Frank Rothkamm [ RENO ]

Frank's return to the scene at the very end of 2011 is with a ballet masquerading as jazzy tech house music that he started to compose 20 years ago.

Frank wouldn't be frank however if RENO would not have it's conceptual raison d'etre: LE BALLET SURMODERNE (the supermodern ballet). He is clearly not thinking here about the ballet with its origins in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. Instead, RENO's origins are based in the last decade of the 20th century, the time of the 2nd psychedelic revolution: the Rave movement in San Francisco. There he organized Raves and Rave-type happenings with go-go dancers from nightclubs. There, while performing in drag, he met his future wife and eternal muse Nina. But it was not until he arrived in New York that the idea of electronic dance music as a form of avant-garde composition - a ballet music independent of the club scene - was born.

The music he now composed was for a utopian ballet surmoderne in which the separation between dancer and spectator no longer exist, where every movement of everything is in equal relation to every other movement and in time with the rational clock of the universe. The clock is the ever-present bass drum ticking away at frequencies that the body can feel. The ballet's primary perception and experience is physical, expressing a dancing paradox: Every bar is different, but only minimally so; RENO is repetitive music, but there is really no repetition. With these ideas in his head he went out all over New York to find the support.

Alas, Frank continued to live as a skinny lad, under great stress and in poverty in New York. He was unable to sign any kind of album deal or have an opportunity to stage his ballet music. In 1998 he moved to Los Angeles. RENO was left unpublished, a torso without head or limbs. Until Now.

RENO was scored in CUBASE on an ATARI ST computer, hooked-up to an orchestra of what today would be considered vintage synthesizers, samplers and drum machines, most of which share the reputation of being hard to program. This can now be considered a l'esprit de vie that runs through all of Frank's work. Not surprisingly, the drama of RENO as the invisible ballet surmoderne unfolds with a different style and soundset for each track. Because this dance music definitely has meat on its bones it's commonly referred to as BEEFY HOUSE.

Catalog No: FLX15 (LN44)
Title: RENO
Sound Artist: Frank Rothkamm
Visual Artist: Holger Rothkamm
Label: Flux Records
Length: 38:01 (2281s)
Composed: 1992-1997
Location: San Francisco
New York
Instruments: TX16W FB01 TX81Z TR707 Voice
Yamaha TX16W
Roland Juno 106
Yamaha TX81Z
Yamaha FB01
Kurzweil K2000
Atari ST
Cubase 2.0
Kurzweil K2000 TX81Z FB01 Drumulator
Release Date: 11/22/2011
Edition Size: 100
Format: Compact Disc
Parts: Vinyl style sleeve(4/4)
Compact Disc(4/4)
4to booklet
UPC: 844553 053973
File Under: jazzy tech house
PDF: rothkamm-RENO-artwork.pdf

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