Robert Lippok - Robot EP
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Robert Lippok
Robot EP

In addition to being a member of the long-running To Rococo Rot, Robert Lippok has not only collaborated with several different artists (including Barbara Morgenstern and Komeit), but released several EPs and albums under his own name. His Open Close Open EP found him at the height of his powers (to my ears anyway), as he stretched and manipulated subtle loops in beautiful ways on a short release.

Like Open Close Open, The Robot EP is a short release (eight tracks and just over twenty minutes), but it's a bit more of a mixed bag in terms of sound. Part of the ongoing Portrait Series on the Western Vinyl label (where musicians take a single idea and create music to go along with it), the aptly-titled EP focuses in on the world of robots, with field recordings and suitably-throwback music to match.

The short tracks and sometimes quick shifts in sound make for a sometimes uneven listen, as a couple short opening pieces (one with clunky mechanical noises) give way to "Unexpected Behavior No. 7," a track that hums with wafting layers of billowing old school electronics and some quiet beats. "After Work" follows a similar path, rumbling with some low-end beats and repetitive, melodic synths that make the track sound like it was culled directly from an early 90s Warp Artificial Intelligence release. Only the closing "Sweet Servo" sounds more like Lippok's more familiar work with Raster Noton as filtered field recordings mix with overlapping layers of droning electronics that threaten to rise up with feedback every so often. As mentioned above, it's not really a smooth listen (nor is it meant to be, as a portrait of robots who are sometimes smooth and at other times clunky), but it's there's definitely some enjoyable parts (especially if you're a fan of Lippok or the very cool Portrait Series).

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2006-10-26 20:09:24