Robert Schroeder Floating Music EDITION 2023
Updated: Feb 18
“Is it worth it? Of course! A new sound dimension and depth plus a great bonus track. What more can we ask?”
1 Floating Music 9:09
2 Divine my Future 5:08
3 Pastime 4:12
4 Visions 3:54
5 Meditation for the Next Part 1:10
6 Out of Control 1:53
7 Shadows in the Night 6:59
8 Rotary Motion 3:27
9 Floating in Slow Motion 23:08
(CD/DDL 59:04) (V.F.)
(Progressive New Berlin School)
Is this 3rd CD reissue of Floating Music on the Spheric Music label really necessary? I mean, after a last reissue, which was the second one, in 2009 on Robert's label, News-Music, and under the Power Sound Edition seal, was a 3rd CD edition of Floating Music really that necessary? That depends on your point of view! As a die-hard fan of Robert Schroeder's work, I will never tire of hearing his old classics, even with slight improvements, like the ones on the Power Sound Edition, or with a remastering that exposes its true nature and depth, like this FLOATING MUSIC 2023 Edition. Remastered and/or remixed in a better or more powerful sound texture, the idea of rediscovering the subtleties of its musical flora under another angle becomes a musical must for my ears. If the first CD was an edition of all that was the most classical, that is to say transferring the vinyl on Compact Disc format in 1990 (it was on the label Racket Records), the second CD proposed an improved and especially amplified sound quality which included 2 titles in bonus; Rotary Motion VII and Rotary Motion VIII, thus proposing more than 13 minutes of new music composed and recorded during the album sessions. So, I ask again; was a new edition of this second Robert Schroeder album really necessary? Soberly entitled FLOATING MUSIC Edition 2023, this new version proposed by Lambert Ringlage's label goes further than the previous editions of this mythical album that transcended the universe of the wonderful and romantic Harmonic Ascendant. By the way, when will there be a new sound, a new remastering of this simply majestic first album? I asked Lambert the question and, from what I understood, a new remastered version of this album is not in the plans of Spheric Music. Nor any of Robert's other albums by the way!
But back to FLOATING MUSIC Edition 2023! The fan of this album will notice right away that the track listing is different from the first two versions of Floating Music (I invite you to read the review I wrote on this site by clicking on this link). This new remaster places Out of Control, which was initially the 4th title, behind the titles Visions and Meditation for the Next Part to find itself at the 6th place in this new order of the titles. According to Lambert, the current track order is what it should have been in the first edition of Floating Music in 1984. Does this change anything? Not at all! What about the music? There is a very clear difference. The details, those background noises that piqued our curiosity back then are better defined here. We hear them with more clarity, more precision. There is also the sound level, and always these details, which is heightened at the level of the percussions. I even suspect that Robert has added some to enhance the rhythmic dimension of FLOATING MUSIC Edition 2023. Rotary Motion is a striking example. Still chatting with Lambert, he confirmed that the bonus track, Floating in Slow Motion, is from the time of Robert's second vinyl recording. And we're a far cry from the bonus tracks we had on the Power Sound Edition. If you're a fan, that's still well over 36 additional minutes of music from the album sessions. And how does this Floating in Slow Motion sound? Well, it's like taking an excellent 300-page book and condensing it into a 60-page format by reducing the core plot to a minimum and increasing the superfluous to a maximum! The essence of Floating Music, especially its impressive sound flora, is well felt throughout this 23-minute track (still!) in an abridged and slow-motion version. It's as simple as its title suggests. One quickly forgets its twisted metal opening that crunches into the abyss when the slow, sly rhythm unravels the first similarities to what we know of the title track. Remember, the flow is slower. This slowness serves the cause of this proliferation of related noises and sound effects that oversize the depths of this track conceived at the time from synthesizers created by the musician from Aachen. In other words, what you hear here, and on the whole album for that matter, is a sound fauna as original as unusual. And it is even more accentuated on Floating in Slow Motion which requires a few listenings in order to assimilate a sound fauna in distortions. But little by little, our ears find their bearings in this surprising but pleasant iconoclastic sound symphony.
So, was it really necessary this umpteenth edition of Floating Music? Absolutely, because FLOATING MUSIC Edition 2023 is another opportunity to rediscover, under a new sound and musical depth, an excellent album that took fans and critics of electronic music (EM) at the time by surprise. This version of the album is more emphatically explained because of its sonic fauna, which is a real eye-opener. For the fans and those who wish to know the evolution of a musician resolutely ahead of his time...still today.
Sylvain Lupari (February 16th, 2023) *****
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