Rocketnumbernine RocketnumbernineMatthew And Toby
TEXT RECORDS (TXT008, 12”)
How many good things come together here, on this simple piece of plastic in a brown cardboard sleeve. To start with, the catalogue number: the 8th reference of Text Records, the intermittent label directed by Four Tet. His shelter, the little nirvana where he releases only those gems he dares to let loose or can guarantee the discretion and anonymity for, like that vinyl he made alongside Burial. Text Records is a label without a clear style –folk, dubstep, jazz, improv electronica; there are no limitations–, but with absolute freedom. Second, it’s the official premiere of the Rocketnumbernine project, in which the brothers Ben and Tom Page participate, who we have seen before in Rothko, among other projects. Rothko were a peculiar post-rock band where dissolved electronica clashed with three meticulously played bass guitars: absolute abstraction, pure mathematics. Rocketnumbernine is a possible evolution of that Rothko sound, which was like a sculpture, although there’s more rhythm and traditional form here: Ben and Tom divide the bass, keys and drums and come out with a 13-minute track that flirts with free jazz, African music and post-rock. “Matthew And Toby” is conceived as a tribute to Steve Reid, the percussionist Four Tet has worked with on various occasions and who passed away earlier this year, although if anything this track recalls early Tortoise, when they had two drummers and two bass guitars on stage and their rock was as liquid and heavy as mercury. Or Seefeel, another band coming back now and who, as the past few years have shown, left various seeds planted that have bloomed at the right moment. On the B-side there’s a Four Tet remix: it doesn’t get to the 10 minute mark, but it concentrates nerve and speed, and there’s even a crescendo halfway through the track in pure progressive style, so much so even a DJ like Sasha could play it. A reason to buy this 12”: once more, the unusual happens on Text Records.