Rollerball: Bathing Music


By Erin Hucke

It is advised NOT to listen to Bathing Music while bathing.

I didn’t actually do any physical research to support this warning I give, but nothing sounds so opposite to relaxation, awakening and cleansing as the grimy, ominous lurkings of Rollerball. I don’t see how you could come out of the tub feeling anything other than suspicious after listening to this. Nothing evokes the filth of the city streets, or the shadows of a dark, sparsely patronized drinking establishment in slow motion. It’s the inner workings of a brain set on the “evil” mode.

Bathing Music is an eerie combination of jazz, electronic, hip-hop and noise music. Not all in that order, exactly. Each song is distinct in sound, but similar in attitude. Some music defies categorization. (That description in itself is a catch-all category.) File Rollerball under “o” for “other.” Music that doesn’t quite fit in. Music that isn’t easily understood, but it’s got something intriguing about it nevertheless.

The songs operate like musical laboratory experiments left to their own devices. Rollerball sets the instruments in motion only to have them stay in motion and become progressively more chaotic. The fluidity of the songs (even literally with water noises underneath the music) connects the contrasting moods and tempos.

At times, it is close to Old World music with clarinets, tambourines and violin in a loose, haphazard arrangement, evoking a demented carnival or circus atmosphere. Other times it is a full-on bombardment of hopelessly disorganized jazz improvisation, complete with horns screeching horribly off-key. It’s goth for the jazz lover, jazz for the indie crowd and experimental music for the pop fanatic.

If you’re starting to think all music sounds the same, or just looking for something different to stick in your CD player, try Bathing Music. Even if the CD doesn’t live up to its name.

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