Boomkat Product Review:
After Open.Close.Open on the Raster Noton label way back in 2001 we were left gasping for more solo material from Mr. Lippok. Sadly his full time job as a member of German avant rockers To Rococo Rot and some select collaborations with Komeit and Barbara Morgernstern have taken his time up over the last five years and it’s taken this long to get even a hint of new solo material from this gifted musician. At only 20 minutes in length, ‘Robot’ is hardly the grand follow-up we were hoping for, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in quality. All too many records are plagued by filler or simply tracks there for the sake of being there, Lippok has trimmed this record to fit into his grand plan, and everything is exactly where it should be. Part of Western Vinyl’s Portrait series (designed to allow artists to take a single idea and explore it) ‘Robot’ looks toward the very nature of robotics, exploring ideas from 20th Century science fiction writer Stansilow Lem, golem creator Rabbi Loew, computer science pioneer Alan Turing and irreverent scientist Athanasius Kircher. A lofty set of ideas to fit into merely twenty minutes of music, but Lippok rises to the challenge, filling his distinctly digital compositions with emotion and loneliness - fitting given the iron-clad subject matter. The cold nature of robotics is shown in the layers of digital distortion and white noise Lippok plays with, but beneath that is harmony and melody taking us into the realms Lippok is most known for. There are definite echoes of ‘An Amateur View’-era To Roccoco Rot here in the melodic structure, but they are buried amongst the glitches and blankets of outré sound-collage. In fact, although the gorgeous Mahler string work which bound together ‘Open.Close.Open’ is now sadly gone, ‘Robot’ feels like the perfect follow-up to its wistful predecessor – the sentiment is still there and the music still feels like it would slot into the Raster Noton catalogue magnificently. A bold and effortlessly beautiful statement from one of our favourite musicians, short but perfectly formed. Highly recommended.