ROBERT SCHROEDER: D.MO Vol. 3 (2012)
Updated: Aug 16, 2020
“It’s by listening to D. MO Vol. 3 that we seize all of Robert Schroeder's impact on the evolution of EM”
1 The Meaning of Time (1982) 6:09
2 Soft and Lovely (1983) 4:00
3 Wonderland (1981) 5:18
4 Passing Landscapes (1986) 5:40
5 Santo Domingo (1988) 7:59
6 Higher Than High (1989) 6:24
7 DreamSpacer (1991) 7:34
8 Met Mr. Miller (1989) 5:35
9 Emotional (1989) 10:27
10 Tragedian of Love (1989) 4:43
Spheric Music : SMCD2026
(CD 63:42) (V.F.)
(A mix of Modern and Vintage Berlin School)
Here is another rendezvous with time that the fans of Robert Schroeder are always expecting with impatience. From Paradise to Driftin', D. MO Vol. 3 overflies an era where Robert Schroeder was looking to perfect some new sound textures on his robotic rhythms. Symmetric rhythms well arched on hybrid sequences which mix their rhythms with percussions to tones as much of lead as silk. Melodies! They always flow with this harmonious ease into stunning innovative sound paintings. Avant-gardist, the synthesist of Aachen has always looked to exploit the maximal capacities of his synths and sequencers with a marigold of the detail for his rhythmic and melodious structures. If his musical visions tended to get away from the roots of pure Berlin School, he implanted on the other hand a new dimension to EM which was going to facilitate the emergence of a cloud of new comers in the mid 80’s. D. MO Vol. 3 is the front door into this universe that the purists have sulked at that time and who gradually start to enjoy by the music of artists exactly influenced by the approach of this precursor of rhythms and sequences. It’s like being in the entrance hall after having taken the back door.
Nostalgic, the meditative intro of The Meaning of Time shakes its musing with percussions of which the light hopping strikings frame twisted reverberations to let filter a soft lunar lullaby which sometimes croons in our head and sometimes roams in a cosmos streaked by galactic gases. Supple, the melodious The Meaning of Time wins in intensity, calling back all the harmonious dimension of Robert Schroeder's first works. Soft and Lovely is a short entrance into the floating and cosmic spheres of the analog years with its synth layers which coil and copulate beneath tones of stars dusts and breaths of cosmic choirs. After a slow departure with soft percussions which beat under a cloud of synth waves muddled up in their syncretic tones, the morphic rhythm of Wonderland is increasing gradually. Kind of tribal percussions resound as tams-tams from islands in the South while an odd quivering bass line hiccups and erodes a funky rhythm which bends under thunders of percussions and thunderstorm of synth solos. A synth which exploits totally all of its sound and intuitive capacities and where choirs, resounding effects, clouds of ices and juicy solos are covering an indecisive rhythm. Passing Landscapes is a beautiful electronic melody built on a light rhythm, slamming percussions and a synth with a catchy harmonious tune. Pleasant, the synth throws a balm of jazz with a melancholic approach which smiles from the corner of the eye. With its bongo drums style percussions which sparkle of a Latinos rhythm, Santo Domingo is a lively melody closer to the groovy rhythms of Double Fantasy than of Robert Schroeder's repertoire. The keyboard draws chords to guitar sounds textures, while the synth subdivides its harmonic elements with nice solos which are mixing to the gases of mists and to cosmic choirs.
Notes of guitar wander in the cosmic tranquillity. They introduce slowly Higher Than High which energises to the sound of the silvery cymbals. On a slow and furtive rhythm, it progresses of a minimalist procession on the sound of three sequence chords which return in loops under a sky obscured by waving solos of which the shrill twists roam under passive choirs. The cymbals slam and the percussions pound, witness of the rhythmic instability of Higher Than High which will break its automated mould to espouse the heavy strikings of percussions and the rhythm a little dislocated which they shape by means of waddling sequences under this sky burning of musical rays. Although written in 1991, DreamSpacer is the title which is the most closer to the ambiances of Galaxy Cygnus-A' s era with its sequences of peak-wood kind which are pulsing like starving suckers. The rhythm is fluid and surrounded by this envelope as much chthonian as cosmic where shadows, waves and voices roam in an intersidereal nothingness before embracing a chaotic phase where it cackles while tuning with a harmonious refrain. After a melodious and catchy Met Mr Miller, Emotional hooks our hearing as only Schroeder knows how to make it. A fine wave of organ opens an intro which some waddling sequences are rocking of an innocent approach. Percussions support these sequences. Percussions which subdivide their tones, borrowing ringing of threatening glasses and speaking glasses, when they don’t fall very hard on a languishing hypnotic tempo which crawls on the undulations of an organ to tones of psychedelic years. And the bongo drums percussions fall, over sizing the rhythmic approach of Emotional which is weave in a superb pattern of percussions, drum and sequences which are not without reminding me Tangerine Dream and Bus Station on Near Dark. The keyboard frees a series of five chords which roll in loops like notes of a guitar with a cold while the synth with tones of organ is muting into a spectral guitar, pouring an enchanting melody which wraps the hearing of a strange psychedelicosmic aura. Tragedian of Love ends this journey into the spheres of temporal forgetting with a rather funky rhythmic approach where synths borrow tones of trumpets.
It’s by listening to D. MO Vol. 3 that we seize all of Robert Schroeder's impact on the evolution of EM. The synthesist of Aachen always refused to flood his creativity of a castrating approach, from where his tendency for the research and development of new equipments and the innovative tones. If it’s true that his style can sometimes destabilize one has to see, and especially to hear, beyond stereotypes in order to seize all the dimension of this character which is capable, of a simple snap of the fingers, of carrying us between the oneiric spheres of Berlin School and the rhythms of fire of a wild EM, molded in sequences and percussions which leave indelible tracks in our ears.
Sylvain Lupari (March 10th, 2012) ***½**
Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby