A gifted producer from Dallas shows off his melodic gifts.
Though Schrock makes instrumental synth music, he writes songs, not tracks. That's clear off the bat with "Grey Skies," which cruises full steam ahead like an early '80s Tangerine Dream track. Drum machine hits, bulldozing bassline arpeggio, triumphant chords. The shimmering Berlin School tribute "A.51" stays focused and driven, keeping your attention with small shifts in programming. A track like "Deep Sea" satisfies the yearning, sci-fi melody quotient, but its sinuous melodies are kept within the limits of a three-minute waltz.
Schrock's sense of economy is one of his defining features, and some of the most exciting parts of Omnibus are when he tries out firmer structures. "Home Alone" could be from an old Metroplex record in the late '80s, and the way it takes influence from starry-eyed Detroit electro feels like a tribute to Dallas's decades-long tradition of Detroit-inspired dance music. "Wormhole" might be Schrock's best, arranged with the heft and dynamism of a whole band. Some outlandish effects, like when his synth approximates the roaring of a jet engine, complete Omnibus's melodramatic but lighthearted vibe. Somewhere in the sweet spot between flashy technical demonstration, emotive playing and a penchant for songwriting that makes him more than just another synth wiz.