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Mosaique by Robert Schröder

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    Mosaique by Robert Schröder is the third release by the German artist. This album begins the more driving, berlin style that the artist would be come most well known for. The also album also prominently features the new sounds of the Wolfgang Palm's fantastic PPG Wave 2 wave table synthesizer that is beautifully captured on these tracks for the very first time.

    According to Robert Schröder. The Special sound was achieved with the use of the first PPG-Wave 2 digital synthesizer to be recorded on an album. During the production of Mosaique in the IC recording studio of Klaus Schulze. Robert drove to the 1981 Frankfurt Musikmesse and bought the first PPG-Wave 2 directly at PPG the booth. Then, drove it back to the IC recording studio where they produced the Mosaique album that we hear today.

    Track Listings:
    Side A

    1 Mosaique 12:03
    2 Utopia 6:09

    Side B

    1 Aix-La-Chapelle 4:25
    2 Computervoice 12:33
    Total Time: 35:37
    Artist Name(s):
    Robert Schröder - Keyboards, Electronics, PPG Wave II Computer
    Rob Van Schaik - Bass
    Fred Severloh - Drums
    Charly Büchel - Guitar
    Producer(s):
    Klaus Schulze
    Release Year: 1981
    Style:
    Ambient, Dark, Industrial, Space Rock
    Album Type:
    Studio
    Formats:
    LP 33 1/3, LP 45
    Cover & Packge Design:
    Werner Inhester
    Studio Name:
    IC-Studio, Winsen, July/August 1981.
    Mastering: G. F. Pfanz, Tonstudio Pfanz
    Liscense:
    Copyright
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    Innovative Communication
    Catalog Number(s):
    KS 80.016
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Publisher:
    P.O.E.M. Musikverlag
    Distributor(s):
    Deutsche Austrophon
    Editions / Reissues
    1. 1981 Mosaique ‎(LP, Album) Innovative Communication KS 80.016 Germany
    2. 1981 Mosaique ‎(LP, Album) Base Record KS 80.016 Italy
    3. 1981 Mosaique ‎(LP, Album) Roadrunner Records, Innovative Communication RR 9989 Netherlands
    4. 1984 Mosaique ‎(LP, Album, RE) Racket Records RRK 15.022 Germany
    Synthesizers Used
    Wave 2 (1981)
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
    [+] Amoeba
    [+] Discogs
    [+] Ebay
    [+] Google
    [+] YouTube

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Sylvain Lupari

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Always very avant-gardist, Robert Schröder liked to go off the beaten track by propelling his electronic music, guided by the PPG Wave 2synth, in an approach of rock band with the contribution of real musicians, either; Charly Büchel on guitar, Rob van Schalk on bass and Fred Severloh at the drum. The result gave a rather Funky album, a style that Robert Schröder will push even more in the coming years, that could be played as well at 45 rpm than at 33 rpm. “Mosaique” was released only on vinyl. For a reason of author's rights, this album, that Robert Schröder seems to deny, has never known a second life on CD or has been remastered with a new mixing or with minor differences such as with Floating Music and Paradise. And several people, including me your humble servant to have approached the very question with Robert, don't see when or how a new remastered version will hatch on CD. That would be very pleasant though to have a special mixing with both speed. We can always dream, no!? But was it such a solid album? Produced by Klaus Schulze, the high quality of “Mosaique” was to avoid the tendency of the beginning of the 80's which gave a metallic timbre to the music with the use of digital synths. And yes, it's was and still is a very beautiful album!
The title-track therefore shows sonic roundness and sonic curvatures as well as a delicate shield of warmth with a good bass which structures an ambient Funk well adorned by Schröder's electronic effects. The synth chirps and holds a secret language throughout the 12 minutes of "Mosaique". A little as in Floating Music, the Cosmic Funk is king and the music is abundantly coated with electronic effects and with loops of exuberant singings which roll in background. Synth pads, under the shape of riffs, cut short on others which are more floating and on other ones which loosen some harmonious effects with a tone of old organ. The oil is on and the band gets organized with shyness, rather making way to Rob van Schalk and Robert Schröder. If the percussions espouse the gurglings of the bass, and by ricochet the synth lines, the guitar throws some good solos in mode fuzz wah-wah with a psychedelic tendency due to its use of the famous TalkBox. It's after these soloes that "Mosaique" abandons its uncertain orientation to explode in a good rock supported by wild percussions and by Charly Büchel's greater ferocity. It's interesting to hear rock fought under cosmic effects and ethereal layers. That gives a unique dimension, which today stays a path that only too few artists try to walk in. "Utopia" goes in our ears with a movement which limps like the gait of this duck that Robert Schröder makes cackle through his PPG Wave 2. This first movement is charmingly oscillating and releases a shadow which sparkles in the echo of its lame gait. The title becomes a kind of fascinating electronic Bolero both by the appearance of the other electronic effects and by the integration of the drum and bass. Robert Schröder modulates here synth solos which make very discreet, just like the guitar, making the charms of "Utopia" which accelerates the pace with a more lively drum play. "Aix-La-Chapelle" is a stunning military march full of life, cheerfulness and tones! It's on the album “Mosaique” "Computervoice" first took shape. And we are quite far from this shortened version that we find on the album of the same name which was released 3 years after. The introduction soaks in a very nice cosmic envelope with layers which shiver while welcoming delicate arpeggios which skip there without a real goal. This so attractive movement of sequences pierces this membrane of cosmic ambiences near the point of 5 minutes. The next 3 minutes belong to history but with clearly more incisive percussions. "Computervoice" goes away from history in order to end with a strummed approach. The synth unwinds its solos and its fluty harmonies there while the guitar sweeps the horizons with falls of notes, like a strange harp, adding so a dramatic weight in a finale that we would never have suspected. I try to imagine now the frenzy if we play "Computervoice" at 45 rpm!
We speak very few of “Mosaique” and nevertheless it's a very good album, although that I less liked "Aachen", which has all its important place in Robert Schröder's discography. The first version of "Computervoice" is clearly more musical while the Face A is simply ahead of its time. Even that it sounds very good today and gives very good vibes. It's a pity that we find so few information about it, although we can find it at a rather decent price on eBay. I have a friend who possesses it in vinyl and I also bought this album a long time ago. I recorded it on tape and later on Mini-Disc. But the sound was already a tempest of fryings …So Thanks to Nick who kindly transferred it on a CD-r so that I could finally listened it again and write about it.

Sylvain Lupari (November 5th, 2017) 

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