth solos entwine among shooting stars. A pure moment of cosmic philharmonic magic that intensifies in the jerky riffs of Dreamland. Riffs which stick to a movement of the sequencer supported by percussions which become hard hits of drums whereas the synths trumpet melodies, unifying the worlds of RS and Double Fantasy on a curious rhythm with Hawaiian essences. Superb and very original, Dreamland evolves on a rhythm weakened by the appearance of a piano which launches its melodious notes on a rhythm which twitches and jumps according to the strikes of a drum always so ferocious. Dreamland Epilogue closes this short concert where time has stopped with the morphic delicacy of its prologue where the quietude of the stars seems to have reached its paroxysm in this evening of March 12, 2011.

Like Robert told me so well; I will love BOCHUM LIVE 2011 because it is a beautiful musical journey. And I more than liked it, I loved it! It's a pity that there are these coughs which appear in the moments of quietude, bringing us back quickly to the reality. It's also a pity that there are too many long interventions by Stefan Erbe, otherwise BOCHUM LIVE 2011 would be a little masterpiece. We have here a poetic and cosmic Robert Schroeder who spreads all his talent on a music that bears his signature. If it is true that dreams do come true, mine would be to see this excellent album remade in studio, with the same musicians, bringing one more jewel in the treasure and the musical heritage of Robert Schroeder.

Sylvain Lupari (August 6th, 2011) *****

Available at news-music de

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