I-Sound / To Rococo Rot

Music Is a Hungry Ghost

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Though they quickly traded the warm electronic pop of The Amateur View for a colder vision of primitivist synth pop and atmospheric noise, To Rococo Rot proved with Music Is a Hungry Ghost that they're still at the top of their game artistically. Though they occasionally reference some familiar forms -- swirling ambient noise reminiscent of Oval as well as the angular, downtempo indie rock often found on Tortoise records -- the trio (plus guest I-Sound) clearly has a knack for creating music that's understated yet deeply felt. "First" frames a few beautiful, atmospheric chords around downtempo heart-monitor beats, while "Pantone" transforms a series of compact disc errors into surprisingly lush trance-state ambience. Two of the highlights are "From Dream to Daylight" and "Along the Route," a pair of Tortoise-styled tracks featuring another guest, violinist Alexander Balanescu, merging contemporary classical into experimental techno.

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