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The Machine Room (Part 12)

from THE MACHINE ROOM by Anthony Rother



Anthony Rother is a very big name in the electro world, he's more than that, the guy is an institution unto himself. For every pop album he releases, however, there's a wildly different side of him which sneaks out and is detectable only if you're looking closely. This is one of those albums. It continues what his other non-mainstream tomes 'Elixir of Life', 'Magic Diner', 'Art is a Technology' and 'Geomatrix' have explored. This is grandly synthesized material of a decidedly uncompromising nature and to those who have come to dance I say, this one isn't for you. Go blare either one of the 'Popkiller' albums if you're craving strobes and smoke. 'The Machine Room' doesn't skimp on atmosphere, it is nothing but that and so much more.

I'd like to spend a bit of time in that room of his which this album depicts in the most convincing of aural tones. Heavy analogue swells anchor some of it, it being the one track which comprises the entire length but also there's some very effective filters which spiral out of the background and submerge again. Echoes, muted effects, no vocals, loads and loads of spacey sounds, killer breaks and pauses... no beats. None. Music for the mind never courts much attention and 'The Machine Room' is no exception. Limited to 300 copies, once this one's gone it's gone. I only noticed his latest because I'm consistently checking in on what he's up to. People are so quick to embrace one source for all of what they listen to, complacently browsing forums for information and whatever free copies they can obtain. Thankfully, Rother does not play this game and rewards his fans persistence with jewels such as this. Keep tagging, kiddies, you're always going to be ten steps behind.

Why do I suspect this was done in one take, in a dimly lit space with no one but the man and his machines present. It has all the hallmarks of what he's done in this style before but the compositions seem somehow eerily brighter. As though a halogen light somehow shines at a low setting in the darkness surrounded by the glinting sequins of machinery and the steady hum of current.

The ground covered throughout the duration of it's run is staggering. Sometimes you'd swear you're hearing some kind of demented relaxation instructional, at other junctures it's like being in the middle of an electrical storm, the kind which knocks out entire sections of the power grid. 'The Machine Room' is not to be listened to in stages, you'll either play it all the way through or you shouldn't bother at all. It won't make sense to you who skip and shuffle on your digital leashes, and you'd be bored by it anyway. Again and again the mood shifts, I barely notice any of the time which has passed when on this journey but it has indeed slipped by: eight years have expired since Rother put anything out via this label. Snap it up while you can.


from THE MACHINE ROOM, released February 23, 2011


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Anthony Rother Offenbach, Germany

Anthony Rother is described as an influential visionary, an electro pioneer and one of electronic music’s most prolific producers. For more than two decades Rother aggregated a vast musical canon that reflects his unique career as a sound researcher exploring the aesthetics far beyond the boundaries of electro, techno and pop music. ... more

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