Marbert Rocel are a trio that mix up their brand of electro pop experiments to produce twelve Speed Emotions that makes Speed Dating look slow.
Marbert Rocel might sound like a Belgian impressionist painter but they are Marcel Aue (Producer and DJ) and Robert Krause (Producer, DJ and Artist) with Antje Seifarth on vocals who have produced this debut album.
You may know Aue as hip hop DJ Malik, who is also part of German pop-rap band Clueso, but you would never guess from this album. ‘Beats Like Birds’ was the first single sets the scene of Róisín Murphy (in her Matthew Herbert period)/Dani Siciliano mixed with Tunng.
This is where these three seem happiest, with clickity beats and Antje’s laid back vocals (see ‘Seven Stars’, ‘Cornflakeboy’, ‘The Pack’ and more). ‘Tttictictac’ is that sort of tune that creeps up on you and tunnels into your consciousness so you end up humming it in your sleep (definitely Secret Love material).
As a self-confessed non-Beatle fan, notwithstanding my Norwegian Woodbeatle mix, the biggest track for me is the Eleanor Rigby inspired instrumental, ‘Eleanor Birdbath’. The other instrumental, ‘Purple Bass’ is a bit more upbeat electro dub and ‘Cause You’ is definitely Peterson radio play material.
You never know, one of the tracks might end up on a Future Sounds Of Jazz compilation even if there is a debate as to whether any of the tracks on this album are ‘future jazz.
The combination of their EMO approach, Depeche Mode electro, Herbert-minimal-techno-house makes them ‘jazz’ in my book. ‘Blue Days’ one minute, ‘Roll To Roll’ the next but wait, the biggest track of the lot? A remake of 1972 classic, ‘The Harder They Come’! Twenty-five years on, Jimmy Cliff could never imagined such a downtempo version that’s so removed from the original (shame about the harsh ending).
Bizarre but Marcert Rocel are brilliant in their special way and I hope they get recognised as such.
Hectic Mix nominations: ‘The Harder They Come’, ‘Cause You’, ‘Blue Days’, ‘Eleanor Birdbath’, ‘Purple Bass’, ‘Tttictictac’
Reviewed: Marbert Rocel — Speed Emotions (Compost Records) Cat. No. COMPOST 278-2 Release date: 19th November 2007
1 Seven Stars (4:32)
2 Cornflake Boy (3:59)
3 Eleanor Birdbath (5:47)
4 The Pack (4:57)
5 Beats Like Birds (5:33)
6 Purple Bass (5:52)
7 Tttictictac (5:06)
8 Blue Days (4:42)
9 ‘Cause You (6:04)
10 Roll To Roll (4:23)
11 Red Shoes (8:07)
12 The Harder They Come (6:42)