Forcefield

Roggaboggas

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AllMusic Review by

The soundtrack to a multimedia show presented at the Whitney Biennial in 2002, Roggaboggas is a twisty, often comical collision of electronica, avant-garde tape trickery and noise rock skronk. With its wildly divergent song lengths (six are under a minute, with one a blip-like four seconds, and three are over ten, with the closing "Third Annual Roggabogga" stretching out over 20) and inscrutable structure (repeated sonic elements crop up seemingly at random throughout the 73 minutes, possibly in connection with some visual element of the original performance), Roggaboggas is difficult to wrap one's head around at first. Stop trying to look for "meaning," however, and the album's charms are more evident. The four pseudonymous musicians blend burbling synthesizers ("Space Dribs" is nothing more than nearly three minutes of ring modulator cycles), musique concrete and found-tape shenanigans, and an affinity for the kind of noise assaults most often associated with Japanese artists like Merzbow and Boredoms. A sly sense of humor, evident in the song titles and some of the sound bites (one lengthy section of the 15-minute "Inverse Interior Plane of 3rd Annual Roggabogga" answers the musical question "What would it sound like if a robot threw up?"), saves the album from the dour pretentiousness of many similar releases. Roggaboggas is strictly for the noise rock faithful, but it's entertaining for those who like this sort of thing.

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