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Speculation [CD]

To Rococo Rot Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 16.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Mar 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B00375DC2S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Away 4:200.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Seele 4:030.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Horses 4:060.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Forwardness 4:120.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. No Way To Prepare0:320.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Working Against Time 3:480.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Place It 5:160.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ship 4:450.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Bells 3:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Fridays10:400.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Eight albums into a career that began during (and arguably defined a Mitteleuropa response to) the first flush of 90s US post-rock, the palindromic Berlin-via Düsseldorf trio continue to turn electronically-tinged, instrumental rock music inside out, their enthusiasm for recombining and recontextualising familiar sounds and genre traits seemingly undimmed. As is perhaps inevitable when experiment defines a musical approach, Speculation proves to be something of a mixed bag; but so laudable are its makers’ intentions that even when things occasionally fall flat, you find yourself applauding their efforts.

Partly recorded live and in the moment at Faust’s studio in Scheer, in rural southern Germany, To Rococo Rot’s is now a relatively unembellished sound, certainly compared to the sophisticated electronic layering of their benchmark 90s albums Veiculo and The Amateur View. As then, however, it’s Stefan Schneider’s bass which provides the music’s centre. Oscillating between graph paper dub, neo-krautrock throb and needling lead line, Schneider locks in with Ronald Lippok’s stripped-back live drums and discretely processed beats, while his brother, Robert Lippok, sprinkles ephemeral textures and discrete melodies.

As dextrous and nuanced as much of Speculation is, it’s also the rawest music they’ve yet produced. Thus, hypnotic opener Away is a tone-setting exercise in combo deconstruction – the sound of a band purposefully reducing itself down to essential constituents. Featuring just heartbeat drums, a primitive, loping bass line and a slow accumulation of gauzy sonic scree, it seamlessly conflates the robotic and the organic.

Seele, meanwhile, constructs a counterpoint flow of flickering hi-hats and snaking bass beneath a cloud of reverberant piano chords, while Horses uses the implacability of a burbling sequencer to allow drums and bass to meander jazzily – like much here, it’s perched on the cusp between warm-blooded humanity and technological rigidity.

The formula wears slightly thin later on, but things pick up again on a closing pair of tracks, Bells and Friday, which recall the delightful modal-pastoral experiments of 70s German antecedents Harmonia and Cluster. The latter number even features an organ cameo from Faust’s Hans Joachim Irmler – an imprimatur from krautrock aristocracy that’s well earned. --David Sheppard

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To Rococo Rot - Speculation 20 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD
If the words "German electronica" conjure images of austere-looking men standing motionless behind synths in mono-coloured suits, or the "nihilist" baddies in The Big Lebowski, To Rococo Rot might help you abandon the stereotype. Stefan Schneider and brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok are a Berlin-based electronica and post-rock trio who have been blending digital and acoustic elements for almost 15 years. `Speculation', their sixth full-length, is their warmest, most human album yet. Made in a secluded rural area of southern Germany with a simple studio set-up that enabled recording "like a band playing a live show", the bucolic surroundings and more freeform dynamic are evident in the results.

The band's MySpace featues some interesting notes: "A record that celebrates uncertainty" may be a bit strong claim for an album which pleasures rather than challenges the ear, but I can see what they mean. The tracks are largely brief, and are cyclic rather than linear - simmering instead of evolving, "in a midpoint between propulsion and letting go". They often fizzle out much the way they began, fittingly for band whose moniker is itself a palindrome (i.e., its reads the same forwards as backwards).

Some tracks - like the understated opener 'Away', with its rumbling post-punk bass loop augmented by jazzy flutters of high end guitar - have an air of live improvisation about them. There is a delicate hesitancy to this live instrumentation which makes a nice counterpoint to the metronomic insistence of the beats. The jazziness deepens with the looser percussion of `Seele', punctuated by deep piano chords and lush atmospherics, and `Horses' which ripples under the auspices of some teasingly funky bass.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Far From Shallow Seam 7 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD
To Rococo Rot are Stephan Schneider who plays bass and brothers
Robert and Ronald Lippok who play guitar and electronics and drums
and all manner of effects respectively. They come from Berlin and as
befits that great city's noble legacy of fine electronic music their own
contribution is a not insignificant one. They have been sending signals
out into the listening world since their eponymous debut in 1996.

Highlights along the way have included their 2001 release 'Kolner Brett',
a jolly little collection of a dozen pieces ('Kolner Brett 1' - 'Kolner Brett 12')
each of which revolves around a simple germinal idea which is then
stretched inside-out and outside-in to drain every last drop of compositional
possibility from its entrails and the rather splendid 'Hotel Morgen' (2004)
which, in comparison, stretches its wings and soars with a dazzling array
of multi-faceted and multi-textured musical and rhythmic ideas. It is a
veritable treasure chest of richly exotic invention.

Their most recent album 'Speculation' is more than worthy of our attention too.
There are ten pieces to consider and although there are no great surprises or
significant changes of direction in stylistic content there is still much to enjoy.

Some of the arrangements seem to have arisen from a need to strip things
down and simplify their technological tool kit and lofty aesthetic paradigm.
Opening track 'Away', for example, is essentially a jam constructed around
a rock-solid bass-line thrown into the mix by Mr Schneider.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars warm hypnotic electronica 11 Aug 2010
By Charlie Quaker - Published on
Format:Audio CD
German band's 6th album is a refreshingly clean and warm instrumental electronica venture
that's mesmerizing & hypnotic, with a friendly sort of calming indie post-rock infused energy.
Features members of Tarwater, Kreidler & Mapstation, with a guest spot from Jochen Irmler of
Faust. Similarities to artists such as Steve Reich, Can, Faust, Autechre (in a calm mood),
Seefeel, Tortoise, Fridge, Fujiya & Miyagi.
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