TO ROCOCO ROT: Speculation (Domino Recording Co.)


Posted on Mar 10th 2010 01:17 am

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To Rococo Rot: Speculation

Domino Recording Co. 2010
10 Tracks. 44mins55secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP

To Rococo Rot was formed over fifteen years ago by brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and friend Stefan Schneider. Building on the rich heritage of the German experimental scene of the seventies and confronting it with contemporary electronica, the trio have, over the course of six studio albums and countless EPs and singles, created a very consistent body of work. Even more so than with Kreidler (Schneider was once a member), or Tarwater, another of Ronald’s projects, one can easily trace TRR’s electronic instrumentals back to pioneering bands such as Cluster or Harmonia, yet the trio have always favoured a more down-to-earth sound and format.

Recorded at Faust’s studio in Scheer, in rural southern Germany, Speculation, the band’s seventh album, their first in six years, sees To Rococo Rot tackle their sound head on by adopting a process as close to live recording as possible. This is very palpable throughout, as Stefan Schneider’s bass rumbles through cascades of drums (Seele, Horses) or digs deep into the comatose groove of Place It, while guitar textures hang delicately over Away or Bells and warm electronics ripple through Forwardness, Working Against Time or Ship, giving this record a particularly organic feel. There is here, like on any of the band’s previous record, a distinctive aesthetic which stems from a taste for well defined soundscapes and clear melodic lines. While this can occasionally give the music a slightly austere feel, it is it is balanced by an unusual dynamic in the music itself, a direct consequence of the recording process. On a recent single Forwardness might have been given a radical tribal techno reworking courtesy of Traversable Wormhole, but in its original form, it is a subtle hypnotic piece built around a three-note loop and a hectic drum/bass combo.

The piece de resistance of this album comes at the end with the sprawling ten-minute epic Friday, for which TRR are joined by Faust keyboard player Hans Joachim Irmler. Here, the trio step onto Kosmische grounds to dispense bubbling electronics, deep thundering bass lines, vast sonic expanses, pulsating organ chords and hypnotic loops. This is unlike anything the band have recorded, and sits in sharp contrast with the rest of the record, but it is also provides it with a stunning conclusion.

Until now, To Rococo Rot have kept their sound firmly in check, worked into records that toyed with the idea of experimentation without giving it more attention. While Speculation retains an element of this, the trio are keener to give the music time to expend and see what happens, and this contributes greatly to make this record their most convincing and engaging to date.


To Rococo Rot (MySpace) | Domino Recording Co.
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP

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One Response to “TO ROCOCO ROT: Speculation (Domino Recording Co.)”

  1. THE 2010 REVIEW | themilkfactoryon 19 Dec 2010 at 8:51 pm

    […] K-X-P (Smalltown Supersound) 24. CLEM LEEK Holly Lane (Hibernate Recordings) 25. TO ROCOCO ROT Speculation (Domino Recordings Co.) 26. ANDREA MARUTTI/FAUSTO BALBO Detrimental Dialogue (AEF Records/Boring […]