To Rococo Rot
with support from The National Jazz Trio of Scotland
SATURDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2014
Return bus from Mono, Kings Court, Glasgow - leaves at 6:30pm returning around 10:30pm - £5
Walking a line between what has passed and what is yet to come, seminal trio To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves, and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics.
Returning to Berlin-based label City Slang in 2014 for their first full-length since 2010’s Speculation (released on Domino) and their eighth album in total, Instrument is a landmark record for the group. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay adorn three tracks (‘Many Descriptions’, ‘Classify’ and ‘The Longest Escalator in the World’), offering up a new perspective. As much a progression as a refresher course for older material, it is arguably their most refined record so far.
After eight records without a bona fide, original To Rococo Rot ‘song’, the band have made their first forays into non-instrumental music. The question of “why now?” is a pertinent one. Lippok explains that it was as much down to happenstance as anything else. “I don’t know how it came but it came quite naturally. A lot of our music people say is longing for vocals,” he says. “We never felt like that but when we were in the rehearsal room and played the stuff we could hear these voices. Maybe because there were about 40 old pianos and when we played, all the strings of the pianos resonated. That made us feel that there should be a new and another element in this music. There was no discussion about it.”
Lindsay’s laid-back and unhurried words lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of To Rococo Rot whilst pulling them through to an unfamiliar and occasionally pop-based space. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification. It sits perfectly within the warm timbres created by Lippok, Lippok and Schneider.
Instrument may be a To Rococo Rot record unlike any other – and one which treads unfamiliar ground, especially on the digital pulse of tracks like ‘Pro Model’ – but it also represents a return to the beginning. “I think maybe we’ve come in a way back to where we started. We’ve been through a lot of experimenting, buying new gear, trying this and that with electronic and non-electronic stuff,” says Lippok. Yet Instrument is by no means a regression; the process this time has merely been a vehicle for To Rococo Rot to reaffirm and even advance their relevance and status as one of electronic music’s great innovators.
Support is a rare performance from serenely minimalist The National Jazz Trio of Scotland whose latest album Standards Volume 3 is out now and is an essential listen.