Anthony Rother is an individual who certainly cannot ever be accused of complacency. The man's prolific nature in the electro scene is, without question, admirable. He is best known for his more up tempo releases, namely the classics"Sex with the Machines", "Simulationszeitalter" and "Hacker". In addition to the work he releases under his own name, there are a slew of side-projects which he also has: Family Lounge, Psi Performer, the Nezzwerk 12" series, Little Computer People (which featured Mr. Karl Bartos as a participant), Studio and God of the Gods, to name a few.
Last year brought the release of "Popkiller", a bland, boring and rather banal waste which was a blot on his otherwise amazing catalogue. I was quite shocked and more than a little worried by this nasty turn of events.
2005 sees the continuation of another side of Mr. Rother; the side less visible to the public, and certainly not the one which will ever be heard in any club. "Art Is a Technology" is a continuation, and perhaps the completion of a trilogy which began back in 2003 with the stunning pair of albums "Elixir of Life" and "Magic Diner". These works showed a darker, more introspective, cinematic approach. The titles for "Art Is a Technology" are simply catalogued as parts 1-15. This album contains no vocals whatsoever but rather the mechanized sounds of the machines he makes do his bidding. There are also no beats to be found on "Art Is a Technology" but if you are a fan of seamless electronic music which is aimed at the head rather than the feet, you will devour Rother's latest foray into what I would describe as music for the small hours (between 1 and 5am) when the world is a starkly deserted place. The halogen street lights hum as their cold light radiates off of the asphalt; the city streets are deserted and silent, only the thoughts can be heard. Coil fans, take note.
I really get a feeling that this is the sort of music which he likes doing best as it requires far more effort to produce, and takes a more concerted effort to get into. Understandably, there are going to be a lot of people who will mistakenly view this new album as somewhat simplistic, but then, the subconscious is not always easily accessible to the club crowd. Those who prefer big beats and strobe lights to the subtle, psychoactive tapestries of sound which this man conjures on releases like this had best stay away.