To Rococo Rot

Last updated
To Rococo Rot
Origin Berlin, Germany
Genres Post-rock
Electronic / IDM
Years active1995 2014
Labels Kitty-Yo
City Slang
Domino Records
Members Robert Lippok
Ronald Lippok
Stefan Schneider

To Rococo Rot were a Berlin-based band who combined electronic and analog elements to create instrumental post-rock music. Pitchfork described the band's sound as "unmistakably digital, yet 100% human." [1] The group was composed of bassist Stefan Schneider and brothers Robert (electronics, guitar) and Ronald Lippok (drums, effects). The band's name is a palindrome, as it can be spelled the same both forwards and backwards.


To Rococo Rot formed in 1995 and were active until 2014, releasing eight major albums and numerous collaborations, remixes, singles and EPs. They were known for their minimalist, musically engaging live show, and gave their final performance on December 17, 2014 via a live-streamed Boiler Room "In Stereo" session. [2] [3]


While involved in the Cabaret Voltaire-inspired experimental outfit Ornament and Verbrechen, the Lippok brothers connected with then-Kreidler bassist Stefan Schneider to make a one-off record project intended to accompany a gallery exhibition. [2] The group's eponymous debut, recorded on an ADAT without editing, was released in 1995 in the form of a picture disc, and subsequently issued on CD by Kitty Yo in 1996. [4] During the trio's early years, Schneider continued to play in Kreidler before leaving to focus on To Rococo Rot. [2] Ronald Lippok simultaneously recorded with Tarwater. Robert Lippok has described To Rococo Rot's approach as "a very simple way of organizing music" that focuses on just a few musical elements at a time. [4]

To Rococo Rot rose to prominence with three critically acclaimed albums released by UK independent label City Slang. [1] The band's sound continued to evolve following a move to Domino Records: Hotel Morgen (2004) emphasizes the group's electronic and IDM side, while Speculation (2010) was hailed for "capturing a more live sound and looser atmosphere." [5] The band's last full-length album, Instrument , was released in July 2014, and features Arto Lindsay on three tracks. Commenting on the uncustomary inclusion of vocals, Robert Lippok said: "The melodies Arto sang were surprising... His voice is light and is flying over the music with turns and twists, but also it is brittle and has something almost fragile about it. It's like a delicate bird." [4]

Shortly after releasing Instrument, "a big gap of expectations" surfaced among members, and the band decided to split up. [4] All three members have since gone on to release music through various projects.

In 2022, Bureau B released The John Peel Sessions, which collects the band's three previously-unreleased John Peel Sessions, recorded between 1997-1999. Then on December 12, 2022, To Rococo Rot reunited for a special one-time appearance at the Lieblingsplatte ("Favorite Records") Festival in Düsseldorf, where the band performed the 1999 album The Amateur View in its entirely. [6]


Studio albums

TitleRelease dateNotesLabel
To Rococo RotJanuary 12, 1996Eponymous debutKitty-Yo
VeiculoFebruary 20, 1997 City Slang
The Amateur ViewApril 26, 1999City Slang
Music is a Hungry Ghost April 30, 2001Featuring I-Sound (turntable effects)City Slang
Hotel Morgen April 19, 2004 Domino
Taken From VinylNovember 27, 200612 previously vinyl-only tracks (Enhanced CD version features a video for 'Telema')Staubgold
SpeculationMarch 8, 2010Featuring Faust's Hans Joachim Irmler (keyboards) on "Friday"Domino
Instrument April 2014Featuring Arto Lindsay (vocals on three tracks)City Slang
The John Peel SessionsNovember 4, 2022Collects the band's three previously-unreleased John Peel Sessions, recorded 1997-1999 Bureau B

Commissioned Projects

TitleRelease dateNotesLabel
Kölner BrettNovember 26, 2001‘Kölner Brett’ is the name of a Cologne building for which To Rococo Rot were asked to supply a "musical translation." [7] Staubgold
ABC One Two ThreeOctober 21, 2007Music resulting from a commission related to the 50th anniversary of the Helvetica typeface.Domino


TitleRelease dateNotesLabel
Paris 25February 10, 1998City Slang
TRRDJuly 1998With DSoul Static Sound
PantoneOctober 15, 2001With I-SoundCity Slang


TitleRelease dateAlbumLabel
"She Understands the Dynamics"April 27, 1998 FatCat Records
"Telema"March 29, 1999From The Amateur View City Slang
"Cars"September 20, 1999From The Amateur ViewCity Slang
"Jacky" / "Crosby"April 18, 2000Sub Pop 7" Singles Series Sub Pop
"Smaller Listening" / "Numbers In Love"20007" With DSoul Static Sound
"Cosimo"June 21, 2004From Hotel Morgen Domino
"Horses, Horses, Horses"December 03, 2008Alternative, dance-oriented versions of two tracks later featured on SpeculationDomino


TitleRelease dateNotesLabel
Rocket Road 1997-2001November 16, 20123-CD Box Set / Digital Release, reissuing Veiculo,The Amateur View and Music Is A Hungry Ghost, with previously unreleased bonus tracks and remixes by Four Tet, Daniel Miller, Gareth Jones, Mira Calix.City Slang

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  1. 1 2 Schreiber, Ryan (8 June 1999). "To Rococo Rot: The Amateur View (Review)". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Muggs, Joe (15 December 2014). ""Have a Night Out and Get Drunk Together": A Fond Farewell to To Rococo Rot". Boiler Room. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. "In Stereo: To Rococo Rot (Archived)". Boiler Room. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Freeman, John (7 July 2014). "The Voice Of Minimalism: An Interview With To Rococo Rot". The Quietus. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. Sisson, Patrick (13 April 2010). "To Rococo Rot: Speculation (Review)". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. Wappner, Stephan (13 December 2022). "To Rococo Rot spielen einzigartignes Konzert in Düsseldorf"" [To Rococo Rot play a unique concert in Düsseldorf]. (in German). Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  7. "Kölner Brett . To Rococo Rot (Staubgold 22)". Staubgold. Retrieved 24 January 2018.