Si Schroeder is a six-foot hairy male who makes 'music'. This 'music' generally sounds like classic songs in the Simon & Garfunkel vein mixed with an old recording of a drunken Slovenian orchestra playing backwards through an AC-15. There's a little bit of Africa in there too. And, somewhere within this melange, Si sighs in a soft, whispered voice of love, mental illness, international terrorism, and the problems he has with his homeland.
The reasons for this are varied; Si used to be one half of Schroeder's Cat, a legendary Sonic-Youth/MBV-impersonating act which toured sporadically in the mid-1990s and released on LA's Emperor Norton. He loves archive recordings of ethnic, folk, jazz and classical music - the older, the better. He also loves sixties pop music and psychedelia. Some electronica and instrumental hip-hop also gets through his radar. And he also has his own thing to say about where we all came from - and where we're going…
His current live shows attempt to find a bridge between live electronics, guitars, drums, percussion, and the combined singing of men, women, children and machines. In various guises Si Schroeder has blown the PA systems of Dublin, London's influential Kosmische club, PopKomm Berlin, New York's IntelFest, and Chicago. Expect toy pianos and toy planes, bleeps and beats (and bleats...) bells and chimes, drones and choirs... and expect to think differently about music, and the world, when you leave.
Simon Kenny - Vocals / Guitar
Brian Mooney - Guitar
Kevin Brew - Keyboards / Vocals
Jimmy Eadie - Bass
Brian O'Connell - Drums
"Coping Mechanisms" CD Album
Trust Me I'm A Thief Records
C4 - Download Single
Trust Me I'm A Thief Records
CD Of The Week!
[+ Show ]
It doesn't take very long to cop that you're in the presence of something rather special here. Iris...It doesn't take very long to cop that you're in the presence of
something rather special here. Irish electronica may be populated
by a large and prolific gallery of enthusiastic producers and players,
but few have yet demonstrated the wherewithal and musical smarts
to pull off any kind of grand statement or big splash. Until now.
You're ready to give Simon Kenny a standing ovation even before
the second track on this beautiful, beguiling, dreamy album has
Once half of hugely derivative Dublin indie act Schroeder's Cat,
Kenny's new sonic adventures are far more interesting because he's
working from so many different sketches. Instead of simply going
along with the current electronic pop flow, Kenny seeks to make full
use of all the music he can hear whirring around in his head. For
instance, you can hear echoes of indie tweeness on Eyes-Wide, but
this is soon blanketed by a bubbling sweep of see-sawing electronics.
Elsewhere, Kenny's fondness for psychedelia and folk cause some
fascinating shapes to develop, especially on Duck and C4.
Of the many gems here, the one you'll return to again and again may
well be Lavendermist, a track that builds from a haunting drone into
the most ecstatic swinger in town, complete with flutes and whistles.
Doughty, confident and ambitious, Coping Mechanisms is an album
you really must hear.
[+ Show ]
THE HOTPRESS 31/05/2006 Reviewd By Phil Udel 9/10 With the mystery surrounding him/them/it, S...THE HOTPRESS
Reviewd By Phil Udel
With the mystery surrounding him/them/it, Si Schroeder could well
be our very own Gnarls Barkley. That there is a connection with
Schroedersound and Schroeder's Cat is clear, but from there on in it
all gets a little murky. There is talk of a six foot hairy biped in his
30's, as well as references to brainchilds, sampling machines and the
Not that any of this matters because Coping Mechanismsis such an
astonishing record. In many ways it's very Dublin, and more
specifically, very Trust Me I'm A Thief. But the important thing is this:
if you thought you had it up to here with mumbling singer songwriter
types, think again. Coping Mechanisms effectively rewrites the book.
Sound wise, its a tour de force, layer upon layer of subtle beats,
feedback drenched guitars and haunting samples going into creating
a noise that is at once quirky and baroque. A much overused phrase
it may be, but this really is a beautiful experience. Slovakian
orchestras criss-cross under African vocals, Sonic Youth style art
rock is laced with Simon & Garfunkel melodies. As strategem go, it is
risky territory - but when you add it all up, the album makes perfect
sense. Si himself, if it is a he, hangs around in the mix somewhere,
occasionally soaring to the fore, more often happily subsumed into
the incredible sounds around him, sounding just as amazed at the
sheer scale of it all as the listener.
That Si Schroeder remains an underground phenomenon is astounding.
Thing is, Coping Mechanisms has the potential to go where David Kitt,
Jape, The Jimmy Cake and the rest have gone before and, whisper it
quietly, eclipse the lot of them. Just you wait.......
[+ Show ]
TOTALLY DUBLIN May 2006 Reviewed by John Brereton Hands in the air, I'm not a huge fan of elec...TOTALLY DUBLIN
Reviewed by John Brereton
Hands in the air, I'm not a huge fan of electronica, finding it full of
beautifu moments and sounds but oddly devoid of vocal melodies and
a soul that makes me return. I'm sure that a catchy vocal isn't really
the point when the artist is creating this kind of record, but for me it's
the difference between the Sydney Opera House & Ayres Rock; both
are stunning formations, but its the rock that i'd return to again and
again. Si Schroeder is a Dublin based artist who kicked around in
post-punk ambient noise groups in the nineties with some some
credibility and on coping mechanisms he's brought a huge amount of
disparate influences to bear on an album that moulds the conventional
blips and bleeps into a structured pop package with superb results.
His sampling is never less than interesting and texturally the album
is a multi-layered, multi-faceted smorgasboard of cleverly blended
sounds that soothe and chill, while Schroeder's tender wistful vocals
provide the icing on the cake. Aside from the antiquated gramaphone
static that tends to be utilised somewhere along the way in most
electronica records Schroeder's songwriting templates definitly smack
of a love of the past, pitched somewhere betwen His Masters Voice
recordings and Stockhausen to mid-sixties folkadelic and Radioheads
Amnesiac. Put your headphones on, sit back and enjoy the flight as
The Reluctant Aviator takes off on a barrage of detuned sounds
that wrestle for airspace with backward looped Eastern European
choirs before his industrial/shoegazing influences peak out from the
growling bass riffs of the gravity-defying Lavendarmist. C4 deploys
a waltz like rhythm to underpin a tune that imagines Nick Cave and
The Flaming Lips crooning endless choruses with a drunken horn
section to a tear sodden audience, before ending up to the theme
tune to the Electric Picnic. Eyes-Wide is this millennium's Oh
Superman, brilliantly executed. The album isn't without its superflous
moments, but the overall standard is very high in all departments.
1. Eyes Wide
5. Elaines Porsche
6. A Little More
7. Reluctant Aviator