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Robert Schroeder

Progressive Electronic

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Robert Schroeder Harmonic Ascendant album cover
3.94 | 29 ratings | 2 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Harmonic Ascendant (22:16)
2. Future Passing By (9:19)
3. The Day After X (11:41)

Total time 43:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Schroeder / keyboards, self-built synth, electronics, composer

- Udo Mattusch / guitar
- Wolfgang Tiepold / cello
- Klaus Schulze / production & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Swami Deva Anubaddha

LP Innovative Communication - IC 58 087 (1979, Germany)
LP Racket Records - RRK 15020 (1984, Germany)

CD Racket Records - RRK 715020 (1990, Germany)

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ROBERT SCHROEDER Harmonic Ascendant ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROBERT SCHROEDER Harmonic Ascendant reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Robert Schroeder is a talented and inspired german electronic composer whose career has strong connections with analogue synth sequences and spacey, spherical soundscapes produced by Klaus Schulze during the second half of the seventies. If we compared it with the best essays from K.Schulze's classic period, Harmonic Ascendant figures as a major work, pushing the cosmic synthesizer trippiness to an other level of experimentation and emotion. Harmonic Ascendant is not as majestic and as visceral than early TD and Schulze but clearly better than anything produced by these two masters after the 70's. The title track is among the most ravishing pieces released in the universe of kosmische psychedelica and early ambient environnemental music. This is a cloudy, melancholic electronic epic composed for stringed instruments (intimate, warm minimal acoustic guitars) and eerie keyboards. The atmosphere is emotionaly brilliant and produces the best effect on the listener. Future passing by delivers a celestial electronic ambience with vocoders, and sacred like synth choir (a relative similar experience is delivered in the Andreas Grosser & Klaus Schulze's collaboration for Babel). If we can judge by the rest of the album, The day after X is a rather convential electronic synth composition for minimal patterns and asceptic new agey synth waves. Generally less monotonous, less schyzo and more colourful than Schulze's efforts from the same period. Highly recommended, in particular for fans of 70s classic analog synth eccentricities (Klaus Schulze, Michael Hoenig, Rolf Torstel among others). Without any doubts the best release from this cult german musician.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Initially starting out as an electronic engineer, German artist Robert Schröder devoted himself fully to music by 1978, resulting in his fascinating debut album `Harmonic Ascendant' a year later. Despite the album sharing sounds in common with other artists working in what became known as the Berlin School style of vintage Seventies electronic music, his debut is remarkably original and fully formed with a distinctive voice all its own. In addition to subtle influences of Klaus Schulze (who's producing credit here will likely be an instant point of note for many listeners), if anything Mike Oldfield's `Tubular Bells' is a gentle inspiration as well, as Schroeder incorporates a diverse range of instruments such as acoustic guitar, piano and cello into his lush drifting soundscapes, creating a very grounded musical environment compared to his cosmic-bound compatriots.

It's a couple of minutes before the side-long title track `Harmonic Ascendant' even reveals its electronics, instead opening with a gently melancholic piano and guest contributor Udo Mattusch's acoustic guitar theme. Slowly but surely electronic veils carefully begin to lift in prominence, almost taking in a wistful classical symphonic elegance, guest Wolfgang Tiepold's cello groaning sadly to life as synths waver in quivering, aching ecstasy. The cello begins to prance stirringly, delicate subdued sequencer trickles seeping in as the piece begins to grow in drama and presence, with a trilling little Moog tease in the final moments followed by a Rick Wright-like sombre yet warm solo piano close both welcome surprises to end on.

The second side holds two unrelated extended pieces, yet both are initially built around similar mumbling Vocoder recitations that take on a vague hypnotic quality. Whirring and buoyant synth washes and fizzing ripples unfold around those robotic rambles in `Future Passing By', eventually joined by a commanding Mellotron choir rising in heavenly majesty. Confident cascading synth caresses spiral over `The Day After X', ringing sequencer chimes and upfront hypnotic soloing duelling back and forth in between a maddening Vocoder psalm.

While the first side is the superior of the two, this is still a fully-inspired, dazzling release (and that beautiful cover painting from Swami Deva Anubaddha looks especially enticing on vinyl), made even more impressive by its minimal approach and careful subtlety. `Harmonic Ascendant' achieves a fascinating unison between electronic and acoustic elements that makes it truly stand out amongst the colder, deep-space explorations more commonly found in the vintage era of the progressive-electronic genre, and Berlin School followers looking for a unique interpretation of the style should investigate this one immediately.

Four stars.

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