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To Rococo Rot

To Rococo Rot is a mostly Berlin-based post-rock trio whose combination of electronic and acoustic elements places them in close proximity to American groups such as Tortoise, Trans Am, and Rome, as well as European artists Circle, Stereolab, and Fridge. Composed of bassist Stefan Schneider (also of similar-sounding Dusseldorf group Kreidler) and brothers Robert (guitar, electronics) and Ronald Lippok (drums, effects), To Rococo Rot were originally among a new breed of German electronic experimentalists working more often within the context of hauptkunst digital art and multimedia installation (prior to meeting Schneider the Lippoks were behind a project of this sort called Ornament und Verbrechen). With TRR, however, the group have described their work as an overt attempt to reconnect the art-school proclivities of musical experimentalism with the accessibility and "use-value" of pop, a goal clearly evident both in their name and their recorded output to date. The group's debut arrived in 1996 in the form of an untitled picture disc (subsequently reissued on CD by Kitty Yo), with the more widely distributed Veiculo (released by UK indie City Slang) appearing the following year. Embraced by rock and electronica audiences alike, the group have (like Tortoise et al) already begun to play an important, transitional role in eroding some of the barriers that have typically separated the two (particularly in the U.S.). Working long, hypnotic grooves augmented by bizarre, often subtly interwoven electronics and sample sequences, TRR also owe a clear debt to '60s Krautrock groups such as Neu!, Can, and Amon Duul, among others, and in some respects are reorienting the abstract deconstructions of man/machine those groups first sketched. In 1997, the group recorded an album's worth of material with producer David Moufang (Deep Space Network, Source Records). Following a move to Mute Records, the band released The Amateur View in 1999 and Music Is a Hungry Ghost two years later. Ronald Lippok has also gained praise for his work in Tarwater. Sean Cooper

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