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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Slow Motion (2013)

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Slow Motion is yet another fantastic journey in the heart of ambient rhythms where Robert Schroeder never does things by halves

1 SlowMo 13:07

2 The Inside of my Soul 10:24

3 A Sign of Light 9:35

4 Synergy Effects 9:26

5 Pertinax Love 5:31

6 Space Lifter 6:13

7 Relax 4:49

8 Time is Running Out 4:35

(CD 63:33) (V.F.)

(Ambient hypnotic and minimalist Berlin School rhythms)

Oh do I love that! These long hypnotic structures and their circular rhythms which swirl softly into slow zigzagging spirals delicately stroboscopic. Do I love that! It's magnetizing and it nails us immediately in our armchair, the eyes well riveted in the oblivion to contemplate the allegorical forms of rhythms and their geometrical dismantlings in perpetual movement. Welcome in SLOW MOTION; a real journey in the heart of ambient rhythms where Robert Schroeder never does things by halves.

SlowMo, The Inside of My Soul and A Sign of Light unites their 33 minutes to offer us one of the most beautiful structures of morphic rhythms conceived by the brilliant synth wizard from Aachen since a very long time. Let's say since … Paradise! SlowMo goes between our ears with fine arpeggios which skip delicately. Reverberating bass chords, liquid noises, electronic language and lines of choir stuff this delicate floating intro which quietly takes the shape of a long ambient minimalist movement. Staggering with an absolutely delicious sonic drunkenness, the soporific rhythm of SlowMo leans on sober percussions which open the doors of hypnosis. Strangely, I have the impression to be thrown in the time of Galaxy Cygnus-A or Computer Voice. Only the contemporaneousness of the sound layer betrayed this sensation to belong to another era. Master- architect of his structure, Schroeder waters SlowMo of contiguous tones and parallel harmonies with pads of absent choirs, diverse effects of scattered percussions, drum'n'bass lines, organic gurglings and strings of sequences which get loose and move in structures of parallel rhythms as much melodic as hypnotic which double the rhythmic depth of this superb cosmic down-tempo. We are in weightlessness and we swirl with this morphic waltz which grows rich every second of these sonic elements which collide as electronic balls and of these fragmented thunders of rhythms unique of Schroeder's directory. Brilliant! The Inside of My Soul follows with a slow ambiospherical intro which gulps down the last jumping keys of SlowMo. The movement becomes of ambiences with eclectic tones which charm and tame themselves while that quietly a slow morphic veil weaved in absent choruses seized of these scattered sonic fragments which feed the slow growth of The Inside of My Soul. The rhythm emerges from nowhere. It breathes throughout shamanic little bells of which the “tchi-tchi” are bewitching the tribal percussions which are druming an absent rhythm. A rhythm which becomes a little clearer with the arrival of a soft jerky line of sequences which makes beat its keys with delicate movements of spasms. Very relaxing horns of trumpets are watering this rhythm which sparkles from everywhere and of any forms, as organic as electronic. Once again, Robert Schroeder goes out of his zone of comfort by weaving a rhythm of which the complexity is at no moment flouted by its dodecaphonic approach. The movement may be ambient and minimalist that we cannot ignore this meshing of lines of rhythms which intertwine in a fascinating symbiosis where the funk marries the tribal into a sonic atmosphere which doesn't stop growing rich. Perfumes of Food for Fantasy float everywhere around this long track, as well as on A Sign of Light which aims to be a more rhythmical conclusion. The movement is lascivious with lines of trumpets which blow over floating choruses. Wandering arpeggios drag their solitary melodies here and there while the rhythm is shaken by thunders of tribal percussions and runs away with an approach of drum'n'bass which mixes funk and trip-hop into an envelope always finely stroboscopic.

If these first 30 minutes reveal us all the arsenal of rhythms from Robert Schroeder's very eclectic universe in a long track segmented in 3 parts, the rest of SLOW MOTION is not more diminished here. There are still another 30 minutes of MÉ which is situated in a class apart. And it begins with the ambiences of Synergy Effects of which the weak organic rhythm, caressed by Vangelis synth airs and angelic breezes, passes by arrhythmic phases where a thick cloud of metal in fusion tones and electronic chirping are rummaging in search of the slightest pulsation. Then follows Pertinax Love and its jerked pantings as well as its pulsations which beat resolutely quiet for an ambience at the edge of the breathlessness. Another line of pulsation emerges. It runs with percussions and rattlers while that synth pads throw the first harmonies which cry in the crossroads of a stroboscopic line and heavy percussions which hammer a slow leaden rhythm. I hear some harmonies of Paradise on this extremely catchy music piece where the hard rhythm is fading out a bit in order to give room to a more serene approach. Softer than A Sign of Light, Space Lifter caresses nevertheless its tempo of drum'n'bass. A cosmic drum'n'bass, even ambient, that West Indian percussions and Mexican trumpets lines save from its morphic envelope. The cosmic lines of synth which take hostage the very cosmic beginning of Relax remind me of Jean-Michel Jarre's very spatial atmospheres. There is a soft and very discreet stroboscopic structure which encircles this rather ambient rhythm of Relax that Schroeder is seasoning of his artifices, as rhythmic as sonic, creating fragments of rhythms and melodies lost as well as in space as in seraphic voices. Time is Running Out closes SLOW MOTION with this envelope of cosmic harmony that surrounds Relax and which is inspired by the cosmic moods of JMJarre. The rhythm is at some points identical, although very segmented, to the structures of eclectic rhythms that surround this last Robert Schroeder album.

The aimed goal of SLOW MOTION is to bring the listener towards phases of rhythmic relaxations which want to be antidotes to the very excessive pace of life. But what I mainly retain is that it also continues where had stopped Ferro OXID. In this sense that it's an album rich in very diversified rhythms which beat in a sonic envelop in constant development that Robert Schroeder imagined so well, and with lot of genius, since years. A sonic world as well ethereal as eclectic and purely electronic where Robert Schroeder's rhythm'n'sound pattern spreads its paintings of bewitchments. And more than ever, Schroeder is inspired by his classics whose airs are vaguely floating behind each composition of SLOW MOTION, it was the same thing with Ferro OXID, making of these albums two timeless bridges between two musical philosophies of which the fusion reaches an electronic nirvana of an incredible sound wealth.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2013) ****½*

Available at Spheric & CD Baby

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