City Slang – 2001 - 46 minutes
To Rococo Rot are often (and most unfairly) compared to their German compatriots Mouse on Mars. The latter duo compose pieces that can accurately be described as the musical equivalent of performance art as their out-there uber-abstract beats put them in an experimental field all of their own. TRR do a nice line in similar sounding abstract electronica – but with more heart and soul. If they warrant comparison to anyone, it's to US experimental post-rockers Tortoise, especially on the opening track, A Number of Things. The band's previous three albums featured the usual To Rococo Rot line-up – brothers Ronald and Robert Lippok and Stefan Schneider. 'Music Is A Hungry Ghost' is an interesting collaborative project with I-Sound, aka Craig Willingham, a US beat-meister whose usual tools are hip-hop and techno breaks.
The result is a less commercial, beautifully intense collection of music. From Dream to Daylight conjures up an image of exactly that: a delicate dawn chorus of electronics and violins that stir the listener. They can swoop from the urban robotics of How We Never Went To Bed (great title) to the soothing pace of First. Overhead sounds like it was recorded in an underwater vacuum, while the aptly named Pantone is a swatch of colour with a seriously positive vibe about it.
These soundscapes carry a universality that appeal to all kinds of moods and settings. Theirs is an impressionistic attempt at conveying all aspects of a genre so often demonised as inaccessible. Pockets of this album may seem abstract, but there is gentle, ethereal quality to it that some of their electronic contemporaries should take note of. Maybe you need a palindromic name to make electronic music that can really evoke the senses and touch the heart.
Tracklisting: A Number Of Things – For A Moment – How We Never Went To Bed – First – From Dream To Daylight – Your Secrets, A Few Words – Along The Route – Overhead – Koku – Pantone – Mazda In The Mist – She Tended To Forget – The Trance Of Travel