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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Dream Access (2015)

This is indisputably one of the best albums from Robert Schroeder since a long time. And when one thinks about what he has made, that says it all!

1 Dream Access 5:47 2 Space Port 8:36 3 Brain Drain 7:36 4 Imagination 4:08 5 Friction of Time 10:11 6 Solar Streams 8:15 7 Time Axis 6:17 8 Floating in Dreams 6:50 Spheric Music ‎| SMCD-2034

(CD 57:40) (V.F.) (Modern Berlin School, psybient vibes)

Robert Schroeder's universe is in constant effervescent and the artist of Aachen has never made and still makes no compromise. He had destabilized a little his fans in the middle of the 80's by giving more rhythms to his music. In 1994, the synthesist and the engineer in sound took a break of more than 10 years. He will make his comeback on Spheric Music in 2005 with the album Brain Chips. Ten years later and 20 albums farther on the label of Lambert Ringlage, he shows the same constancy; destabilizing, surprising and always seducing his fans and the world of EM. And this, no matter the faces that he gives to his music. In two albums a year, our friend Robert has all the latitude to exploit his diverse musical avenues. In an artwork which gets near in all subtlety to the one of BackSpace, DREAM ACCESS is the Ying of this Yang.

The title-track opens with an increasing synth wave which spills a sound arsenal filled of woosh, of cracklings and of effects of reverberations. We hear a voice? Possible. Everything is possible in the sound world of Robert Schroeder! This wave metamorphoses into a soft ethereal braid where stroll these chords so unique to the musician of Aachen and which chirp like electronic birds. But they are not the only chords. Under a synth wrap of the 70's is born a fauna of chords in tones as much contrasting than musical, of whom a series of bass pulsations. It's from this rather discreet line that takes shape the rhythmic structure of Dream Access. Soft, it progresses as those of the analog time before merging in a more livened up structure where whistle and glide these soft solos with this so unique tone of Schroeder. And as the latter often likes to change of direction, this brief period of rhythm takes refuge with a rich ambiosonic phase which leads us in Strange Port and its strange electronic clogs which click through a thick curtain of rain. These clogs get transformed into a structure of rhythm full of holes. It's rather the line of bass, and its ample lascivious loops, which feeds the pace while the synth, and its trumpeter's flavors of Jazz, throws filets of very nostalgic harmonies which mate to layers of voice with grave and evasive tones. Sparkles of percussions are banging a structure which little by little fits its pace on a line of sequences and its keys to the divided colors which rise and fall in symbiosis with the line of bass and these clogs which click such as steps lost in a narrow cosmic corridor. It's a good structure of rhythm built with intelligence which will crumble its last effects in a long finale of 3 minutes filled of ambiosonic smoke. Brain Drain respects this posology of introduction of atmospheres which decks out the majority of the titles of the Schroeder catalog. It's there that Robert Schroeder is the most creative. A kind of continuous panting forces a sweet and slightly jerky rhythmic membrane which hiccups under the effects of a thick magma of sounds and mist filled with tonal particles. Arpeggios and ringings force a kind of fusion between Groove and ambient Chill Out which remains buried under a wide foggy moor. This is very contemporary Schroeder! All the opposite with the very good "Imagination" and its structure of rhythm where various elements skip in symbiosis with the harmonies. The effect of feminine voice, the wide foggy layers and these soft synth solos bring us back to the era of Die Story der Final Legacy and Space Detective. If your ears are in search of a sound aestheticism as much original than audacious, they are at the good address with the music of Robert Schroeder.

With his slow intro filled of reverberant effects, of incisive blades, of bipolar woosh, of cosmic layers and of effects of static percussions Friction of Time will be the first title to really stuff them; from the auricle to the hearing nerve. It's more than 105 seconds to explore the sound vastness of the master of the tones from Aachen. If the slow cosmic layers inhale the charms of meditation, the bangings of electronic clogs (one would say a new concept of sequences here) pull kicks towards a good up-tempo trapped in very good solos from a very harmonious synth. And when the atmospheres turn into cosmic phases, the solos glide and the sequences wriggle like mechanical dentures in the woosh of long layers of a synth flavored of former incense. The 2nd part offers more lustre with voices of the cosmos which remind the IC years on a structure of rhythm which is very near the cosmic glitter rock of the 90's. Solar Streams is another wonderful title, my preferred one, with a structure of ambient rhythm which limps in a ton of analog fragrances and synth layers which throws so many effects as well as very good solos. We are in the old Schroeder of the Floating Music years here. Splendid! And Robert Schroeder continues to play with the tunings of the time. Of his time with this brochette of titles which revisits his best elements, all decades included. Time Axis is near the music of dance but rest anchored in these recipe of the 90's when Schroeder was tergiversating over his orientation. The rhythm is steady and rests on sober percussions while the sequences are attacking it from all sides, creating a mishmash kind of rhythmic pattern which will always stays on the edge of ebullition and whereas the synths multiply effects and harmonies in a vision which always pushes back the limits of the creation of sounds. Floating in Dreams ends this 34th sonic adventure of Robert Schroeder with a semi-soft structure. A down-tempo which goes up and goes down according to the rollings of the percussions and of the sequences, forging a lascivious dance which spins lightly beneath the stars where cosmic voices and seraphic layers caress a very beautiful ambient melody and charm our senses.

DREAM ACCESS is indisputably one of the best albums that Robert Schroeder has realized for a long time. The album has no faults and transports its 8 titles as well as its 58 minutes in a sound universe always in search of renewal. All the ingredients of an EM of the Berlin School style (woosh, slow and idle floating layers, effect of reverberations, cosmic effects, luxurious solos, sequencing pattern and all and all) are dressing the different colors which get harmonize marvellously with the constant exploration of the sounds machines that Robert Schroeder likes to reinvent. If the hymns of dance are always present, they are charmingly tempered by a keyboard always so harmonious, by percussions which always remain so stuck on ambivalent structures and by a brilliant game of the sequences which is absolutely essential to hear. This is solid and strong Robert Schroeder!

Sylvain Lupari (July 20th, 2016) ****¾*

Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby

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