Album: LAX
Author: Massimo Ricci
Publication: TOUCHING EXTREMES (source)
Date: 02/25/2008

I recently got this piece of news: right after the completion of LAX, the Californian warehouse where Frank Rothkamm kept all his vintage machinery - including the instruments that shape the body of this very disc, comprising custom-programmed Atari and Macintosh computers - was destroyed by fire, except for a Hewlett-Packard sine wave generator that luckily was placed elsewhere (and is also featured here).

Instantly, a symbolic "idiocy vs intelligence" alignment came to mind, reason unknown. By taking an advance peep at what Rothkamm writes in the liners, we find ourselves in front of a serious doubt: is he kidding bitterly, or life is indeed just a peculiar connection of stupid jokes that become destructive concepts in the hands of the masses? The only answer I can come up with at the moment is inviting the interested ones to give a(nother?) read to Elias Canetti's "Crowds and Power" and think again before declaring themselves happy to be a part of a social congregation whatsoever.

One of the author's definitions of "LAX" indicates its ten tracks as "scenes that map the gradual collective re-wiring of reality to that of high-parallelism during the 2 years before the year 00 in the megacity of Los Angeles" (where the composer lives). Admit it: you've been among the ones who were terrorized by the Y2K propaganda. Well, this record could help in recollecting those oh-so-scary moments by forcing to ponder on the fact that the worse has yet to come, be it from an earthquake or courtesy of your office colleagues' serpentine attitude.

The complexities arising from Rothkamm's sonic inventions are typically prosperous in terms of frequency shifts, granular noise and, in this case, concrete sourcing from the media ("Los Angeles OR LA TV" is self-explanatory in that sense).

Questions are necessarily more frequent than answers, and it looks like the best way to approximate something vaguely similar to a solution is by trusting malconformations of analog sounds and computerized detritus which Frank somehow manages to render tasty as juicy fruits.

The conclusive "Bellsine OR Ascent out of LAX" is comparable to a requiem for the progressive-minded human, as I picture an enormous commonplace-stuffed mouth gulping the remnants of healthy individualism and spitting them all over the place, scattered around parties, groups and collectives which live according to rules that try to rule out those who just want to live.

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