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Rothko – A Young Fist Curled Around A Cinder For A Wager

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Rothko - A Young Fist Curled Around A Cinder For A WagerIt has been nearly twenty years since we first marvelled at the extraordinary sounds and textures that three gents could elicit from bass guitars. Catching them in support of Appliance was a revelation and following Mark Beazley‘s mercurial career has been both fascinating and frustrating. I haven’t heard much since the Stateless solo album, but 2016 saw the delivery of not one but two albums.

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Rothko – Discover The Lost

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Rothko - Discover The LostFrom the opening strum and distinctive twang of Mark Beazley and Michael Donnelly‘s twin bass strings, Discover The Lost sweeps up the listener in its warmly-curving arms, holds on tight and soothes the cares of the worlds outside away. This it does over the course of the next ten instrumentals with a similar ear for the simplicity found in detail, the subtleties perceived in a deft turn and an interlocking weave of crisp rhythms with overtones and drones.

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Eddison Woods/Rothko (live at The Spitz)

London 24 March 2004

A bit like starting a notebook backwards, I rush in after taking a stupidly slow and expensive cab ride, barely in time to see the last beautiful few moments of Rothko. Theirs is a sound I can recognize from way down the stairs as I run up and through the doors. Frances Morgan‘s violin is good and loud tonight, like passioned crying — just as I feel a proper violin should be. It is not enough, these few minutes, and I am so sorry to have hit too much traffic. I wish they’d play again and just for me. Rothko’s music is always like this: lonely and dark and so soothingly gorgeous; very much like an unrequited night on one’s own. Others around me comment and I know I have missed out on an especially strong performance of Rothko’s most recent line up.

Now a craft

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Damo Suzuki’s Network/Rothko (live at The Scala)

London 21 March 2001

In tow with the usual Krautrock London posse I arrived at The Scala just in time to hear lots of talk about how a lot of people have not been here since it was a infamous cinema. Though I never saw it in its glory, the building is still impressive with its loads of marble and Art Deco swirly tiles not quite lost in the stripped-pine modern re-structure. Other talk in the grand foyer was about the nearly embarrassing quantity of people here to see the magnificent performers on hand. It was true, there was a significant lack of bodies present considering the even to be, but nevermind, the Scala is a big venue, and most crowds might seem small inside it.

RothkoThe nights music began with Rothko, a suprise to me and a pleasant one to say the least. The bass

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Ui/Rothko (live)

The Borderline, London 9th November 1999

A night at The Borderline, a night for Americanism. We arrived too late to hear the first set, a band called Kenny Process Team, so no insights there apart from the appropriate(d) soundtrack feeling their last couple of songs gave me as I took in the setting. This venue is a strange place for my impressions of London. Done up in 1970’s Tex-Mex sort of decor, disturbingly orderly, little comedy cowboy motifs everywhere, The Borderline could have easier been stuck out in the California high desert as in the middle of London. I felt relieved to notice the very punk-rock bartenders and hoped against all that no one was going to line-dance.

So then came Rothko, their short set of woeful bass-based tunes rang romantic and sweet, completely instrumental, basstrumental. One, two, three bass guitars to accompany the other sort of electronica, but with

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