To Rococo Rot | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

To Rococo Rot 

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TO ROCOCO ROT

On To Rococo Rot's Veiculo (Emperor Jones), the second album from this Berlin instrumental trio, the group keeps its music small, recalling Tortoise at its most restrained. Flimsy electronic beats saturate the album, but they never push the proceedings toward the dance floor. In fact, the beats seem to emanate from the outside walls of a disco, muffled and abstracted as they penetrate mortar and brick. To Rococo Rot also nods, more directly than Tortoise ever has, to its compadres in Kraftwerk--most of the band's songs favor the same churning minimalism as the legendary group's early work. Though the electric bass lines of Stefan Schneider give it an elastic, human quality, ultimately To Rococo Rot's work functions best as ambient music--after all, the group formed to write the sound track for an art opening. Still, that haunting murkiness makes things interesting enough that I'm willing to find out how it plays live. Silkworm headlines. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Sven Hogdoni.

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