Boomkat Product Review:
Robert & Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider’s trio of Peel Sessions as To Rococo Rot, recorded in Liverpool and broadcast on the BBC ’97-’99, become a testament to their early years - now preserved on wax with Bureau B, including a memorable dutch intro with peel on the opening.
An exceptional German band with feet in Düsseldorf and Berlin, To Rococo Rot represented a new strain of minimalist, instrumental, electronic pop and post-rock musik from their eponymous 1995 debut until they disbanded with ‘Instrument’ in 2014. Beloved in our quarters and stil holding influence over so much of what we hear today, the trio’s grasp of low-key intimacy, ruggedly slinky grooves and introspective, even romantic atmosphere has long coloured our listening lives and that of many others, so it’s a real pleasure to finally hear their recordings for John Peel’s legendary sessions sequenced and compiled.
Shuffling and crackling in the fissures of krautrock, ambient electronics, and post-rock, but also porous to airy downtempo jazz; To Rococo Rot cultivated a sound that feels eternally familiar, despite being practically unprecedented in their field at the time. While it’s not hard to hear shimmers of influence from early Kraftwerkian miniamlism to Neu!’s supple motorik pulse or the languid contours of Manual Göttsching in there, the two Lippok brothers and rhythm fiend Schneider distilled those elements to a gentle yet rudely purring sound that simply transcended their roots and made a virtue of finding natural nuance within established styles.
Their John Peel Sessions feature three exclusive works in the shuffling wheeze of ‘Glück’, the lo-slung pulse and elegance of ‘Esther’, and the ghostly sashay of ‘Glass’, alongside iteration of ‘This Sandy Place’ from their ‘TRRD’ (1998) collab with Daryl Moore that pre-echoes their influence on I-Sound’s Wasteland, and a number of joints found on the Mute-issued ‘The Amateur Hour’, notably the downtempo hustle of ‘A Little Asphalt here and There’, and the unfurling bleep fizz of ’Telelma’ and a blissed out ‘Prado’.