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- Instrument by To Rococo Rot
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 16 July 2014
It seems a lifetime ago that I watched To Rococo Rot rock Woodhouse Liberal Club in Leeds to its very foundations, I always admired the way they merged teutonic electronics, pulsating drums and warm melodic bass to create vibrant and tight instrumentals.
This is their first album in God knows how long and generally its more of the same. The opening track ‘Many Descriptions’ features vocals by Arto Lindsay and starts the album off on a disappointing note. Its a dubbed out piece sounding not unlike Massive Attack - the vocals don’t add much. I mean its not bad but in a primarily instrumental band if you are going to add vocals they really should bring something different to the track. These just seem a bit too bland for the music, ‘normalising’ To Rococo Rot’s music somewhat. Let's not dwell too long on it though because ‘Besides’ quickly appears and starts the album proper, a track which exemplifies everything good about To Rococo Rot - Jah Wobble-like dubby bass, skittering electronics, and Neu-driven simplicity. The live feel of this band has always worked in their favour - they blend live playing with electronics so seemlessly with inventive drumming underpinning the sound.
Listening to their music again, its easy to imagine bands like Mount Kimbie were influenced by this sound, tracks like ‘Baritone’ could have fit quite happily onto ‘Cold Spring, Faultless Youth’ and for those (like most in our office) who love and admire Can there are constant nods to these German forefathers - the ghost of Jaki Leiberzeit is present behind the drum kit and the production is crisp and assured throughout.
Its not all perfect, the vocal tracks aren’t doing it for me and there’s the odd skippable moment but I've found much to enjoy here.
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