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Rothko - Blood Demands More Blood

  by Keith How

published: 24 / 8 / 2018

Rothko - Blood Demands More Blood
Label: Trace Recordings
Format: CD


Adventurous and progressive latest album from Rothko that pushes back the boundaries of the post rock genre

From the moment a tidal wave of static burst out of the speakers in an onslaught of apocalyptic noise you realise that Rothko are back. It is not the Rothko, however, that we are used to. This is new and improved Rothko complete with rage, anger and darkness. The cover art is a possible give away. Blood red skies, police lines, riot police along with champagne-swilling yuppies. All these images distorted and blurred hold clues to the maelstrom etched into the compact disc. The opening track title 'May 3rd 1979 (When Evil Took Hold)' reflects on the day Margaret Thatcher came to power. Rothko, which is the project of London-based bassist Mark Beazley plus guests, envelope the listener in an uneasy blast of feedback and whirling noise. Gone are the deep melodic bass tones, and here the bass becomes a tool of revolution, distorted and overdriven in what appears to sound like anger and uncertainty. Following on„ 'One Million Drops of Death in the Seas' is a panoramic drone complete with industrial overtones that are disturbing. Indeed this cut does not deviate from its chosen course, swelling like a full tide, dark and deep submerging everything in its path. The third track 'For the Disappeared' reveals a dark atmosphere with a hint of melody but that is all. Lush electronic textures provide a backcloth for a bass that sounds abrasive, just four notes repeating themselves before fading into another movement that resounds like noise in an abandoned factory. For the first time there is a nod towards Godspeed You Black Emperor but this is not them. These are no thirty-five minute long symphonies. This is post 'post rock'! It is actually punk post rock. Beazley has done his homework. 'Blood Demands More Blood' is short, sharp shocks of compelling and unnerving electronica. No words are needed. The album is relentless. 'Famine Drought, Famine Flood, Famine Death, Repeat' is four minutes of seeming despair. You could watch 'News at Ten' with the sound turned down listening to this and actually feel some emotion, unlike the soulless reports we endure night after night. The sound is bleak and thick with dust and desolation yet compelling and mysterious. The atmosphere remains pessimistic and full of drama through. On 'There Is No End to War' and 'The Peace Process' the momentum rises and falls within the often dense and rich tones. There are moments of contemplative peace and roars of brutal, often metallic noise yet at no time is the listener allowed to lose interest. 'Surface For The Last Time' closes the album. It is an ocean of calm and even a banner of hope after the preceding storm as layers of textured and manipulated electronics ebb and flow, resisting an aggressive bass motif before drifting away beyond the horizon. 'Blood Demands More Blood' is a terrific piece of work. Honest, brave and demanding at times but a real triumph. The key here is that Rothko have captured a sense of the times we have lived in and the times we are now enduring. It is quite possibly the best experimental electronic work released in recent years. Rothko (Mark Beazley) is assisted by BLKw/BEAR, Gagarin, James Murray,Steve Parry and Michael Donnely who are credited with "other stuff.“

Track Listing:-
1 May 3rd 1979 (When Evil Took Hold)
2 One Million Drops of Death in the Seas
3 For the Disappeared
4 What Happened to Hope.
5 Famine Drought, Famine Flood, Famine Death. Repeat
6 May 2nd 1997 (The End of Truth)
7 There Is No End to War
8 The Peace Process
9 Surface for the Last Time

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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



discover the lost (2016)
Elegant and atmospheric offering from Rothko who return with a full-length album after a ten year lay off
Continual Search For Orgins (2002)

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