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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: C'est Magique (2020)

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

C'est Magique is pleasantly balanced in order to make us live a superb 60 minutes of musical ecstasy which comes to us from another planet

1 C'est Magique 12:05

2 Magnetic Streams 9:04

3 Spiritual Spice 8:11

4 Misterious Science 4:38

5 Black Magic 5:09

6 Mystic Dawn 7:13

7 Glowing Energy 5:55

8 Secret Elements 7:38

(CD 60:00) (V.F.)

(EDM & Berlin School)

Ah, this Robert Schroeder! This magnificent chameleon in the realm of EM, who celebrates his 40 years of career, saw the title of the best EM album last year slip through his fingers in favor of Iconic by Danger In Dream. He returns even more in strength with a very serious option for the album of 2020. In a new sound environment, which follows the ideas and the traces of Fata Morgana, C'EST MAGIQUE offers another palette of sounds of incredible richness in an assortment of EDM rhythms where the ambiences of the Berlin School are nourished by addictive tonal grains and innovative dance rhythms from new planets around. The structure of electronic percussions on this album bursts of liveliness with so much resemblance to the acoustic drums, especially at the level of manual percussions, that I hooked to dance hymns without any hesitation. Apart from these percussions, the sound fauna is extremely rich which it is impossible to describe without forgetting 90% of its impact. A little more advanced than in Fata Morgana, it captivates rhythms that sometimes even reach the nirvana of frenzy. Robert immerses us in spheres of dance that flirt with floating dance, like tribal hymns without forgetting rock and a few rare intrusions into the universe of sequenced rhythms and especially in dances of the future. The synth solos are breathtaking and weave this link that unites the Berlin School to this EDM side widely used here. As much as Fata Morgana has been powerful, so much this album is with a notch higher due to this enchanting musical panorama which is sewn in complexity and where everything gets unstitch in a fascinating musicality. And always keeping this emotional bond that unites the contemporaneity of his works with the Berlin School, Robert Schroeder delivers in C'EST MAGIQUE a splendid album which infiltrates this Top 5 of his best albums since his rebirth in 2005.

It's in limbo that a cold synth blade is born. Like a switch that is set to ON, it radiates the listening room, as much physical as virtual, with a languid breath of a saxophone along the addition of a rather suggestive female voice whispering C'est Magique. A musical veil is woven before our ears with a synth line which takes the ascendancy over these ambiences by multiplying the complaints of a sharp steel tone which wander aimlessly in an orchestral mist that we already know, to have heard it so often in these ambient moments from Robert Schroeder. We hear C'est Magique a second time and this saxophonist with a soul of blues returns to haunt our nostalgia with beautiful soft solos floating in this invasive mist became a bench of melodious orchestrations which roll like these astral waves in the grandeur of the cosmos. We hear muffled knocks while less discreet percussions are not afraid to sculpt a good down-tempo. The percussive and guitar effects give a very melancholic dimension to this track which constantly loses its rhythmic orientations. We arrive in a short phase of distraction, around 7:30 minutes, where the synth whines with these slow tortuous movements of a cello. Subsequently, C'est Magique advances with a new vision, a new musical skin. The percussions beat in layers of orchestrations too slow for them, too slow for this lively but static rhythm which accepts this new loads of keyboard and piano chords while very slowly we overflow towards the opening of Magnetic Streams. The flow of its sound waves is like a circle of reverberations whose broad rays animate a tonal flora filled of organic rustles, breezes and synth tunes that can easily be confused with a dialogue between extraterrestrials. We don't really waste our time procrastinating about this probability that the rhythm is already hooked with tap dancing whose articulated flow brings out real percussions that dance the tap dance in a figure of animated rhythm. The structure can bring up memories of Tangerine Dream in the last phase of the title Poland, from the eponymous album. It's a good electronic rock that thrills in a dense ambient structure that literally gives room for percussion and sequences that spasm in symbiosis in a superb moment that gives us a splendid 21 minutes of EM filled with the pure genius of Robert Schroeder. The synth solos always have the air of a slightly drunk saxophonist singing on musical textures of an enchanting universe while sequences and percussions accelerate the flow, in accordance with a contemporary vision of electronic rock from this famous Poland.

In an introduction fed by the poignant textures of Solar Fields, Spiritual Spice evolves in a good psybient universe with synth blades, as well as good percussion and percussive effects, which give us chills to the soul. Originally ambient, the musical texture travels to the heart of the chills and emotions in a nice slow-tempo which is eyeing more the intensity of the arrangements than of its rhythm. The finale is caught up in dark breezes and drift towards Misterious Science. This other down-tempo slowly arises from an ambient opening animated by layers of jerky violins which camouflage the emerging rhythm with the complicity of beautiful lunar synth solos. Mystic Dawn infiltrates our ears with percussive effects slamming in a mist of metallic particles that covers an abundant musical virgin forest where the tones are just waiting to be assembled to create ambiences like rhythms. The sound cascades pour out in reverberating noises where fine streaks let pass a virgin choir. Manual percussion strikes with clarity. Stimulating a bass line, they forge a cosmic Blues with saxophone solos that charm a lascivious rhythm. Glowing Energy is a more energetic track with a slightly Acid House Chill Out where these arpeggios gurgling with spasms parade in a structure of progressive Breakdance copiously sprinkled by Mexican solos. The extra-sensory noise is equivalent to the brutality of the rhythm, even with these chthonian choirs, which becomes a real dance anthem for psychopaths in the second half of its 6 minutes. Secret Elements ends C'EST MAGIQUE with strength. The rhythm settles slowly with good percussion which are weavers of rock visions, in the same way as the guitar loops which roll with a slight difference in tones. But we are in a good electronic rock with good percussive effects and sparrow's shouts to whom lack a vocal cord. The rhythm is catchy, and the drum explosions make it even more manly without ever overflowing. We fall into a short phase where the song of a saw cuts this rhythm which always comes back as strong, like these rhythms which are the dynamite of a flawless album. Sometimes when it's too much, it's too much! But here, everything is pleasantly balanced in order to make us live a superb 60 minutes of musical ecstasy which comes to us from another planet. Excellent Robert Schroeder!

Sylvain Lupari (April 26th, 2020) *****

Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby

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