jeudi 25 août 2011

ROBERT SCHROEDER: Computer Voice (1984)

Computer Voice was conceived in the same stride as the digitalisation and remasterings of albums to Compact Disc in the beginning of the 80’s, to optimize the sound power of albums’ transfers on CD and so justify the end of LP’s. It’s also a short retrospective of Robert Schroeder's works where the synth man from Aachen selected 4 tracks from the following albums; Galaxy Cygnus-A (Galaxy Cygnus-A Parts II and V), Floating Music (Rotary Motion) and Mosaique (Computer Voice) to digitized and mixed them with 4 other unreleased tracks from that same era. It results from it in a surprising fusion of old and new music, which is shaping superbly well in a long track of 37 minutes, where more fluid rhythms and more powerful tones embrace the more ethereal and cosmic approaches of these new tracks; In Space , In Orbit, Back to Earth and Liberty Island. In 2009, Computer Voice is redoing its tone and sounds with new computer technology from the Aachen studios which aims to increase the quality and sound precision without remixed the original work, as done on Paradise. This new sound updated version also includes a bonus track in "Eclipse".As an extraterrestrial dialect, heavy and short droning winds open "In Space". These metallic, cosmic or computing raucous breezes fade away in the ethereal sweetnesses of Schroeder synths which trace some fine, sinuous, lascivious and delicate oniric solos which melt in a superb cosmic decoration where fine arpeggios emerge from it to dance awkwardly towards the opening of the title track; "Computer Voice". Here, this key track of Mosaique album takes on quite another dimension with its digital tone. Amputated of around 8 minutes, Computer Voice has only the original rhythm of its version. A gradual rhythm that begins with these hesitating chords of "In Strange" finale which  waddle and become entangled on a structure bitten by a good hiccupping bass, harpooned by avalanches of electronic Tablas kind percussions and pricked by deaf pulsations which draw a rhythmic slightly jerky, as minimalist as hypnotic. Synth solos are mordant and shrill. They surround "Computer Voice" of their long twisted winds, until a delicate permutation toggles the movement on much more delicate approach where fine sparkling arpeggios find their harmonious rights on hypnotic pulsations. And bang! We fall in the static oblivion of "In Orbit" where cymbals and silvered synth winds float in a magma atmosphere which begins with a long caustic and resonant breeze. Cymbals click in an atmospheric structure full of guitar notes and keyboard riffs which intertwine among synth layers as melodious as threatening which, by moments, sound as metallic choirs. "In Orbit" strolls around its musical axes to uncertain movements before landing in the cosmic ducks’ "Wah''-"Wah" from "Galaxy Cygnus-A ( Part II )", one of the most beautiful music piece of Robert Schroeder. Here, the melodious structure trembles in front of heavy percussions, but the main part of this melodious spatial and musical incursion remains and rests of a wonderful musicality, even if strongly digitized.
"Back to the Earth" starts with anvils blows knocking with the regularity of a hypnotic pendulum. A sequence rests on this tick-tack while another sequential movement, more vicious and undulating, draws a heavy circular rhythm. Under the knock of a curt and edgy rhythm, "Back to the Earth" is invaded by dark and threatening momentums of a symphonic synth, whereas powerful beatings of metallic anvils redirect a rhythm which becomes unpredictable and forks beneath stunning synth solos. It’s quite a superb piece of music that Schroeder puts in our ears (don’t forget that we are in 1984). A powerful track which falls in the whirlwind of "Rotary Motion" and its chaotic rhythm, of which jumping structures wriggle beneath good striking of electronic percussions and hard-hitting synth fury where solos roar in a surprising cohesion. "Liberty Island" is a short ambient track where uncertain chords move and resound in a sidereal magnetism imprinted of an appealing electronic fauna. This is a superb intro that gives quite a whole superb dimension to the wonderful "Galaxy Cygnus-A (Part V)" which, although amputated of around half of its time, stays sublime with its minimalist sequential approach from which striking alternate beneath splendid twisted solos which rain in an atmosphere stuffed of galactic tones. "Eclipse" concludes this re release of Computer Voice with a soft voluptuous approach where the rhythm is sitting on a nice bass line with  round curves, discreet piano notes and fine percussions which shape a tempo always cosmic but filled of a more lounge or jazzy ambiance, instead of groovy. The synth is rather melancholic and frees great solos à la Vangelis, while the sound effects are always legions in this track that is really filled of Paradise and Floating Music atmospheres.
Computer Voice is more than a retrospective. It’s the ideal album to discover Robert Schroeder first era and a brilliant mixture of known tracks, just transformed enough to make them a stalk unrecognizable, in a new environment made of tracks that are splendidly closer to the originals. A kind of musical puzzle where rhythms, harmonies and atmospheres become muddled in a perfect harmony that gives us the vague impression of hearing or discovering a new version of Galaxy Cygnus-A or an unreleased album from Floating Music and Paradise eras. An indispensable!


News-Music: CDR-12.006

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: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14558
You can also watch a video of Computer Voice here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULzu-eVnUUY
Here's also Robert Schroeder websitehttp://www.news-music.de/home_e.html

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