Format: 12” / Digital
Release Date: 26/05/14
“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” - Gertrude Stein
The enigmatic Rrose recently reared her head in the world of social media, announcing that she would be taking control of her fan-made Facebook page. Rrose’s promotional presence is impressively minimal in this regard, yet the critical acclaim generated by her releases has been more than enough to make a significant indent on the world of underground music. It almost feels wrong to conceptualise Rrose as part of the techno, ambient or indeed any other scene – the music operates right on the line of what is classifiable, and often crosses it with astonishing effect; the most notable example being the modern masterpiece, ‘Waterfall’.
Debussy once wrote that the true purpose of music would be achieved “if [people] felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map”. This is precisely what Rrose has achieved consistently – mapping the unmappable, through tripped out, psychedelic and sinister projections, executed with impeccable production. Rrose’s latest EP, Eating the Other, progresses the sound to a yet another new plain, this time more stark and bold than previous attempts.
Opening with ‘Ammonia’, seductive and immersive synths beckon the listener into Rrose’s world with shamanistic pulses and a rushing static that never seems to cease its incline. However, It’s ‘Mirror’ that stands out as the real centrepiece of this EP; the interwoven textures and polyrhythms intoxicate the listener into a giddying headspace, like a score of strobes bursting their unique light at different speeds. The detailed tapestry of sound sways into peaks and plateaus of energy over a carefully constructed 11-minute narrative. Rrose’s production is more impressive than ever here, marrying traditional analogue sounds with an unmistakably modern sheen. ‘Pentagons’ closes the EP with many of the same questions left unanswered; aural paradoxes drive the track forward into disquieting and claustrophobic realms – listening to Rrose is often an experience in equal parts enticing and paralysing, as an intricate sonic web is spun around the listener.
The title of the EP comes from Bell Hooks (note the R-shaped hooks on its cover, too) on the process of cultural commodification. And given the dizzying conceptual heights that Rrose aspires to, it sometimes feels as if this music would work better in the album format – akin to how artists like Actress and Demdike Stare have chosen to disseminate their productions. Nevertheless, these short bursts of considered releases that Rrose has delivered have maintained an important sense of obscurity achieved by very few producers working today – enlivening a whole new sound in a hypermodern manner.
Catch Rrose performing live at Fabric tomorrow, May 24th.