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) ***½
(Upbeat, ambient & Électronica with a zest of vintage)
This Robert Schroeder's new CD risks to please much more than his mellifluous comeback album Brainchips which was released 2 years ago. “SphereWare” is forged with the new synth/sequencer Synthis 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 propel sound arches, a little like a finger multiplies the waves of a quiet water, at the borders of nice cosmic ambiences. 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 some soft perfumes of Mellotron violins. 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 intro to “SphereWare” as well as on "Illuminated Signs".
"A Quarter of an Hour" offers an approach which is very close to the one we find in the music of Double Fantasy with a groovy movement and its floating tone 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 "Dancing Clouds". It seems to me that Robert Schroeder wants to go back to his roots of the 80’s with flexible and great melodious electronic rhythms which 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 on this cd, 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 which 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 shower and shape a very effective antithesis. 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 be Robert Schroeder's swan song will have to eat their heart on! “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 them.
Sylvain Lupari (September 2nd, 2007. Translated and updated on February 12th, 2017)