Their final album, Instrument, was a good way for To Rococo Rot to bow out – as with all of their albums, they’re engaged in processes of both refinement and expansion, the latter best exemplified by the appearance, for the first time, of vocals, by guest Arto Lindsay. His subtle, wry sigh is on opener “Many Descriptions”, closer “Longest Escalator In The World”, and the album’s high point, the gently melodic “Classify”, and he fits the world of To Rococo Rot perfectly. His singing feels both intuitive and poised, as though he’s exploring his words and melodies for the first or second time, which is how much of Instrument feels. To Rococo Rot are similarly intuitive, and you can hear on songs like “Spreading The Strings Out”, where a three-note piano tattoo is repeatedly effaced by scribbles from synths and electronics, their winning ability to infect process with productive instability. They sound like a group that still has plenty of life and spirit in them – which, strangely, makes Instrument a perfect album to sign off with.
– Jon Dale