Hailing from Manitoba, Canada, Monica Schroeder
has been writing and creating music since 1998. Starting down this road was actually the beginning of the realization of a life-long dream of being a musician and eventually playing on stage. Her debut album The Expectation of Home
was released soon after on her own label Night Sky Records
. She continued working hard writing more music and released her sophomore album Orbit
was released in 2004, once again on her own label.
The music from this talented artist delves mainly into the alternative and modern folk genres along the lines of angelic voices of Sarah McLachlan, Jane Siberry
and in the goth / industrial scene, similar to Claire Voyant
. While fans of these styles of music will really enjoy her first two albums, it's the synthpop fans that are going to be all over the latest work released on A Different Drum
at the end of 2005. This album features remixes by prominent techno/trance/synthpop remixers DJ Ram
and provides a new twist on her angelic vocals.
During her eight year career so far she has received a number of excellent reviews for all three albums so far including coverage in magazines like Billboard
. Her live performance has received positive reviews as well and she has shared the stage with the likes of Jane Siberry, The Cowboy Junkies
and Kathleen Edwards
. She also has been receiving radio airplay on several radio stations across North America including XM Radio, NPR and more.
Move Me - Review
I enjoy many styles of music, but two of my favorites are smooth ethereal music and club-friendly synthpop, so it's a special treat when these two styles are combined in the form of this album.
This disc contains 10 exclusive remixes of tracks where the originals are available on her two previously released full-length albums. These ten tracks include remixes by two prominent techno/synthpop remixers DJ Ram
and Phillip Jidbrant
. Along with these fun dance-friendly mixes we're also presented with a taste of the original sound from this artist in the form of two original tracks "Poison" and "Waiting".
I have to admit that the very first time I heard the music from Monica Schroeder
was in this style of fast-paced remixed synthpop from the Poison
single. I immediately went to check out samples of her original tracks and was hooked. So it was a great treat to hear this album featuring both the remixes and the original tracks. It all kicks off with the fast-paced Nevarakka
remix of "Without You". Most of these remixes are really great, not something that you get very often with a complete remix album. Because the remixes are all done by just two remixers, and the fact that both use very similar styles in their own music, the album remains quite homogenous in the final style after all of the mixes. What's even more amazing is how well these fast-paced renditions mix with the original pieces.
While everybody's own personal tastes will vary, favorites of mine on this album have quickly become those that move smoothly along in that classic synthpop style. The swooshing synths and pulsing rhythms on the first couple of tracks "Without You" and "Poison" lean toward techno and trance, but the smooth vocals and nice lyrics bring it down to earth for synth fans to really enjoy. The tempo varies with some tracks like "I Want You To Fall" which falls back into a sweet mid-tempo piece that keeps the pulsating synth loops moving along. Not all tracks are graceful or club-friendly like the remix of "Love Won't Change" which mixes in break-beats that I have a hard time with, but the original beauty of the track smooths the rough edges a bit making it still good enough to listen to. With few exceptions as the album moves on the remixes get more trancey and maybe not as accessible to the general audience that would normally pick this album up, but there are few enough of these that the overall album is a real treat.
After the remixes we're brought to the two original tracks "Poison" and "Waiting". Both of these tracks sport enough of an alternative flare that the general indie and alternative audience will really enjoy it. In fact the musical style on these two tracks is broad enough I think that anyone that picks up this disc will enjoy these tracks at least as much as the remixes. This gives listeners a taste of Monica's
other albums and listeners should go out and pick them up.
Poison 3" Single - Review
This was my first exposure to the music from this artist and I have to admit that I'm definitely impressed.
This fun little 3" single features three different remixes of "Poison", originally appearing on the full-length album Orbit
. The remixes appearing on this single are all done by Russian remixers including DJ Ram, Ruslan Tagirov and DJ Spell. They all vary slightly in style yet remain true in many ways to the original alternative styles of this track, including not distorting or manipulating Monica's
The first remix is by famed synthpop DJ and remixer DJ Ram of Virtual Server
and sports an up-beat, dance-friendly remix that quickly became the favorite on this disc. Ruslan Tagirov brings an electronica, chill-out version of the track putting the vocals well in the forefront while the music provides just the foundation and back-drop. This gradually intensifies and builds bringing out a few break-beats and providing more movement to the overall feeling of the track. We're left with the remix provided by DJ Spell which really delves into the loopy trance styles and basically transforming the piece into a mostly disappointing instrumental track.
The first two tracks are quite good for the average synth fan, but the third pretty much goes down the drain except for fans of loopy, trance-like instrumental pieces.
Label: A Different Drum