Exposé Online banner

Robert Schroeder — C'est Magique
(Spheric Music SMCD-2041, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-07-13

C'est Magique Cover art

Schroeder (or Schröder as it is sometimes written) is a prolific German electronic artist who has been plying his trade since the late 70s, with around three dozen releases to his credit, first on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communication label, then moved to the Racket label in the mid 80s, then News-Music (pretty much his own label) since the 90s, but with 2005’s Brainchips, he has also been releasing product on Spheric Music, of which C’est Magique is the latest. Opening the album is the twelve minute title track, a distinctly New-Agey piece that would have been right at home in the mid-80s with some half-whispered female voice repeating the title over and over (as well as other indecipherable whispers) as Schroeder works an array of floating synth sounds underneath, then around five minutes in, some programed drum sounds come in and change the mood a bit, with sequences taking the lead a couple minutes later. Without the annoying whispers this would be far more enjoyable, but as it is seems just kind of silly, even though the synth work accompanying is stunningly beautiful. But that’s just the first track, and the next two cuts, “Magnetic Streams” and “Spiritual Space,” totaling seventeen minutes, completely dispense with the voices and offer some seriously compelling Berlin-style sequenced work, full of swirling atmospheres and beautifully layered textural coloration, with wandering melodies rising to the occasion, at first propelled forward by the electronic percussion, but by the third track most of that is dispensed with and the listener is for the most part floating in free space with a slowed-down rhythic figure and deep bass pulses guiding the ship as it floats through an ocean of stars. The program continues with five additional tracks, each more succinct than the first three, but every bit as interesting, with Schroeder’s masterful synth powering the way forward. Closer “Secret Elements” employs some unusual rhythm patterns along with some curious electronic sounds as an undercurrent to the proceedings. Listeners who appreciate the Berlin style will certainly be right at home with this one.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Schroeder

Latest news

Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Sfinx - Zalmoxe – This one caught me completely off guard. I'd never even heard of this excellent Romanian band before the CD reissue — which made it for all the nicer surprise. One has to be somewhat...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues