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To Rococo Rot – Kölner Brett

Label: Staubgold Format: CD

K�ner Brett- sleeve detailWhat better subject for a To Rococo Rot concept album than a highly modernist building in Cologne? With twelve modular rooms to work represent both the structure and purpose of, the logical method the band took was to compose a three minute track for each section. What emerges is a stripped-down album which works within the structural constraints to deliciously minimal effect, whether on the cyclical guitar figures of Track 3 or in pulsing barebones Electro rhythms elsewhere.

Kölner Brett is a gem of an album, where warm flows of deft Funk click and cut over to a meandering groove of post-post-Rock with all the smooth musical engineering processes which have come to characterise the melodic side of German electronica, and more specifically To Rococo Rot. Their dub influences infect everything with a subtle hypnotic swell, as

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To Rococo Rot + I-Sound – Pantone EP

Label: City Slang (Europe)/Mute (North America) Format: CDS,12″

To Rococo Rot + I-Sound – Pantone EPThe Pantone EP brings together a selection of tracks originally aired on To Rococo Rot and I-Sound’s Music Is A Hungry Ghost album, here revised in light of live performance. “Pantone (Red)” whirrs out from an opening skim across the glitchscape into a tinkly melody, all trailed echoes of brightly-sparking electronics and the characteristic TRR bass glide. The synthetic strings swell, the melody hums beatiful thoughts to itself, and the chirrup of cyclical hiss and spinning tops makes drowsy clouds waft by into delicate decay. The Trance Of Travel (Gets)” brings the Funk on in, as hesitant synthetic notes make their statement of intent to the beat of steam-propelled drum machinery and the sound of layered delay-looped percussion samples. It’s on this track that I-Sound’s

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To Rococo Rot/SchneiderTM (live)

Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank Centre, London 7th May 2000

It’s City Slang‘s birthday – ten years old and going stronger than ever at the interface of good old-fashioned Post-Indie Rock, Country dispatches from the edge and exuberent German Electronica. Tonights show is the first London event, featuring the latter stylings in the shape of Dirk Dresselhaus‘s bubbly bleep outfit SchneiderTM and the ever-evolving melodies of To Rococo Rot. Somehow Schneider have expanded by 300% for this show, with Dresselhaus flanked by various intense cohorts and their boxes of tricks, and together they produce a near-chaotic mishmash of generally upbeat rhythms and some quite quirky noises.

Perhaps there is a little of the cheesy on display tonight – a little of the DiscoTechnoPop muted by the surroundings, if only for the audience. No, Dirk is well up for it, punching the air, jerking like he’s been plugged straight into the

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To Rococo Rot – The Amateur View

Label: City Slang Format: CD, LP

To Rococo Rot - The Amateur ViewFrom their beginnings as the musical department of an art exhibition, To Rococo Rot have shown themselves to be something special – it’s not the methodology alone, not the combination of sequencer, sampler, drums and the sometimes floor-threatening bass they favour live, but is to be found in the precise combination of all the above with that special spark of warm humanity among the machinery. Driven by a supremely mellow appreciation for the interplay of bass and drums, topped off with some almost indescribably lovely sampler melodies, The Amateur View grows outwards from an ever-shifting core, with compelling grooves emerging from a wash of keyboards and melodic texture which pulls off the difficult

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Daniel Miller’s Mini-Meltdown Festival

Irregular #5 The South Bank Centre, London 8th-10th April 1999

The last five to ten years have seen an exponential rise in the number of intriguing events at London’s premier Arts Council-funded cultural centre on the South Bank of the River Thames, thanks to an innovative booking policy and the success of the events themselves, expanding the venue beyond its associations with Radio 3 “serious” music concerts and other more traditionally high-culture performances into the staging of events such as the London Musician’s Collective’s Annual Festival of Experimental Music and the recent Atari Teenage Riot gig which resulting in the closure of the venue due to crowd over-enthusiasm. Following on from the Meltdown series of festivals held each year, with past guest directors including Laurie Anderson and John Peel (this year’s is Nick Cave), Daniel Miller, founder and head of Mute Records, was invited to draw up his wish-list for

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To Rococo Rot/The Third Eye Foundation (live)

Po Na Na’s, London 2nd November 1998

Po Na Na’s is a bit of a new venue in London, emerging from underneath a pub on the increasingly busy (musically as well as with traffic) Highbury Corner, and decorated in a faux-Moroccan style which actually suits the sounds emerging from The Third Eye Foundation‘s DAT player and mixer quite nicely. Matt Elliot tweaks levels and twiddles knobs to suit the unfavourable acoustics, setting out a stream of juddering Drum & Bass breaks overlaid with increasingly unsettling noises. These range from the (by now, Elliot himself having done much to establish the form) conventionally drilling screams to unnerving looped moans, reaching a peak with the Eastern flavour on the still-powerful “Semtex” before its transition into the loping Latin version “Galaxy of Scars,” Elliot hunched over his console as the audience steadfastly refuses to dance in the face of his increasingly rolling breaks.

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To Rococo Rot – She Understands the Dynamics

Label: Fat Cat Format: 12″

Supremely mellow, fascinatingly layered micro-dubs from a country (Germany) teeming with super-proficient Electronica. Ripples, pulses, flows and then grows. Crackles, lo-fi sound sources and bass bleeps celeverly arranged to produce an all-suffusing glow of satisfying serenity, without descent into Ambient earwash. Why don’t record players have repeat buttons?

-Freq1C-

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