Eleven Stages Of Intervention marks the beginning a third distinct phase in the development of Rothko. Initially the group was a three bass trio of Mark Beazley, Jon Meade and Crawford Blair. This period ended with the live album Not Gone, Not Forgotten. Beazley continued to work as a solo act under the Rothko banner, recording some excellent collaborations with Caroline Ross, Susumu Yokota and Blk W/Bear. For Eleven Stages Of Intervention Rothko are now a quartet with Beazley joined by brothers Tom and Ben Page and second bassist Michael Donnelly. The music is purely instrumental.
The bass guitar is once again the dominant instrument with tracks like “Tell Your Story To The Winds” seeing the Page brothers providing an atmospheric, minimalist background to Beazley and Donnelly’s melodic bass interplay. The music harks back to the early Rothko sound, but is at the same time lusher and darker but with a calm stillness at its heart. There is much more percussion on the record, but nothing approaching standard rock drumming, rather subtle fills, rolls and glockenspiel. It’s at its most forceful during “Weather Every Storm” where a thunderous kettle drum roll threatens to engulf the fragile foreground melody before being stilled at last into a gentle calm.
Eleven Stages Of Intervention won’t get the party started, but it is a compelling album.
1 Say Something To Someone (5:02)
2 Give.Every.Thing. (5:04)
3 Tell Your Story To The Winds (4:28)
4 Be Invisible (4:32)
5 Place A Star Up In The Sky (1:54)
6 Weather Every Storm (6:27)
7 Break The Cycle Of Sorrow (3:11)
8 Sit In Silent Thought (5:05)
9 Watch The Black Sun Fade (5:46)
10 Light A Lantern On The Water (0:53)
By the way, there is a limited edition collection of Rothko rarities and unreleased material available through the website. It’s called Retrospective – A Life Lived Elsewhere.