brainCHIPS (15th solo album, 74 minutes) is a dreamy electronic album with analogue sequences in the sound of the 80s. The CD encloses spherical soundscapes and also rhythmical groovy tracks, dream chips for your brain, timeless and simply nice relaxing music which invites you to a journey through different spaces of Electronic Music. brainCHIPS is also available as instrumental version, especially for the friends of pure instrumental music. Enjoy both.
Now here's a blast from the past! I remember back in the 80's when Robert Schroeder, one of the most promising recording artists via Klaus Schulze's own Innovative Communication label, brought us classic and timeless cosmic epics. Now, nearly 30 years later comes brainCHIPS.
On brainCHIPS firstly we have the track 'Doo Doo' which although sounds tongue in cheek it is in fact a suitable opening piece with its slow cosmic minefield introduction. After the first minute a rhythm section enters together with impressive synth chords and main theme which finally gives the piece some stability. The addition of a bass sequence and further light percussive effects help to add further depth to the piece. A sampled voice type solo lead attaches itself to the main theme and eventually the track comes to rest on the sequencer pattern alone.
Track 2, Wafer – where does he get these titles from? enters on a more solid base of mid tempo rhythm and synth chords. Strange shimmering effects appear every so often throughout the piece under a more definitive electric guitar solo.
„Electron“ as the name suggests hits back at the listener with its array of cosmic overtones. A solo lead enters, shortly followed by a bass sequence that initially remains firmly back in the mix. As the track moves through time so does the prominence of the sequencer pattern as one would hope. Then light percussive elements take hold, before becoming more up front in the mix, before once again resting on the bass sequence.
„Heaven“ reaches out to the listener in a more chilled out fashion than before with its gentle electric piano section over light percussive effects. An effective electric guitar solo then enters together with lashings of textures and synth pads. A bass sequence and synth string lead line enters before the electric guitar theme returns. Overall a quite pleasant and somewhat uplifting piece.
Track 5, „Space Track“ does just what it says on the box! A cosmic resonant drone starts things off in familiar RS territory. An assortment of pads, spectral textures and a choral chord section eventually turning into a more stable theme, but managing to keep serene and mildly atmospheric at its base.
No pun intended but next up is the rather quirky, almost 80's computer game orientated „Froggy“, a staccato voice sequence starts things, followed shortly afterwards by a quirky bass line and string like lead. A little strange and maybe perhaps aimed at the younger section of EM fans or those who like those brief moments of oddness.
„Serenade“, the longest track on this album at just over 10 minutes continues things more in the tradition of the rest of the set, but this time being a little more subdued and laid back. An acoustic piano theme kicks things off here over occasional textures which gives the track a slightly uncertain and mysterious feel. Bass pads then take hold along with a steady rhythm section and ultimately another effective bass sequence. The piano lead carries this piece onward but eventually subsides at around the 6 minute mark. It is not long before things shift up a gear again and at 8 minutes it's all systems go again.
A mid tempo rhythm takes hold of track 8 which is indeed a strange place to „Login“…. it's title believe it or not, and at well over the half-way point too! However at just under five minutes its one of those effective mid tempo rhythm, bass sequence and chords affairs, with it's occasional splattering of effects, at times becoming mysterious and losing it's obvious path.
„Hotspot Zone“ is back to cosmic mode with its resonating chords. A mid tempo rhythm section enters together with an effective bell type theme. This track follows in much the same direction throughout but the occasional admittance of acoustic piano flourishes helps increase the listeners' attention.
Low chords begin for track 10, „So Check Me +“. It starts in electric guitar theme territory with the occasional bell-type effects thrown in for good measure. After 2 minutes a delayed rhythm section takes hold over swarms of effects, but the electric guitar theme remains stubborn and steadfast to the mix. Occasional voice samples combined with a new bass sequencer pattern and extra light textural give needed depth and direction. Effective synth chords then lead line carry the piece to its conclusion.
„Passing Streams“ begins with a bass sequencer pattern, yet again but with the addition of a bass drum section! Synth pads and another gorgeous electric guitar theme take hold and carry the piece to its formal conclusion.
The final track „Shallala“ begins with voice samples and simplistic and melodic chords. A rumbling bass sequence threatens the sonic atmosphere before coming to the fore complete with lead line. Further synth textures and new sequencer patterns appear to reflect the actions of the lead and chordal lines. The piece continues on the same path throughout the duration of the piece.
On the whole this is a decent and most definitely unique offering from one the Klaus Schulze protégés, even though it does have its moments of complete otherworldly strangetitude. Being a fan of 80's Robert Schroeder I can recommend this new work, as he brings forth his talent into the new millennium with a firm and new found energy.
(written 2007 by synthmusicdirect)
best Tracks: 1, 3, 8, 10
Other albums from Robert Schroeder:
(1979) Harmonic Ascendant
(1980) Floating Music
(1982) Galaxie Cygnus-A
(1984) Computer Voice
(1985) Brain Voyager
(1998) D.MO Vol.1
(2005) brainCHIPS (instrumental)
(2008) D.MO Vol.2
(2009) Taste It
(2009) 30 Years After
(2010) New Frequencies Vol.1
(2010) Cream, Cygnus-A
(2011) Club Chill Vol.1
(2011) Bochum Live 2011
(2012) D.MO Vol.3
(1987) Double Fantasy "Universal Ave"
(2006) Food For Fantasy "The Secret Of Dreamin"
(2008) Food For Fantasy "Fruits Of Fantasy"
(2010) Food For Fantasy "Fresh Food”