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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: New Frequencies Vol. I (2010)

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

New Frequencies Vol. I is sets out by Robert Schroeder who wishes a new adventure created by him, for his own needs

1 Rhythm Dancer 5:54

2 The Reason Why 6:20

3 I like It 5:30

4 Twitter My Mind 4:43

5 Falling Down 5:23

6 I Feel So Good 5:30

7 Caribbean Nights 6:19

8 A Night In Space 8:37

9 From Heart To Heart 7:19

10 RockNtronic 5:09

11 Oxidation 4:23

(CD/CD-R/DDL 65:07) (V.F.)

(New Dance Music, EDM)

Robert Schroeder has the merit of always keeping his audience on the alert. Album after album, and since his big comeback in 2005 with Brainchips, the German synthesist disconcerts his fans by making and extending avant-garde productions. Albums, I think in particular of Sphereware and Taste It where he explores and innovates his musical creations modeled on new technologies, but while respecting his musical roots which have always balanced between electronic dance music, synth pop (Double Fantasy) and a Berlin School-style that he has reinvented and reoriented over the years. Completely created with the Propellerhead REASON software, nEW fREQUENCIES Vol 1 travels the world of virtual keyboards, thus shaping a musical world which transcends the borders of what Robert Schroeder has achieved to date. Voted as best album in the Audiophile series for the Pop category, nEW fREQUENCIES Vol 1 is the first in a series of albums in which the musician from Aachen pushes his musical explorations beyond the confines of conventional Space Rock. Plunging towards cosmic synth-pop with an album full of ambivalent rhythms which are surprisingly powerful with solid percussions, the music evolves through fascinating vocal samples as well as hybrid and enveloping flights of slightly less cosmic synths.

Rhythm Dancer starts this 21st album of Schroeder on the hats of wheels. The rhythm is ambiguous and explores different phases on choppy keyboard chords. The percussions are great and the percussive effects, including these treatments which give the sounds of rattlesnakes à la Jean-Michel Jarre, help to appreciate these avalanches of drums which break on a cadence already well nourished in sounds. The synth lines roll in loops, without forgetting the sound effects which are a faithful reflection of the multiplicity of sounds that inhabits Robert's complex musical universe. The Reason Why offers a structure supported by a good bass line and sequences that pulsate heavily with samplings of manual percussions. Jerky at times, the title floats between synth lines with sinuous waves and jazz tones of the Earth, Wind and Fire genre. I Like It explodes from its opening with a rhythm adorned by rattling rattlesnakes. I am already hooked on this title and its synth whose metallic layers shine of its cosmic and psychedelic elements beneath suave vocals samplings. Here, as everywhere on this album, the synth layers are dense and extremely diverse in sounds of all kinds but remains just as oneiric with rich waltzing strata. nEW fREQUENCIES Vol 1 teems with a musical life animated by a vision of new dance music, like the groovy rhythm and a little slower of Twitter my Mind which is cut by vinyl scratches DJ style (tchheke- tchheke-kewak!) hip-hop or break-dance. Heavy percussions which plow synths maker of ethereal strata waltzing despite everything in a cosmos torn between the dream and the reality of the dance floors. This is roughly the genesis of this album!

From Heart to Hearth on the other hand offers a more cosmic tangent than Twitter my Mind. Falling Down is a little gem of rhythmic duality with a synth that twists its oscillating loops on a heavy tempo hammering in undulating layers and where the hybrid cadence is crowned of heterogeneous tones which hammer an already complex tempo. It's a Groove in a cave with a starry ceiling and cosmic air currents. A very good title that catches the first listen! Just like Caribbean Nights and its rhythm fueled by heavy resonances and good innovative percussions. The sound experiments on indecisive and hybrid cadences continue with the enigmatic I Feel so Good and its percussions which imitate the call of ducks and its synth with neurotic bursts of old hippies still on acid. A Night in Space is the only sweet moment on the album. Its languorous movement is filled with a rich and experimental sound fauna, making the title a night which is really cosmic with layers of synth which coil like anorexic hoops fornicating under metallic percussions and in the shade of sulphurous solos of a melancholic synth. A robotic voice stutters a robotic text at the opening of RockNtronic. The rhythm falls. It's heavy, sinuous and slightly syncopated. Taking on more forms and strength as he explores the recesses of his structure, he remains undecided between his synth with incisive solos and his enveloping strata which float and fly under heavy percussion. Oxidation concludes nEW fREQUENCIES Vol 1 with an undulating rhythm, a bit like on Rhythm Dancer, but with eroded reverberations which circulate in loops and away from other juicy synth solos.

Between progressive synth-pop à la Moonbooter and his own conceptual originalities, Robert Schroeder sails on a sea of musical experiments of which he is the only master on board. He is trying a new breakthrough in the world of New Dance Music with his heavy, incisive and syncopated percussions in the complex universe of synthesizers and its many software. This gives an innovative universe! A sound universe of the most complex, punchy and imbued with originality, which is coupled with beautiful melodies, including the splendid A Night in Space, and with titles where the nervous structures and the punctuating rhythms are drowned in splendid solos, beautiful ambient and enveloping strata. In short, Robert Schroeder who sets out on a new adventure created by him, for his own needs.

Sylvain Lupari (November 28th, 2010) *** ¾**

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