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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
To Rococo Rot
Taken From Vinyl

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

January 12, 2007
Twelve years is more than enough time to warrant a rarities compilation, and when collated from the works of a band as consistently prolific as To Rococo Rot, it lands as a welcome addition to an already impressive catalog. As the title suggests, the tracks assembled together on Taken From Vinyl were all originally released on vinyl-only singles, so their bringing together on one disc gains marks not only for convenience for the To Rococo Rot fan, but also for marking the band's continued visibility in between full-length albums.

Taken From Vinyl spans through the ages, from the early City Slang singles of the mid-to-late 90s into the more recent Domino era. To Rococo Rot are a band who have stayed true to a common theme without stagnating, a feat that allows Taken From Vinyl to flow from track to track free of hiccups and forgotten songs that sound ill-fitting in the collection's context. To Rococo Rot have fused synth- and computer-based beats with post-rock to produce a signature bedroom-suited techno for over a decade now, so an embarrassment-free trip down memory lane comes as no surprise.

"Mit Dir in der Gegend (Sehr)" opens play in true To Rococo Rot style, like Kraftwerk-for-the-21st-century. (Admittedly, the track was released in 1997, but To Rococo Rot have always sounded too focused to let technological advancements mess with their direction.) "Jack's Dream" is a delightful mix of churning pads and minimalist rhythms, too laid back for the dancefloor, but just about right for the after-party. "Fanzine Song," another standout, comprises some oh-so-German beat-splicing, while the muscular antics of "Telema (Langs)" fail to compromise in a similar way. The presence of "Telema," which also appeared on 1999's The Amateur View and is without doubt my favorite To Rococo Rot track, is a delightful bonus.

While Taken From Vinyl fits together nicely, the tracks that were released on more recent singles do offer something a little different. "Hotel Morgen" and "Gelb" are expertly produced, razor-sharp, and interesting, but lack the warmth of the earlier tracks. In my opinion, To Rococo Rot peaked in 1999 with The Amateur View, and that notion is largely corroborated listening through Taken From Vinyl.

To boot, To Rococo Rot and Staubgold (a label new to To Rococo Rot, it should be noted) have included a video file of the excellent "Telema" on this disc. That said, those unfamiliar with To Rococo Rot should probably start with The Amateur View and work their way from the middle, but for those looking to avoid record skips and overpriced eBay auctions, Taken From Vinyl more than serves its purpose.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright



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