Frank Rothkamm – Reno


CD – Flux

We remember Frank Rothkamm for his “multiform inspiration and lack of prejudices and genre barriers”, for a kind of hybrid music able to combine “classic tradition and rock culture, interweaving computer music strains, cut-upping and free form improvisations”. The Rothkamm we find nowadays, however, has definitely left the field-recording, blips and intricate stratifications world to embrace American clubbing culture. Rothkamm is based in Reno, Nevada, a city famous for its eccentric combination of entertainment and nature. The sound-artist and sophisticated manipulator has morphed himself into a new clubber, still conceptual but uninhibited in walking through house and tenuously jazzy sequences (who could have guessed?) – now more rhythmic, intricate and dub-esque. The constructions here are only apparently complex – actually quite ductile and provocative, soaked in sophisticated, wrapping sounds and permeated by urban power-lounge atmospheres. It’s perhaps not worthwhile looking for exotic conceptualizations here, although it should be noted that the sound is deliberately vintage, composed in a 90s style and performed in a scientifically démodé way using an “Atari ST and Cubase linked to a vintage array” (we don’t think so). We also don’t need to waste much time thinking about the coherence of an artist’s output; they should be free to betray their own routes without necessarily “explaining” a single work.