ROBERT SCHROEDER: Taste It (2009)
“There are some very good tracks that enhance the average quality of the album”
1 Taste It 9:35
2 Sweets of Paradise 8:23
3 A Sensitive Touch 7:00
4 Capricorn 8:38
5 The Third Kind 7:20
6 Time Cruiser 8:07
7 Fata Morgana 8:33
8 Dreamchecker 6:27
9 Reminded of Paradise 7:55
(CD 71:57) (V.F.)
(New Dance Music & Berlin School)
Squalls, thunders, showers, sonic streamers and synthesized duck cackle are rushing in loops over bongo percussions, initiating the opening of the title-track of this new Robert Schroeder album. The rhythm is motionless and moves on a Hawaiian-style circular dance anthem sitting on a good bass line that also reminds me of the Groove structures from Mind Over Matter in the Avatar album. In the meantime, Schroeder multiplies his ingenious sound effects straight out of his research, adorning an electronic music (EM) that lies between static electronic rock and a Cosmic Groove coated by these sound elements and especially with these synth solos with brassy tones. Cosmic dance, layers of percussions, unlimited sound effects and evasive synth melodies, this is what awaits us with TASTE IT, Robert Schroeder's 19th opus. Pushing the limits of his imagination and his curiosity for progressive sounds, the German synthesist fleshes out his latest CD with 9 melodious tracks that dance in a futuristic universe.
Sweets of Paradise is a little marvel that starts innocently before being harpooned by frenzied percussions. Here is a good mid-tempo wrapped with nostalgic and rather melodious synth pads. The musical envelope is tinged with a soft poetic nebulosity thanks to a hazy synth and its melodious cosmic effects as well as this unique Schroeder signature vocoder. One can also hear a feline purring strangely...it could be something else too, so rich, original and diversified is the tonal richness of the musician from Aachen. A Sensitive Touch is one of those contrasting tracks in Robert's new universe. Its melody is soft with pads that settle in a sorrowful air to float on a good bass line. It flows over the hazy orchestrations of a seducing synth while percussion illuminates a rhythmic direction that seeks to go faster than its melody. Capricorn spits fire with an intro that explodes over the jerky echo of the percussions in a kind of space techno that would fit in a George Lucas movie. But Capricorn extends its movement on a very melodic structure with solid percussions and melodious arpeggios whose tinklings follow the keyboard scale to repeat in synchronized loops. The keyboard continues to forge this good melody making an earworm that spirals upwards on a cosmic groove that is battered by out-of-sync percussions explosions. A superb title which astonishes, considering its strange opening.
The Third Kind is for the more curious ears. A soaring intro with chthonian voices hum and a soaring noise-filled structure with a cosmic vision. One hears a melodic breeze in the contorted synth blasts, as one also hears the percussions reaching their tone limits by crashing with a sonic limitation. It sounds like the German musician does filler here. Time Cruiser is an ideal track for belly rubs. A good cosmic slow tempo with charming breaths and sonic stars surrounding this lustful dance. Fata Morgana is a melodious, yet ordinary track that captures the essence of the title-track, but without all the bite. A stroboscopic reverb peppered of subtle percussions are at the origin of the very good Dreamchecker. The rhythm is driving in a kind of cosmic Groove with those brassy synth tunes floating around. The keyboard also extends a nice jerky melody structure that blends well with the slightly spasmodic rhythm of a very good track in TASTE IT. A very nice track that is also a prelude to the nostalgic Reminded of Paradise. Nostalgic because the track is tinged with this musical structure which made the delights of Paradise, without however making a vulgar plagiarism. Minimalist pulsating chords accompanied by male voices and a synth with imaginative solos charm the ears on a hypnotic structure, bewitching and involving in a sound universe as variegated as Schroeder's insatiable appetite for sound research. A real gem that links the past to today.
I had my difficulties with TASTE IT! Without being great CD and with a big hole in its middle, its multiple sound effects and many layers of rhythms in a single track are as much gasoline that inflames the music as its opposite effect by choking and capping some structures. On the flip side, there are some very good tracks that enhance the overall quality of the album. In the end, I believe that this is a nice album that will please both the hardcore fans of Robert Schroeder and the more nostalgic ones as well as the fans of an EM with a zest of cosmic Groove.
Sylvain Lupari (June 10th, 2009) *****
Available at Spheric Music