To Rococo Rot

Taken from Vinyl

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It's little surprise that the steady and varied releases from To Rococo Rot would eventually produce enough tracks never released on CD to justify a compilation of them. And so Taken from Vinyl is just that, but in an admittedly clever move, the band lives up to the title of the compilation by noting that most of the tracks were, quite literally, mastered from vinyl -- sometimes by necessity but in other cases simply because it suited their original appearance. Fans fearing the type of jumps and skips that plagued years of Fall reissues (for instance) can rest assured that's not the case here -- it's even mixed together to seem like a special podcast from the band's archives. Starting with the sprightly "Mit Dir in der Gegend (Sehr)," a seemingly effortless blend of the group's always audible dub echo approach and perky synth pop of a sort, the compilation follows no chronological order, instead making its way through the various tracks in a fashion that could almost be a separate, discrete album. It's a hard trick to pull off given the near-decade it spans, but Taken from Vinyl benefits from good sequencing and the resulting flow of music is a fine treat. Standouts include "Schon Sehr Viel Telefoniert," with a space rock melody melting into a combination of early Neu!-style feedback swirls and interlocking click rhythms, and both versions of the beautiful "Telema," the second of which is a quietly exultant track that feels like a gentle ascent into space. The wryest title, "Fanzine Song," results from it being recorded for an issue of Rebound magazine, though "She Understands the Dynamics" comes close, with the collage of percussion and rhythms giving a handy demonstration of the concept. As a bonus, the video for "Telema" is included as a multimedia track.

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