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Rothko - discover the lost

  by Keith How

published: 29 / 7 / 2016

Rothko - discover the lost
Label: Trace Recordings
Format: CD


Elegant and atmospheric offering from Rothko who return with a full-length album after a ten year lay off

Rothko present their first album proper since 2007’s 'Eleven Stages of Intervention' in a monotone cover featuring abandoned cars on waste ground. It is a telling work of art that appears to be an invitation that is amplified by the album title appearing on it in small lower case print - 'discover the lost'. We are invited by the image to enter a journey away from modernity, away from all the madness of the current world situation to reflect on our existence. On the album cover nature is reclaiming its own time and place. Perhaps the invitation on this album is for us to do the same. Rothko are comprised of Mark Beazley (bass, guitar and keyboards) and Michael Donnelly (bass), and as a duo carry the name of abstract impressionist painter Mark Rothko. One could be forgiven for assuming that this was a coincidence or perhaps a good idea? The two Rothkos have much in common though. If you have ever gazed in wonder at a Mark Rothko original and allowed the depth of tone and colour to envelop you, then you might find the same effect as you settle down to experience the music of Rothko (the band). There is no sense of isolation on the album that can often accompany modern “post rock”. The ten tracks offered here have a warmth and gentleness to them. Opening title track 'discover the lost' is quite upbeat and light, and as you would imagine, the bass tones are rich and earthy. Many find that Mark Rothko’s paintings are not instantly accessible but with quiet reflection they unfold immense power and beauty unveiling hidden depths and nuances that are easily missed if the viewer hurries on by. 'discover the lost' echoes a similar invitation to the Rothko painted works. Deep bass tones rumble almost beyond hearing while the lead guitar intertwines with higher register bass playing. Atmospheric keyboards give another layer of depth that add to the textures. 'Break the Chain' is intense and pulsating, an overdriven guitar bringing a climax half way through before a bass riff fades away. The whole album demands your attention and takes time to unfold all its treasures to the listener. Listening is a captivating experience. Many modern instrumental albums fall into the trap of repetition and blandness, but Beazley and Donnelly are old hands in this genre and it shows as they develop a sense of fragmented intimacy that pulls the concept together. 'Photograph of Then' is masterful. Nostalgic and gentle, the simple melody is gorgeous, short and sweet and bleeds quietly into an immense ambient tone poem, 'Time You Took'. 'discover the lost' is slow and haunting. With a sense of space and an ebb and flow, the album draws you in to another place of stillness and rest and provides a much needed place of peace. We can only dream of owning a Mark Rothko original but we can all own a Rothko album and travel to new places.

Track Listing:-
1 Discover The Lost
2 Place Of Return
3 Break In The Chain
4 Thoughts For Tomorrow
5 Photographs Of Then
6 Time That You Took
7 Reasons For Me
8 Truths And Signs
9 Way To Home
10 You

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Interview (2017)
Rothko - Interview
Mark Beazley talks to John Clarkson about the return of his bass/ambient project Rothko and thir second album of this year, ‘A Young Fist Curled around a Cinder for a Wager’, which features Band of Holy Joy singer Johny Brown
Interview with Mark Beazley (2005)
Interview with Mark Beazley (2003)
Interview (2002)

live reviews

Arts Cafe, London, 28/10/2003
Rothko - Arts Cafe, London, 28/10/2003
Olga Sladeckova watches strongs sets by three of London's best bands, Rothko, Kelman and Moly, in the small, but intimate setting of the London Arts Cafe

digital downloads



Blood Demands More Blood (2018)
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