RG Rough - 70 [Bam Balam Record - 2022]
Delving into the decade of 1970 in the field of electronic experimental music is like excavating at the Acropolis, an undisputed origin of a certain civilization containing multiple tributaries responsible for establishing the genre itself. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that affordable synthesizers were produced, which fundamentally altered acts from Kraftwerk to Pinky Floyd to the recently passed Klaus Schulze.
RG Rough’s latest release is indeed archaeological, though tinged with a contemporary sense of mixing and mashing together. The two long tracks that makeup 1970 are divided into ten movements, each devoted to a different year of the decade. Things get going rather rhythmically with a beat that sounds like the metronomic precision of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit. By the time we reach 1979, the ephemeral and atmospheric holds sway, with the addition of voice and washes of layered synths, reminiscent of later Tangerine Dream. Schulze was briefly a member of this Berlin-based outfit, as a drummer, no less, and the passage from the acoustic chops to ambient moods could just as easily be a brief biography of Schulze’s late genius.
The most impressive achievement in RG Rough’s take on this pathbreaking decade of nascent electronic experimentalism is the precise suturing of these musical sources, so that the trajectory from 1970 to 79 is a smooth and captivating as any single source. Drop by here to find out moreColin Lang