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ROTHKAMM [ FB02 ] Limited Compact Disc Multiple $35.03
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[FB02] Cover
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[FB02] Art Work


 
Catalog No: FLX5
Artist: ROTHKAMM
Title: FB02
Label: Flux Records
Length: 33:32
Composed: 2003-2004
Release Date: 6/30/2006
Edition Size:
UPC: 635961063025
File Under: Sci-Fi Serialism
Elektronische Musik
Avant-garde
Math Space Rock


The 2nd Album of the FB01-Machine-Trilogy

Having laid the cornerstone for sci-fi serialism with his early 21st century album "FB01", ROTHKAMM returns after 3 years of labor with "FB02", a space drama of Intuitive Future Oriented Retrograde Motion Music (IFORMM).

"FB02 - Astronaut of Inner Space" is a feast for the mind and the ears of anyone interested in the ancient past and utopian future of electronic music as this album manages the dialectic coup d'état of greatest accessibility AND infinite complexity. The former is achieved with traces of other-, or shall we say, inner-worldly microtonal melodies and the later through the meticulously researched psycho-cybernetic sound architectures that appear to obey the laws of a parallel universe.

ROTHKAMM premiered the work on Thursday, June 29, 2006 at exactly 9:04 PM on a Manhattan rooftop stage as a 3D view & sound TRIPHONY. Now, with this special CD kit designed for home use, YOU can replicate the experience! ()

The Audio Effect

Playback of the ROTHKAMM "FB02" Compact Disc is fully compatible with a regular stereo setup, but to experience the TRIPHONY audio effect you will need to re-arrange the speakers of a home theatre or computer speaker system.

Audio on FB02 is encoded as a regular stereo image that decodes on a 4.1 channel system. Alternately, a 2.1 system with two additional speakers or a 5.1 system can be used.

The speakers are usually labeled Left Front, Right Front, Left Back (or Surround), Right Back (or Surround), and Sub(woofer). Arrange the Left Front and Right Front speaker so they almost touch and place them at a distance in front of you. The speakers should be elevated to ear level.Take the Sub-woofer and place it on the ground at half the distance between you and the front speakers. Now take the Left Back and Right Back and place them (elevated to ear level) at a distance to the left and right, so that you are almost between the speakers. Make sure that the same sound and volume level is on all Left speakers and all Right speakers, respectively.

If you were to connect all speakers with straight lines you would see a tetrahedron, a 3-sided pyramid upside down.



Tracklisting: year opus
[01] New York Silence of Mute 2003 16 6:21
[02] New York ID 8 2006 51 0:04
[03] New York Outdoor Heritage of New Jersey 2003 17 5:29
[04] New York ID 9 2006 52 0:04
[05] Hollywood Astronaut of Inner Space 2004 21 7:37
[06] New York ID 10 2006 53 0:04
[07] New York Triumph of the Analog Age 2003 18 5:50
[08] New York ID 11 2006 54 0:04
[09] New York Adventures in Research 2003 15 7:59




Reviews:

SOUND & RECORDING  GERMANY
 
Rothkamm's "Retro-Computed Music" leaves the boundaries of the groove and of functional harmony.  The dissolvement of the 1/2 tone into 678 steps sounds less strange to the ear than, say, the 1/4 tone scale.  Because of this extreme a fantastic-futuristic tuning and atmosphere is created, which develops into its very own structures and sounds from the Yamaha FB01. Veterans and lovers of FM-sounds appreciate this informally designed little black box because of its neatly arranged parameters, powerful bass and unusual sounds, which are produced via 4 operators and 8 algorithms by sine waves.  Rothkamm sees these as pure synthesis elements in the tradition of Fourier. Un-corporal and accessible to the tools of the programmer and composer, sine waves generate complex sounds via additive synthesis, FM and ring modulation without filters, which is common practice in the analog world of subtractive synthesis.  At the same time, Rothkamm is dedicated to the idea of an instrument which has clearly defined possibilities and idiosyncrasies, all to be researched and used.    

Frank Rothkamm resists any form of populism. For him, it is all about to actually live utopia. In this case, the research into the fascinating-bizarre sound world of Frequency Modulation with the methods of its age, the machines of the 80s. For him, the FB01 is the perfect spaceship to delve into the depths of FM sound synthesis. His navigator is IFORMM - "a Turing Machine of Sci-Fi Serialism", so says Rothkamm. Since the middle of the 80s he has developed his own composition and sound tool. It has now grown to be an operating system and now resides within an Atari Emulator. IFORMM communicates via SysEx messages with the parameter pallet of the FB01. "IFORMM's software functions as a scriptable real-time generative transformer, random process generator and bitgraphics visualizer." All friends of original electronic music should take the "FB01-machine-trilogy" to heart.

Frank Holger Rothkamm is a musician, composer, programmer, and border crossing conceptual artist. He counts as his influences Immanuel Kant, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Liberace and Alan Turing. He grew up in Germany, first emigrated to Canada and then to America Alone on the musical sector he can point to an encompassing oeuvre: He worked with such different artist as the Hardkiss Bros., Peter Scherer, Elliott Sharp, Alfred 23 Harth, Wolfgang Muthspiel and DJ Spooky.

"Supermodernism" is his key word. The architect of this world view however does not mean the drive for the fastest and newest in our overpopulated electronic universe. Again, in his latest work Rothkamm generates all sounds alone with the Yamaha FB01. The album "FB03"  is the final part of a trilogy, and with it Rothkamm stands in the tradition of "fantastic" electronic music - like Louis and Bebe Baron or Raymond Scott. In addition he shows as his influences the electronic serialists Wladimir Usachevsky and Franco Evangelisti.

(translated from the original German)
 
Joker Nies SOUND & RECORDING

THE TARTAN (CARNEGIE MELLON'S STUDENT NEWSPAPER) 
 
1. Gescom — Minidisc
2. Bytecon — At The Robodock
3. Tom Waits — Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
4. Various Artists — London is the Place For Me 4
5. Sunn O)))/Boris — Altar
6. Squarepusher — Hello Everything
7. Rothkamm — FB02: Astronaut Of Inner Space
8. Old Crow Medicine Show — Big Iron World
9. Daryl Fleming and the Public Domain — Fable Of The Bees
10.Ceylon Mange — The Maiming Path
 
David Hartunian THE TARTAN (CARNEGIE MELLON'S STUDENT NEWSPAPER)

E|I  USA
 
No doubt a person's words, image, and surroundings may conjure up assumptions that don't so much taint as color said person's reputation. We acknowledge the genius legacy of Einstein, for instance, yet through solely the most superficial of observations—his Bartlett's quotation on imagination versus knowledge, or more likely archival images of the clutter encompassing his chalkboards, workspaces, even his wardrobe and mane of hair—one might at first blush peg him as some scatterbrained, quixotic uncle/grandfather figure.

The chinks in the character-armor of supermodernist philosopher-cum-musician Frank Rothkamm require more effort to discover, but studying his art in conjunction with the life, technology, and quasimystical principles behind it makes it easier (and maybe a little sadder) to wonder what portion of him is mad scientist and what portion simply mad.

Everything about Rothkamm is just so, and yet haphazardly so: He is German-born, New York-living, and Hollywood-recording. His overarching vision merges Fourier analysis, Kant's championing of intuition, and Turing's computational theories—all different ways of using parts to synthesize the whole.

His name is aligned with no less than eight recording and production aliases; at one point he had ties to mainstream acts like DJ Spooky and The Cranberries. Now, however, his movement-in-progress beckons loud and exclusively. To that end, Rothkamm is painstakingly seeing through to completion artistic renderings of his supermodernism: organizing his back catalog online to show the path and purpose of its nonlinear development, performing pieces controlled by and for odd combinations of vintage electronics, and building specialized music- and code-generating black boxes.

One such box—IFORMM, software of Rothkamm's retrofitted design that he has elevated to the title of instrument—figures prominently in FB01 and FB02, the first two-thirds of a trilogy featuring the sonic results of complex mathematical manipulations of sine waves. (FB03 was slated for release earlier in 2007.) Equally important here is the human-machine interface, as Rothkamm's ideal performances are both multitracked and executed near a sleep state to simultaneously defuse real reality and promote his virtual, random one.

The results mostly feature colonies of bright tones ping-ponging across and into deeper, darker washes. The closing portion of FB01's "Atmospheric Composition" and the opening of FB02's "Silence of Mute" may be Rothkamm's most cohesive work there, the former banging over and eventually melting into a low bass drone that forms a bridge between the releases. There's no real rhythm to grasp on these albums for more than a few seconds, nor is there much of a musical story to be told unless you lull yourself into the belief that you catch John Williams' famous five-note alien communiqué from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (this reviewer hears it twice) or simply hear arcade games talk to each other after closing time (an Atari emulator is involved here, so we may not be far off). Cohesion isn't really the point, however, as these are really digital headphone-trip compositions.

FB01 and FB02 represent deconstructivism reconstructed, musique concrète ground up and recast. Rothkamm so wants his future and the music therein to be in his words "utopian and scientific" that he essentially converts the technologic into the psychotropic, sound meant to be synonymous with song if not triumphing over it altogether.

Moers Works offers welcome examples of structure in Rothkamm's work without needing to hunt down individual efforts in house, leftfield dance music, and multidimensional stereophonics. This collection exposes his past life as a German tape manipulator, a good twenty years before he converted to supermodernism.

"Arpeggiator" shows that Rothkamm could make room for melody even in the absence of formal time signatures. "Industrie," "Wasser" and "Quartett" respectively relay bracing sonic monologues from field recordings of various machines, forms of water, and string instruments. The magnum opus "Rauschmittel" (U2 sample and all) and moody meditations such as "Ich" and "Relikt" prove that Rothkamm once shared family-tree branches with The Orb, Meat Beat Manifesto, even Negativland. While tracks like "Rückkopplung" presage at least the algorithmic atmospherics underpinning his FB triad, many of the compositions on Moers Works are downright traditional—at least what passes for traditional in the realms of weird music. The relative ease with which these older sounds engage the listener makes it that much harder to tell if Rothkamm's new manifesto or its IFORMM soundtracks can find a foothold of legitimacy.
 
Adam Blyweiss E|I

CHAIN D.L.K.  USA
 
Coil has noted that their equipment is just as much a member of the band as the people. They called the entity that inhabited their equipment ELpH. Now imagine that ELpH met Erasure?s studio and they started dating. This is what their courtship would sound like. The promo sheet that came with this disc proclaims, ?A new vision for American Music.? Maybe not, but certainly interesting. Warm drones and analogue blips mesh to make a satisfying whole.

?Silence of Mute? is a track that would be right at home in some futuristic Bugs Bunny cartoon - whimsical, with moments of action.

?Triumph of the Analogue Age? begins chaotic and noisy, as if someone was completely misusing a Prophet 5, but then becomes a bit more subdued. After the more sedate tracks, this one makes you sit up and take notice.

There are only five tracks on this disc (the unlabeled ones are just 4 seconds tracks of analogue blips and silence). In general, they all would sound at home in 1950?s Sci-fi movies (I would love to see a collaboration between Rothkamm and Stelladrine for this).

An interesting disc but how could we expect anything less from a self-proclaimed polymath (person of great or varied learning; one acquainted with various subjects of study) who has, according to the bio sheet, appeared in Playboy in 1991, playing an instrument of his own creation (IFORMM), which, according to the CD notes, is ?tuned to 768-frequencies-per-octave, a scale so delicate that you may be able to detect the silent architectures of a parallel universe?? We couldn?t.

Rated: 4 out 5 stars
 
eskaton CHAIN D.L.K.

MONOCHROME VISION  RUSSIA
 
Frank Rothkamm is one of the most interesting musicians of our time who has been working for a quarter of a century.  

He is a real fighter of the invisible front, producer and initiator of many projects, founder of the label "Flux Records" who has tried multiple styles from magnetic-tape-collage music produced in his home studio in the beginning of the eighties to post-classical music for chamber orchestra, and he's not feeling squeamish about pop-music productions either.  

"FB01" and "FB02" - the albums of his latest period, put out by him independently, complement each other musically, being parts of one series.  The subtitle of the second part is "Astronaut of Inner Space", and indeed the album resembles music to sci-fi movies of the sixties, something in the middle between an electronic version of Debussy's impressionism and early computer music of the twentieth century.  

Purposefully devoid of any hint at standard harmony and regularity, absolutely dehumanized and still very confident in its futuristic course, this music attracts by its otherworldly charm.  Deserted and cold landscapes, divided by four-second id-marks, surround the listener from all sides.  Five abstract and atonal models of whimsical uninterrupted three-dimensional functions that get out of balance at the minor interference into hyper space.

(translated from Russian by Mikhail Magaril)
 
Dmitry Vasilyev (I.E.M.) MONOCHROME VISION

WRECK THIS MESS  NETHERLANDS
 
Feeling a little like I'm in a Lost in Space Back to the Retro Future of Brazil outtake here.

the music is warm, enveloping and strangely pinioned between astro-lounge and the utterances of a space capsule off its flight path.

At once alienating and somehow comforting. It claims to be in Triphony, a synaesthetic experience where sound becomes sight.
 
Bart Plantenga WRECK THIS MESS

SONIC CURIOSITY  USA
 
This release from 2006 offers 34 minutes of abstract electronics.

Rothkamm's music is comprised of ethereal tones and sporadic pulsations that pursue a nonmelodic structure. The compositions delve into inner space, seeking connections between the id and abstract realms. Harmonic applications strive for order in chaos, channeling erratic patterns into an astral terrain that is highly evocative of an interstellar medium.

Keys are struck seemingly at random, yet the result ebbs into a strange cohesion that harkens to the early days of electronic music, akin to Stockhausen or John Cage. Diodes are tweaked and cybernetic circuits are coaxed to generate grating sounds that are then aligned with softer tonalities that echo the sentiments of sci-fi movie effects from the 1950s.

The overall sound is often eerie with a strong mechanical edge. Although generally atonal in nature, a modicum of abstract structure emerges that is reminiscent of a primitive form of musique concrete filtered through an array of nostalgic machinery.
 
Matt Howarth SONIC CURIOSITY

SONHORS  FRANCE
 
After FB01, here comes FB02, a new work by Rothkamm, who invites us to live his music from the experience of an astronaut of interior space.

Entirely compatible for playing on a regular stereo, this work must be played/set to the concept of triphony to be able to hear all the nuances. Move your speakers in a certain way(diagram on the artist website), lay down on the floor, close your eyes and imagine a floating body in the immensity of space!

The sensation is incredible, even if you can't follow all the rules.

-[FR]-

Apr?s FB01, voici FB02, nouvelle ex?cution de Rothkamm, qui nous propose de vivre sa musique dans la peau d'un astronaute de l'espace int?rieur.

Enti?rement compatible avec une installation st?r?o habituelle, cette pi?ce doit ?tre diffus?e selon le concept de la triphonie afin d'en capter toute les sp?cificit?s. Bougez vos enceintes (selon un sch?ma disponible sur le site de l'artiste), allongez vous sur le sol, fermez les yeux et imaginez alors votre corps flottant dans l'immensit? de l'espace !

La sensation est incroyable, m?me si vous ne pouvez respectez pas ? la lettre cet exercice de spatialisation.
 
Coltraz SONHORS

BAD ALCHEMY  GERMANY
 
Frank Holger Rothkamm, born 1965; astrological sign cancer; an inhabitant of Planet Manhattan, originally from G?tersloh; presents the follow-up to FB01, another Space Drama of "Intuitive Future Oriented Retrograde Motion Music".

I have no idea if his music is nano, complex or supermodern - or even supermodernistic, as advertised - but it is the "spaciest" music I've heard since Keeler, Alto Stratus or Endgame. It resembles Conrad Schnitzler, but more in terms of drama than sound picture. For this music Rothkamm utilized the homemade sound projector IFORMM; tuned to 768 frequencies-per-octave, a "Turing Machine of sci-fi serialism?. On this he produces the "pure electronic music for 4 to 6 FB01s played via Oxygen8 and UC-33 controllers through an Atari STEEMulator running IFORMM in the Uniform Pitch Randomization Stochastic Tuning System with the base of 64 divisions to the 1/2 tone?, whatever that means.

Rothkamm, who in all modesty ranks himself after Kant, Fourier and Turing, thinks of a contemporary music "that is both utopian and scientific: the music of supermodernism, whose nature is psycho-cybernetic and whose aim is to put the fun back into fundamentalism?.  Well, wouldn't it be nice if the fundamentalists had more fun with their stupidities. Even better would be (short of blowing their brains out) to dust their brains off.

In this context, Rothkamm's Sonic Fiction does indeed appear to be an evolutionary beginning, highly complex and virtuosic of the vital "organ playing" and not the computer programming kind.  [His music is] thoroughly soaked in the exploratory spirit of electronic modernism (Xenakis, Kayn, Bayle, Parmegiani a.o.) and in inherent drive to play with poly-potential magic boxes. The first is suggested by the title "Triumph of the Analog Age", and the later with "Adventures in Research".

Traveling with Rothkamm does not mean drifting through time- or weightlessness. It means to be the silver ball that is catapulted by a pinball wizard through multiplex space architectures; through spaces of different density and full of time paradoxes. Or [it means to be] a pearl in Hesse's Glass Bead Game, if it would be played by computer brains.

-[DE]-

Frank Holger Rothkamm, Jahrgang 1965, Sternzeichen Krebs, ein aus G?tersloh stammender Bewohner des Planeten Manhattan, legt hier mit dem Nachfolger zu FB01 ein weiteres Space Drama of ?Intuitive Future Oriented Retrograde Motion Music? vor.

Keine Ahnung, ob seine Musik so nano, komplex und supermodern, wenn nicht gar supermodernistisch ist, wie behauptet, aber sie ist die ?spaceigste?, die ich seit Keeler, Alto Stratus oder Endgame zu h?ren bekommen habe. Mit Ankl?ngen an Conrad Schnitzler, mehr, was die Dramatik angeht, als das Klangbild als solches. Denn daf?r nutzt Rothkamm seinen auf 768 Frequenzen pro Oktave getuneten Eigenbau-Klangwerfer, eine ?Turing Machine of sci-fi serialism?, auf der er ?pure electronic music for 4 to 6 FB01s played via Oxygen8 and UC-33 controllers through an Atari STEEMulator running IFORMM in the Uniform Pitch Randomization Stochastic Tuning System with the base of 64 divisions to the 1/2 tone? produziert, was immer das auch hei?en mag.

Rothkamm, der sich bescheiden hinter Kant, Fourier und Turing einreiht, h?lt eine Musik f?r zeitgem??, ?that is both utopian and scientific: the music of supermodernism, whose nature is psycho-cybernetic and whose aim is to put the fun back into fundamentalism.? Nun w?re es ja noch sch?ner, wenn die Fundamentalisten noch mehr Spa? an ihren Dummheiten h?tten. Eher sollte man ihnen das Hirn, wenn nicht ausblasen, so doch durchpusten.

Und da scheint mir Rothkamms Sonic Fiction durchaus ein evolution?rer Ansatz, hoch komplex und dennoch auf vitale, n?mlich wie ?georgelte?, nicht programmierte Weise virtuos, durchtr?nkt vom Aufbruchsgeist des elektronischen Modernismus (Xenakis, Kayn, Bayle, Parmegiani u. dergl.) und vom Spieltrieb an polypotenten Zauberk?sten. Ersteres deutet der Titel ?Triumph of the Analog Age? an, Letzteres ?Adventures in Research?.

Mit Rothkamm zu reisen, hei?t nicht driften im Zeit- und Schwerelosen. Es hei?t, die Kugel sein, die von einem Pinball Wizard durch eine multiplexe Raumarchitektur geflippert wird, durch R?ume unterschiedlicher Dichte und voller Zeitparadoxien. Oder eine Perle sein in Hesses Glasperlenspiel, wie es Computergehirne spielen w?rden.
 
Rigobert Dittmann BAD ALCHEMY

NEW MUSIC BOX  USA
 
Feeling a severe lack of ring modulators in your life? The solution: Rothkamm's FB02 - Astronaut of Inner Space.

Echoing back to the likes of Isao Tomita, Rothkamm's sine wave-heavy sound world is charmingly anachronistic compared with today's typical laptop-slinging electronic musician. Part sci-fi, part microtonal utopia with a little Stockhausen peppered throughout, a glittering drizzle of tinkles and swells swirl around the ears, taking the listener off into orbit.

Throw in a little Close Encounter of the Third Kind quote and there's fun to (be) had by all.
 
Randy Nordschow NEW MUSIC BOX

RER  UK
 
Highly microtonal (he uses a 768 division to the octave system), unusually delicate and structured, these linked pieces come as close as you can get to the aesthetic of early computer music, while still being highly contemporary.

This is a work also very much concerned with spatialisation (headphones or a double stereo layout - are recommended - but it works fine in stereo).

Careful, intricate and sensitive work. A rare thing today.
 
Chris Cutler RER

RAGAZZI  GERMANY
 
"A new vision for American music" states Rothkamm in the supplement to the CD. That is not said without self-confidence and his music has to be measured by it. 9 tracks are contained on the CD, 5 longer pieces and 4 sound-snippets which keep the tracks at a distance to each other.

The CD begins uniquely interesting. Strange electronic noises come from the loudspeakers. That's all funny, angular and entertaining. Rothkamm plays abstract, harmonic tone sequences, which cannot really be called melody or "song". It seems that a futuristic laboratory makes the noises in a strange experimental way; a spaceship cruises through space, an extra-terrestrial from it and one from another planet converse in another dimension. The sounds are not boring or dull, but funny. One could use the tracks for a silent movie of the 1920's as an underscore, when a cruel monster kidnapped the virgin or as a tension-driving moment in an extremely tense scene of a dark crime film.

Certainly, the music functions also without cinematic assistance. But what does one do while one listens to this kind of meditative sound? Browse through the dusty record collection? Look at pictures of living room chairs? Watch the being called baby while it is sleeping and consider what it feels?

Rothkamm opens the imagination. His angular sounds are not (as suggested on the album cover) amplifiers with a momentum in the face, but rather like the sudden private discovery of a new dimension, in the middle of the living room; one does not know yet whether it talks to one or if it lets one discover only the acoustic waves of its life, this is also what the Polish philosopher and Science Fiction writer Stanislaw Lem transferred decades ago into his books.

But a new vision for the music of America? Then those would only - please excuse my expression - run around like psychos. And we all know how fast viruses from the NorthAmerica can anpieksen...

-[DE]-

A new vision for American music" meint Rothkamm im Beiblatt zur CD. Das ist nicht ohne Selbstbewusstsein gesagt und daran will sich seine eigene Musik messen lassen. 9 Tracks sind auf der CD enthalten, 5 l?ngere St?cke und 4 Schnipsel dazwischen, die die Tracks auf Abstand halten.

Die CD beginnt eigenartig interessant. Seltsame elektronische Ger?usche kommen aus den Lautsprecherboxen. Das ist witzig, schr?g und unterhaltsam. Rothkamm spielt abstrakte, harmonische Tonfolgen, die nicht wirklich als Melodie oder "Lied" bezeichnet werden k?nnen. Es scheint, ein futuristisches Labor mache die Ger?usche auf seltsame experimentelle Weise, ein Raumschiff knarze so durch den Weltraum, ein Au?erirdischer von dort und einer von einem anderen Planeten unterhalten sich in einer anderen Dimension. Die Sounds sind interessant, nicht langweilig oder ?de, sondern witzig. Man k?nnte die Tracks f?r einen Stummfilm der 20er Jahre als Untermalung benutzen, in dem ein grausames Monster die Jungfrau entf?hrt oder als spannungstreibendes Moment in einer extrem spannenden Szene eines d?steren Krimis.

Sicher funktioniert die Musik auch ohne filmische Hilfe. Aber was macht man, wenn man dieser Art meditativem Klang lauscht? Die verstaubte Plattensammlung durchst?bern? Bilder von Wohnzimmersesseln anschauen? Dem Wesen namens Baby beim Schlafen zuschauen und ?berlegen, was es dabei empfindet?

Rothkamm macht die Phantasie auf. Seine schr?gen Kl?nge sind nicht wie das Cover, also Verst?rker mit Schwung ins Face, sondern eher wie die pl?tzliche private Entdeckung einer neuen Dimension, mitten im Wohnzimmer, von der man noch nicht wei?, ob sie zu einem spricht oder blo? die Schallwellen ihres Lebens entdecken l?sst, die auch der polnische Philosoph und Science Fiction Schriftsteller Stanislaw Lem vor Jahrzehnten routiniert in seine B?cher ?bertrug.

Aber eine neue Vision f?r die Musik Amerikas? Dann laufen die nur noch wie, ich bitte f?r den Ausdruck um Entschuldigung, Psychos rum. Und wir alle wissen, wie schnell die Viren aus dem Norden Amerikas uns anpieksen?
 
Volkmar Mantei RAGAZZI

TOUCHING EXTREMES  ITALY
 
The IFORMM is a "unique electric instrument" whose scale is tuned to 768 frequencies-per-octave (so much for the so-called "genial" Western temperament). Frank Rothkamm could well use it for expanding the harmonic consciousness of the poor ones who consider a Mozart cadenza an exciting sensation.

Let's leave joking aside, though, since this is seriously complex electronic music, whose fascination resides in its significant dissonance vs enjoyability fight.

In little more of 33 minutes we're treated with impressive multicolour shapes that hover around without giving the chance of being analyzed before they change, which happens non-stop. A constantly shifting mosaic of gracious timbral layers that could work wonders for  pillheads trying to lose their addiction, "FB02" puts Rothkamm right there with the Spiegels and the Subotnicks, all the while maintaining a degree of accessibility for whoever wants to change their way of perceiving sound shades, at least for half an hour.

On a final consideration, I still have to understand if the five-note sequence of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" casually heard in the title track is a quote or an accident. Frank?
 
Massimo Ricci TOUCHING EXTREMES

ELOYJEANCLAUDE.ORG  FRANCE
 
Very personal path, very original, totaly independant and interesting.

Thank you also for your kind words and the CD which I listened to with pleasure. There are many delicate and subtil micro-tones relationships and beautiful resounding blocs of frequencies.

On my CD play-back, it was sounding like a very "intimate" type of music. What type of level do you preferably listen to it ?

I was amazed by the shortness of the number 2, 4, 6, 8. Like small punctuations.

Beautiful work and congratulation for the very clear realisation. Your sites also on the internet are providing a very interesting look at your approach on music.

Great !
 
Jean-Claude ELOY ELOYJEANCLAUDE.ORG

CJSF  CANADA
 
warm blips and tones. very addictive.
 
Ed Blake CJSF

WDBX  USA
 
I am enjoying the album. It is a challenging listen. There is quite a bit happening, and I'm very curious what the motivation/inspiration was in many places. I'm extremely happy to hear something new that reminds me of Stockhausen or Charles Dodge as well. I have long felt that this area of sound holds many, many more fascinating treasures-- it's good to see someone working in this fashion currently.
 
DaveX WDBX

VITAL WEEKLY  NETHERLANDS
 
Only early this year we reviewed 'FB01' by Frank Rothkamm (see Vital Weekly 509), of which I now learn it's a three year old recording. 'FB02 - Astronaut Of Inner Space' was recorded between 2003 and 2006 and is thus indeed his most recent recording.

This new recording is 'a feast for the mind and the ears of anyone interested in the ancient past and utopian future of electronic music" because it easy to access yet complex. Rothkamm likes his ancient synth masters, like noted before both the serious Cologne masters of the fifties as well as the sci-fi soundtracks of the sixties. The pieces are best enjoyed on a 4.1 speaker system, two speakers beside the listener, two in front and a sub-woofer. All the pieces are linked through their titles and thus should be heard as one piece, indexed into nine different pieces.

It's all highly mathematical music, moving away from the pop format of the previous release and the music certainly benefits from that. The length here is certainly more pop LP wise (thirty-four minutes), and tension is well kept in mind: that's certainly the way to do it! A major leap forward.
 
Frans de Waard VITAL WEEKLY