Following the release of their 8th album Intrument on City Slang earlier in 2014 pioneering electronica-postrock band To Rococo Rot will perform their fairwell concert at Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin this December. Support comes from none other than Glasgows indie-pop legends The Pastels making this an unbeatable double bill. Dont miss the chance to see To Rococo Rot one last time.
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. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore, whilst 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something wonderfully cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.
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.
The music of brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider has always existed in its own world. Schneider’s prominent and melodic bass lines sit between drums, guitar, synths and peripheral electronics from the Lippok brothers. The amount of depth is vast; the invitation is nevertheless there to explore the complex levels beyond the basic instrumental foundations, or to simply let the tide of sound wash over and envelope you.
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.
The Pastels are an independent music group from Glasgow, formed in 1981. The group consists of Stephen McRobbie (vocals, guitar), Katrina Mitchell (vocals, drum kit), Gerard Love (bass guitar), John Hogarty (guitar), Tom Crossley (flute, keyboards), and Alison Mitchell (trumpet).[vimeo 64808196 w=447 h=250]
The description “cult band” usually suggests a group that has been going for a while but is only really important to a very small number of people. This definition can be applied to The Pastels, in that they are a permanent feature of student bedrooms, scouring out the back rooms of the Western world. Such an impression may be unfair, as is the fact that good fortune always seems to have eluded them. But their music has been a breath of fresh air – and a fistful of dollars – to a whole generation of musicians, and it doesn’t stop with Teenage Fanclub. Sonic Youth rate them and Kurt Cobain revered them.
To Rococo Rot & The Pastels LIVE
Monday, 29th December 2014 | 20:00 CET
HAU 1 | Stresemannstr. 29 | 10963 Berlin/Kreuzberg