Author: Frans de Waard
Publication: Vital Weekly
Over the past few years I must admit I have a strong affection for the music of Frank Rothkamm. He is a serious composer of electronic music, but he's always in for a surprise or two, usually hidden as a concept that lurks underneath the music, but the great thing is that it is never in the way of the music. Creating a CD with piano variations of the first ten of the tune to 'Spongbob Squarepants', an electro record, an organ record and now with 'Alt' he produces an ambient record. When the machines rock (I took that from Gary Numan), they rock, that's the idea of Rothkamm. He sets the parameters of a piece on his machines - an array of analogue synthesizers or perhaps digital ones, and when everything is set in motion, he hardly adjusts the machines to what they are doing. Thus he creates ten variations to that theme, which harks back to say Brian Eno and everything that came after that, say Pete Namlook (but shorter in duration), say HIA, say Biosphere or anything on Hypnos (but perhaps at times a bit more 'loop' based, rather than endless sustaining sounds. As such, perhaps this album, is not the greatest revelation in music you could expect from Rothkamm, but in his catalogue of works so far, its perhaps the least conceptual one - or perhaps just a very loose concept: create an ambient album - but like so much else of his work, this is quite a pleasant, late night listening album. Nice one. Again.
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