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Music Is a Hungry Ghost


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Audio CD, May 8, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • ASIN: B00005CCC6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,260 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. A Number of Things
2. For A Moment
3. How We Never Went To Bed
4. First
5. From Dream To Daylight
6. Your Secrets, A Few Words
7. Along The Route
8. Overhead
9. Kotu
10. Pantone
11. Mazda In The Mist
12. She Tended To Forget
13. The Trance Of Travel

Editorial Reviews

Review

To Rococo Rot may not be the only band melding aesthetics both organic and digital these days - it seems that everyone from Luke Vibert to BT has gone the route of musical cyborg genetics. But the German brothers Lippok, alongside Kriedler bassist Stefan Schneider and New York native producer I-Sound (aka Craig Williamson), have the science down to an art.

Music is a Hungry Ghost, the Berliners' fourth album to date, manages to fuse the two in a sublime manner that avoids the pratfall of kitschy overstatement. Weaving a spell around the listener, digital washes of sound pulse in (and out of) time with Schneider's bass licks and guest violinist Alexander Balanescu's eerie bowing. Although To Rococo Rot takes obvious cues from labelmates Pan Sonic and foundational "glitch" artist Oval (hiccuping CD skips and gurgles sweep through "A Number of Things") the human warmth they bring to a song (for those of us who remember when a song wasn't just a DJ-spun "track") elevates them to the hypnotic levels initially elevated by fellow Kraut rockers Can and Neu!. "From Dream to Daylight," a track on which Balanescu shines, and the most obvious nod to the sounds of Chicago's current post-rock scene, fiddles with an ambient bongo groove, paddling in a transcendental groove to rest atop coy whispers of violin and subtle percussive licks. Even those who tend to shy away from the abstract will find that most songs here eventually congeal into something coherent to groove to.

Adrienne Day -- From URB Magazine

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stargrazer on October 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I received this CD as a promo several years ago while employed at a record shop. One of many CDs I received in this manner, listened to a few times and passed on to friends...

...except this one I kept, and listened to again and again. Odd, considering I'm no electronica afficionado. This is definitely not your garden variety 4/4 beats. Compositions are short but superbly developed. The music has an organic feel, as of live instruments delicately cut-and-pasted and looped. The crackly turntablism and evocative violin crop up at just the right places. It has basslines Tortoise would be proud of. It made me go out and buy "Veiculo" and "Amateur View." All three albums are highly enjoyable and reward repeated listens. This is warm, inviting listening with lots of subtleties. I want their whole catalog!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dirk Hugo on July 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If music's merits were measured in atmosphere and texture alone, then To Rococo Rot would be considered one of the most innovative bands on the planet. The four members achieve a wonderfully cohesive sound that explores the space/density dichotomy with effortless grace. Unfortunately, as far as thematic development and melodic and harmonic complexity are concerned, "Music Is A Hungry Ghost" is decidedly primitive. So in time the locked grooves that establish such delicate interplay end up feeling more like incarceration than liberation, and what could have been warm and inviting sonic exploration begins to sound cold and aloof. More complex, enticing and listenable material is produced by the bands with which To Rococo Rot shares members - Kreidler and Tarwater.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. B on March 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic album. Rooted in Krautrock, filled with interesting sounds from a future laboratory, and infused with the DJ touches of I Sound, this album often provokes the question, "WHO is this?!" We used to play it in our shoe store, Subterranean Shoe Room (in San Francisco's Mission District), and it was a favorite of our customers. I can't tell you how many times I answered this question, wrote down the info on a business card, and sent the person to Aquarius Records or Amoeba Music to grab their own copy.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark Campbell on May 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
You will listen to this CD and not know what you've heard. You may listen again and have the same experience. You may ultimately decide the sounds To Rococo Rot have composed here mean nothing to you. They don't evoke one to dance. They are so momentary, there is no memory of them. In general, it sounds as if this is not something many out there are looking for. But, of course, that is the point to personal music. It speaks inwardly out from its creator with the artist so close to the material there is a danger we, the listener, may ultimately not be allowed in. And there is a certain distance between us and To Rococo Rot on "Music Is A Hungry Ghost" but in the ambient textures and the angled compositions, the corners are not too sharp and a real warmth emerges, capturing a sense of timelessness, of light, of darkness. There is the play of children in the sound, of depth of feeling next to the mechanical sputtering of machines. There are open horizons, wide open space, and the pulsing of a synthetic heart. I am not one to categorize. I try to take all music on its own terms and see as clearly as I can, the intent of the artist(s). This is indefinable stuff marbled throughout with brilliance and audacity never going over the top or where you want it to. It flexes an experimental muscle in its stubborness. Adventurous listening in many genres is gone these days. To Rococo Rot stays tried and true to the mystery. Long may they run.
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