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CD Feature/ King Roc: "Chapters"

img  Tobias

Theory #1: When he was young, King Roc wanted to be a Classical Composer. You can hear his love for orchestral arrangements and the seductive glow of lush string sections, his admiration of the timbral richness of a vast ensemble conjuring up a sonic thunderstorm as well as his penchant for creating sweeping tension archs on „Chapters“. Even when the insistent machinal thrust and electro-percussive propulsion of his gear appears to be dancing to a robotically dictated groove, elegantly intertwined harmonies will infallibly pull the listener deeper and deeper into a world of alluring complexity and delicate outlines.

Theory #2: When he was young, King Roc wanted to be a Conductor. For all  his fondness of a broad acoustic palette, after all, he displays a pronounced sense of balance on Chapters“, a talent for uniting different motivic strands under the momentum of mutually complementary forward movement. Musical elements will take turns in a carefully planned masterplan, resulting in a natural breath and arrangements which are rich in colours yet crystalline and transparent. Roc exercises the same classic combination of vision, freedom, in-the-moment-spontaneity and control here which a succession of big maestros have honed to perfection over centuries and he follows in their footsteps with both great respect and the unfaltering will to impose his own aesthetics on the trade.

Theory #3: When he was young, King Roc wanted to be a Dance Producer. There are several moments on „Chapters“, when his delicately layered compositions suddenly tilt and turn into irresistible late-night anthems and the sweetly-fantastical transforms into sexy floorfillers. Nine-minute „Random Chances“ opens as a warm Ambient bubble-bath but grows into a sultry House-driven melange of bonedry bass, a cornucopia of Hihat washes and pearly Piano-scintillations. „A Pocket Full of Prose“ seems perfectly happy to remain a suspenseful subcutaneous suggestion, but rises to the occasion on the strength of fulminant chord thrusts, technoid bleeps, low-end hypnoticism and a bellistic melody towering on top of a triumphantly bittersweet track. And „Everything from Nothing“ just keeps rotating fluently round its own axis until you become all dizzyheaded.

Theory #4: When he was young, King Roc wanted to be all of the above. In  its diversity and multipolarity, „Chapters“ represents a stupendous step towards creating a sound which is no longer tied to any scene but still conjures up familiar feelings. It is an album which still feeds from the excitement of the dancefloor, but has sublimated this adrenaline-rush into a creative and benign headkick. It reaches out into the worlds of Big Beats, Trance, Techno, TripHop, Dub and Minimalism but never aims for purity. On an infinitely interconnected planet, Roc seems to imply, everything references something else all of the time, so the job of an artist is not to strive for progress but for the most accurate representation of a personal musical idea. It seems as though he's come pretty far towards attaining that goal on „Chapters“, regardless of what his childhood dreams may have looked like.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: King Roc

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