Random Number – I Understand your Date and Time of Nowhere (Rocket Racer, 2002)

Random Number
I Understand your Date and Time of Nowhere

CD Rocket Racer RR016 (USA, 03-2002)

01. Connection Is Lost
02. There Are No More Days Like This One Was
03. Too Bad
04. Until More June
05. Identical Action
06. Best Regards (Part One)
07. European Vistas

For the most part, the viability of a rock-and-roll drummer outside of his or her context would seem minimal. More so than other instruments, the drums can often serve a purely utilitarian purpose: keeping the beat. Before listening to Matt Robinson’s new randomnumber disc, I understand your date and time of nowhere, I was skeptical. Despite having played in Hood, a band with a once very straightforward approach who have since morphed into great risk-takers and innovators, I was not convinced that this would be sufficient grounds for making a decent beat-oriented electronic record. My stereotypes of the drummer as the single-minded rhythm-maker were holding strong.
After the first song on I understand… I completely ate my words.
It seems that the rock drummer can be a much more complicated animal than I’d given him (or her) credit for. The beats and programming on the opening track, “Connection is Lost” are precise. There is an initial stutter-step beat that prevails as keyboards, weird bells and finally a hollow, distorted, dying organ sound are delicately overlaid. My vision of this album as a stale 4/4 torture had disappeared. The careful attention to detail, this layering of effects and sounds convinced me that Matt Robinson is not the beat-drone I had anticipated — he’s an actual musician.
The rest of the album impressed me equally. “Until no More June” further explores the randomnumber fascination with off-kilter beats, adds some great acoustic guitar melodies and a full sounding organ. It’s one of the lighter songs on the album, which gravitates toward darker tones. “Identical Action” has a panning left to right melody that seeps into and out of the consciousness of the piece. As quickly as it fades, it is reintroduced, intentionally fracturing the listener’s impression of the track. This sensation crops up throughout the album—a phrase is played and departs only to reappear later. The repetition of this phenomenon perfectly binds the album together as a series of dissociated yet related events; glints of familiarity in an abstract time and space. These intentional subconscious touches are the true pay-off of I understand…, and showcase Robinson’s talent for creating his own musical universe while extending a steady gravitational force on his audience.
(Marc Gilman, Dusted Magazine)

Bracken, Declining Winter, Remote Viewer, Randomnumber, la liste des projets des ex-membres de Hood va finir par devenir aussi longue que la discographie de leur groupe d’origine. Le niveau étant globalement impeccable, ça aide au moins à patienter pendant le sommeil (très) prolongé de Hood.
Rocket Racer aimant soigner ses productions, cette electronica de haute volée était emballée dans une pochette en papier de verre. C’est très chouette comme objet, mais pas l’idéal à scanner.

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