Robert Lippok: Robot
Western Vinyl

Robot must represent the first time a recording has included dedications to computer science pioneer Alan Turing, Solaris author Stanislaw Lem, and Golem creator Rabbi Loew. On the one hand, the 20-minute EP is To Rococo Rot member Robert Lippok's homage to 20 th -century robot science though it more generally focuses on the theme of humanity's repeated attempts to emulate creation, whether doing so by magical or computing means.

Some pieces are near-fragments (“Tracking,” “Closed Loop 3”), one so short it barely registers (the 20-second “To the Zero Movement Point”), while others, like “Unexpected Behavior No. 7,” are more developed electronic settings that recall To Rococo Rot in style. Motorik pieces like “After Work” and “Pick and Place” exploit the crisply defined, precision-tooled propulsion one associates with Raster-Noton while “Sweet Servo” sounds like industrial machinery being cleansed of grimy build-up. Adding to the release's cerebral character, song titles come from terms used in the robotics industry (a ‘closed loop,' for instance, is a programming loop without exit that only can be interrupted by intervention from outside the software in which the loop exists). In contemporary culture, the ‘robot' theme often aligns with the notion of an inevitably dystopic future but, on Robot at least, Lippok's vision is more innocent and romantic—not that that should necessarily surprise, given the implicit embrace of technological development that grounds his solo and group-related work.

November 2006