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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT SCHROEDER: SphereWare (2007)

“SphereWare might be the true comeback album from Robert”

1 Access to Dream 7:35 2 A Quarter of an Hour 15:00 3 Data Stream 6:27 4 Solar Panels 8:24 5 Illuminated Signs 5:35 6 100% Synthetic 9:24 7 Dancing Clouds 6:27 8 Flying Saucers 6:31 9 Sphereware 10:44 Spheric Music | SMCD2016

(CD 76:00) (V.F.) (EDM)

This Robert Schroeder's new CD risks to please much more than his mellow comeback album Brainchips that was released 2 years ago. SPHEREWARE is forged with the new Synthis synth/sequencer which reflects the moods of the analog tones even if it’s a digital instrument.

And from the first breaths of Access to Dream, we notice the efficiency of this new software for synths. A floating intro with resounding pulsations propels sound arches, a little like a finger multiplying the wave in circles of a quiet water, at the borders of a nice cosmic soundscape. Having skillfully learnt from Klaus Schulze, our friend Robert amplifies his tones on a cozy spatial passage where the pulsations turn into random dance steps over soft perfumes of Mellotron's violin layers. The fans from the very beginning will appreciate this passage and will for sure make a link between the misty atmospheres of Galaxy Cygnus-A and this introduction to SPHEREWARE as well as on the track Illuminated Signs. A Quarter of an Hour offers an approach that is very close to the one we find in the music of Double Fantasy. The movement is groovy and floats with its tones of guitar. This is a very nice track which has plunged me in the reminiscences of albums such as Computer Voice and Brain Voyager, just like the honeyed vibes of Dancing Clouds. It seems to me that Robert Schroeder wants to go back to his roots of the 80's with flexible and melodious electronic rhythms that have followed his ambient era and his Berlin School moods with 9 compositions sat on heterogeneous tempos but all the same rather steady like Data Stream, one of the good tracks here, and Solar Panels. Two very contemporary tracks of which the sound effects go quite along with electronic and metallic pulsations of rhythmic structures while sneaking through the soft fluty airs of the Mellotron. Regarding this, 100% Synthetic is rather delicious with a floating intro which goes adrift on a calm rhythm in order to plunge into a soft techno sat on languishing movements. Stuffed of sound effects, it’s an irresistible title that sticks to our ears from its first vapors. Flying Saucers proposes a spatial approach with a choir coming from a Mellotron in mode charmer of senses and from a synth fill of fluid and juicy cosmic solos. The percussions resound with a structured diversity and shape a very effective opposite direction. The title-track goes for a rather similar structure, but the rhythm is more convincing with cadenced percussions which drum in a moderate techno mode. Once again, the sound effects are multiple and joyous to hear while bringing this need of sound curiosity to our ears willing to hear more of that. One of the most beautiful aspects of EM!

Those who thought that Brainchips would have been Robert Schroeder's swan song will have to eat their thoughts! SPHEREWARE is a very interesting and a gigantic work compared to his comeback album in 2005. It’s an album filled of rich atmospheres where the rhythms abound with rather different approaches but not too much, so to not break this homogeneity which reigns all the same in this mishmash of the genres. The sound effects? Delicious and have become a godsend for a researcher in sounds who will fill our ears to the top during his long career. But as usual, the music of Schroeder has to be tamed in order to lick the senses…and the genres. It’s an EM updated where each listening is a token of new hearing surprises to be assimilated, testifying of an impressive work which increases its charms as we discover it.

Sylvain Lupari (September 2nd, 2017) ***½**

Available at Spheric Music & CD Baby

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