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ROTHKO – Eleven Stages Of Intervention (CD, Bip Hop Records)

Posted: May 31st, 2007, by JGRAM

Thankfully often more Mingus than Mogwai, the bass heavy bass led Rothko have been creating tuneful musical soundscapes for several years now, with each release often bettering the prior. Spread over ten tracks, this is Rothko’s Nth album and shows them yet again at the height of their strengths, their latest release since the A Personal Display Of Conflict EP on Bad Hand Records.

With song titles nearly each reference elements of the environment, this is another serious and sombre sounding collection of songs ideally saved for moments of relaxation or requiring clarity – this is truly a collection that establishes boundaries and a sense of perspective into the whole generation of a person’s purpose and place into the whole structure of proceedings. Seldom can and does post rock/soundscape music move me but there is a true uniqueness and individualism to the sheer weight of emotion that Rothko can muster.

The record opens with subtle Dirty Three-esqe strings as the tension within the engine of the album builds before moving on electronic buzzes that gives it a futuristic, cybernetic pipe feel that fuel it with something of a Far Eastern vibe. If Bill Murray returned to Tokyo in the future and made a sequel to Lost In Translation, this and not Kevin Shields would be asked along to score.

As the record proceeds the tone becomes darker in its beauty, layered with a grand variety of sounds and instruments each giving the song held within a new personality and character. Examples of this in action being the suspense created during “Be Invisible”, a track that would serve perfectly for some nuevo Asian horror movie with the juxtaposed dynamics of tender string harmonies complimenting the apparent menace giving depth. Likewise “Weather Every Storm” plays out like an eruption as it builds and finally explodes.

Served as an example of how to create a modern composition, this collection continues the legacy of excellence that has come to be familiar with any Rothko release and one that gives much hope to the future of post-rock music displaying that there are still avenues still to be ploughed and explored within the genre.

Thesaurus moment: poignant.

Bip Hop


JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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