lundi 30 mai 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Club Chill Vol. 1 (2011)

Robert Schroeder doesn’t do things by halves! This immeasurable studio beast likes to exploit all facets and possibilities of his equipments. And it’s in this context that he produced a new album of spacey groovy and chill EM for nightclubs and personal listening. Club Chill Vol.1 club is an album of an EM which transcends the borders of Berlin School to poke around spheres of Chill-Out, Down Tempo and Groovy styles. The chameleon par excellence of contemporary EM dives into this crossing of styles by offering 10 tracks to varied influences, going up to steams the 70’s funk and love machines. The first one of a series of albums to come, Club Chill Vol.1 borrows a little the much diversified style of New Frequencies Vol.1 but with a very intimist atmosphere where music flows between our ears with an incredible fluidity and an array of sound effects as fascinating as amazing.
Waiting for You opens Club Chill Vol.1 with a soft warm rhythm supported by a play of sober percussions and a fine line of bass with smooth notes. Delicate, the keyboard loses its keys in a foggy mellotron while the tempo becomes more alive beneath a pleiad of caustic sound effects and synth pads which float on a rather ambivalent tempo. A tempo which progresses with good percussion strikes while being surrounded by nice synth layers and an electronic approach to hybrid atmospheres. The ambient approach overhangs this pace to ambient and down tempo styles with beautiful floating pads and sulphurous solos which glide above a rumbustious sound fauna with its multiple heterogeneous tones. A fine syncopated line encircles this ambivalent tempo that a sensual feminine voice waters with suggestive words. Love is In the Air is a nice electronic sensual ballad which whistles under stars with sober keyboard keys floating adrift. The ambiance is very nice and very intimist with its notes of piano which espouse this soft whistled melody, which a suave warm voice wraps, under fine notes of a fuzz guitar and very funky trumpets and saxophones blows. Checking Out reminds me the Chemical Brothers’ sound editing but with a nuance in the tempo which hiccups of its jerky chords. Chords which are deploying under an arsenal of very appealing sounds effects and beautiful foggy synth pads. Percussions are great for a rhythmic beat box and synths hoot good solos on a structure more than ever divided between synth funk and synth pop. Far from being psychedelic, Psychodelic is what is closer of the style that Schroeder elaborates since Brainchips; ambivalent rhythm which lies beneath strange metallic pulsations and a perpetual oscillation stuffed with vocal samplings. The structure is wiggling quietly with more furious chords and nice synth solos. Here, as everywhere on Club Chill Vol.1, the rhythm is difficulty identifiable so much it permutes constantly while respecting its basic premise. More sober and electronic than Love is In the Air, Dance Me Tired is another good sensual ballad stuffed with cosmic serpentines which fall and scroll under nice foggy waves. The rhythm there is suave and, to the limit, sensual with fine suggestive pulsations which pulse under superb languishing solos.
Dont Disturb is a crossing between Love is In the Air and Dance Me Tired. The rhythm there is warm and takes mainly its source of keyboard keys which imitate marvellously the soft riffs of a virtual guitar. It’s a good delicate and groovy track quite as Chilling Me Softly which is, on the other hand, sharply more sensual and alive with a good line of bass and languishing solos of a very cosmic synth. I Feel You is a long track which offers an increasing hypnotic structure with good percussion beatings and keyboard keys which merge in an echo with an oscillatory effect. The track bathes in a beautiful electronic ambiance with more sober sound effects and electronic stars which parade and spin on a fairly minimalist structure. The hesitating introductory rhythm of I Like it So becomes more jerky to adopted a soft nervous structure filled with nice spectral and twisted solos which glean around good mellotron pads and fine percussions of glasses. A more electronic track with solos that remind me of Vangelis quite as Cold Desert and its stubborn beat which goes out quite straight ahead of The City or Direct. Suave and lively beat, Cold Desert is by far the track that is closer to Robert Schroeder's usual roots where floats gorgeous solos in a hybrid ambiance; two elements that are the cornerstone of this 1st volume of the Club Chill series.
Is Club Chill Vol 1 for fans of conventional EM, Berlin School style or progressive? It’s a bit difficult to be pronounced on this level so much the styles cover by this last Schroeder effort are filled by a soft electronic. A more down tempo ambiance certainly, but a more intimist electronic one that we taste quite well in beautiful company. But the ingenuity and the doggedness that Robert Schroeder puts to maximizing his equipments are making of it a surprising and pleasant album to discover. An album that we appreciate even more at every new listening. That’s what happens in my case. The first listening left me a little bit perplexed but behind every track is unmistakably hiding essences of Berlin School, or true EM, with cosmic and floating approaches where synths go with nice soling while leaving some soft and warm magnetic mellotron foggy in an abundance of incredibly surprising sound effects on languishing rhythms which eventually forge sticking earworms.


Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :

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