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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Esthétique (2011)

Updated: May 1, 2021

Robert brought all of his musical visions to create a cd with very diversified tendencies

1 Neutron Swarm 6:09

2 Evaluation of Time 14:38

3 Structures 7:11

4 Esthétique 8:12

5 TimeShaver 8:30

6 Energizer 7:12

7 Oscillation 12:00

(CD 63:52) (V.F.)

(Rhythmic Harmonic Cosmic)

ESTHÉTIQUE is Robert Schroeder's 25th album! And for this occasion, the Aachen synthesist has brought together all of his musical personalities to create an album with very diversified musical tendencies. Musical genres that have inspired his works of the vintage years, the more contemporary ones and those of his alter egos; Double Fantasy or Food 4 Fantasy. Forged in the lascivious and bewitching rhythms of his 7 tracks, the music of this album floats in our ears with approaches of groovy, synth pop, Electronica and cosmic funk which are lovingly wrapped in nice layers of dreamy and poetic synth. Rhythms and ambiences that intertwine smoothly in delicious lunar phases, with just enough to keep us awake.

Neutron Swarm is the heaviest track! A kind of open-door to an album whose rhythms shift and decay in a curious way. On a heavy and semi-slow rhythm, it plunges us straight to a mixed universe that sits on the latent sequencer-based style of Berlin School. Glass arpeggios echo in the grooves of an oscillating synth line. Percussion swings and traces a groovy rhythm, besieged by electronic sounds and voices as well as percussions that echo in clouds of mist. A bass line and tssitt-tssitt cymbals create a bouncy beat that hovers under the tasty ululating strata of a cosmic synth. The sequencer comes in. They pound the repetitive chords into a stationary structure which gets funky with a synth that throws in fuzz-wah-wah chords. Evaluation of Time transports us into a dream world. The intro is filled with haze, analog sounds and nice synth layers that embrace the futuristic sounds of Vangelis. Bass-pulses draw elastic swings and support the sparse tablas' percussions that feeds a lascivious rhythm in mute. A soft, dreamy melody emerges under this dense cloak of tones, while light guitar riffs and brief solos float with a whiff of Double Fantasy. The rhythm is gentle and floats along with the solos. It takes the form of a cosmic slow with its bass line and slightly pulsating percussions. Like all around the album, the beat is floating and a bit sensual. A rhythm that gives the illusion of biting with caressing teeth. Here, it's at the doorstep of dreams and submerged in layers of morphic synth and sensual guitar surges. It's as special as it can be beautiful. With Structures we fall into a kind of mid-tempo with muted pulses and thin, hollow-sounding percussions that trace a subtle flowing rhythm. Fine arpeggios draw a soft melodic approach that sings and whispers under good analog solos, electronic effects and subdued haze envelope.

The intro of Esthétique is sculpted in a kind of cosmic blues. Fine percussions hammer out a delicate rhythm that is caressed by different cosmic winds. These percussions get more numerous and subdivide their strikes that resonate inside thin sequenced hoops. This lascivious rhythm is trapped inside a musical cylinder where the composite tones wander on a cadence that subtly increases to gently explode with a more galloping rhythm. Here, percussions' strikes are confronted to electronic xylophone strikes, creating two parallel rhythms that compete in a strange spiral of percussions. Guitar riffs push TimeShaver's gentle intro into another lascivious rhythm where chords and fine guitar solos, soft ethereal layers and angelic vocals sing and float in a dreamlike ambience which is surrounded by strong muted pulses, framing the lasciviousness of a cosmic movement. Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride that we hear. And it's true. For the rhythm has suddenly become denser and is fed by a cloud of electronic strata and streaks that fatten the growing and floating structure of TimeShaver. Energizer offers a very good Caribbean Island rhythm with delicious xylophone hits that are encircled by thin strobe lines and wrapped in a synth with hybrid solos and blasts. It's very beautiful and convincing! Oscillation closes this latest release with this mix of Robert Schroeder's musical evolutions. It's a track that appears on the sublime Bochum Live 2011 and amplifies the philosophy of the multiple musical orientations that celebrate this 25th opus of the German musician.

ESTHÉTIQUE? This is pure Schroeder! Robert Schroeder who gave us albums with astonishing paradoxes and where modern rhythms follow one another in analog, dreamy and sensual ambiances. One can also think of a summary album which makes the turn of the musical orientations of the one who gave us Harmonic Ascendant back in 1979. And this on a period of more than 30 years. But it doesn't matter. It's another good album from Robert Schroeder who likes to redefine his musical genre by exploring a little more the sonorities of the future on structures which always caress the prints of the past.

Sylvain Lupari (December 11th, 2011) ***¼**

Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby

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