Open letter - re Rotate the Completer - re his new vynal - re post below...

From the Fan Club  February 9, 2010 - Tuesday  click here
Rotate the Completor - open letter

This is a copy of a letter I have been sending to people regarding RTC, it has information on how I first met him and where to contact him. Read it if you want to know a little more about the music.

Hello, sorry to bother you like this but a friend of mine said that you might be able to help me with regards to the following. Hopefully it will interest you as much as it does me.

Before I begin I’ll give you some background information. My name is ................. and I am a resident of Tauranga, a city located in ....New Zealand..... Not much happens in Tauranga as it like a ....Florida.... for example mostly serves as a pretty, artificial city for which the elderly can retire, play bridge for awhile and then die. The idea of anything happening here of musical importance is absurd, because despite the occasional metal or covers band playing loudly and badly in some yob bar on a Saturday evening this is an artistic wasteland bereft of any talent, energy and creativity. What little talent that may have been here has moved away long ago to larger and more prosperous cities due to the combined lack of respect and outlets for their personal expression. The rest are so stricken with apathy they either cease playing like myself or join the hordes of covers bands selling their credibility for a spot as the proverbial wedding reception juke box. So the recent developments of which I am about to share have come both as quite a shock and a definite pleasure and for my mind are in desperate need of being shown to a far wider more understanding audience than the ignorant local population. So I have made it my mission to bring some exposure to the man who calls himself….Rotate the Completor.

During our summer last year I found myself on one of the back streets of our city centre due to being unable to find a car park anywhere else thanks to the masses of people like myself doing their Christmas shopping at the last minute. As I was feeding enough coins to create a small deposit on what could be my first house into a hungry parking metre I noticed a busker about 50metres down the road. I found this rather odd because besides the occasional business person heading down those ways to catch a taxi or someone trying to locate their dignity from their previous weekend’s night clubbing antics then there was very little foot traffic. Certainly not enough to warrant busking! What made it more bizarre was that the main drag was only 2-3 minutes walking distance away. And what with the spirit of Christmas in the air generosity for buskers would be at record highs.  

  Curious, I decided to walk by for a closer look. The busker was a rather strange looking guy, mid to late 20’s I’d say yet quite boyish if one could see past the scraggly beard framing his face, kitted out in an odd selection of oversized well aged clothing like you would see on a child playing dress up in his fathers clothes. Now much to my surprise this guy was not playing the standard, crowd pleasing set list of top 20 hits but was instead belting out some of the weirdest, original, tuneless, repelling to the average person, inspired music I’ve ever heard. I still find it hard to describe exactly what kind of music it is that Rotate the Completor plays so until you can actually listen to it just imagine a deranged children’s entertainer playing a mix of blues, jazz, blue grass, rock n’ roll, folk and carnival music all somehow blended together and sung for the most part in silly voices to disguise how atonal he is. A friend of mine upon listening to R.T.C for the first time dubbed what he heard quite wryly and very aptly as ‘savant garde’. Now this guy is going full tilt, playing as loud as his un-amplified acoustic will let him, dancing like he has a very troubling parasitic infection and forming his words with an impressive array of facial expressions the likes of which are usually reserved for rubber faced comedians and or people who have never had children trying to be ‘silly’ around the offspring of other people who have had children lest they be seen as being unable to communicate with those younger than themselves due to having never had children like those that have…

Now what gets and hooks me is the fact that the other, probably lost, people that do walk past are ignoring our hero and if anything treating him like a leper, giving him an incredibly wide berth, far more than what the usual accepted side stepping rule when encountering and trying to avoid buskers’ permits. Some have even crossed the road only to re-cross moments later once they have gotten past this noisy obstacle. All the while R.T.C is completely oblivious, totally absorbed in playing his little ditties and having a grand old time doing so. Astounded by his genius and everyone else’s ignorance I watched and waited to see what would happen next. After watching him play 4-5 more similarly mental songs I took out my wallet and emptied all the coinage I had onto his at this point empty busking hanky and started to return to my previous viewing position. Now the idea behind this was that hopefully with a little validation it would spur him on to keep playing. But no, much to my amusement mid way through the song he was playing he stopped leant down, scooped up his hanky, slung his guitar over his shoulder and without as much as even a glance in my direction crossed the road and entered the fruit and veggie store opposite from where we stood leaving me alone scratching my head in wonder.

After making sense of what just happened I followed, eventually catching up with him in front of a stall of sweet potatoes weighing them up in his hands and squeezing them like one would do if they were trying to discern whether a peach or avocado was ripe enough to eat. Bemused I looked on while he made his choice and then attempted to start a conversation which was no easy feat. When I first went up along side him and said ‘hello’ he swung around, guitar almost decapitating me and strode off heading at a fierce pace towards the counter, when I finally caught up to him this time I tapped him on his shoulder to give fair warning at which point he turned, looked at me with this priceless possum caught in the headlights expression and gave me a slow, drawled, suspicious ‘yes?’. I explained that I’d just been watching him while he busked and thought it was very good but before I could continue with all the platitudes and questions I had wanted to get out the guitar was again heading for my head while a ‘thank you’ was also roughly aimed in that direction. Now I should say here that I’m not usually the kind of guy that follows others about like a needy affection starved animal but to hear something musically from my generation that isn’t just an insipid reinterpretation of the last decade’s music and to hear it on the streets of Tauranga no less was excuse enough for me to forgo my usual insouciance to take on the role of gushing fan #1 so I could at the very least find out who this enigma was. So I cut him off at the counter and started asking the questions for which I wanted and needed the answers to. Brilliantly, at first he tried pretending that he couldn’t see me until it became glaringly obvious that I could only be talking to him as there was no-one else in or near the vicinity of the line for service. When he did finally look at me with his startled possum expression a fixed like he’d only just realised I’d been standing in front of him the entire time he gave me his slow, drawled, suspicious ‘yes?’ response once more. So I repeated myself for him but by the time I’d gotten through my spiel about how great it was to hear something original in Tauranga and how great he was etc and asked my first question I’d lost his attention, he was off in his own little world. Getting and understanding the message that either through misanthropy, insanity, shyness or being the human incarnate of the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland he couldn’t or didn’t want to converse I grabbed a pen and wrote my contact details on the back of my receipt on the off chance that one day he may like to jam or hang out or whatever and handed it to him which was met with a response you can probably already guess for yourself. After that I left my new friend to his own devices, only seeing him again briefly as I was returning from my shopping, sitting alone on a park bench eating his sweet potato like an apple. In hysterics, I rushed home and told everyone I could, to little or no interest, about my odd encounter with this strange little man who despite my best efforts I knew zilch about and sadly never expected to see or hear from ever again.

So imagine my surprise when about 3 months ago a package arrived for me with the sender listed as a Rotate the Completor. I’m not sure if it is the same where you come from but over here R.T.C isn’t exactly a common name. So after checking for any ticking sounds coming from within I cautiously opened the envelope to reveal the contents; one audio cassette with an odd little photocopied drawing for a front cover titled ‘Rotate the Completors: Completed Rotations of the…’, and with some type written directions for use-age on the back. Truth be told I had nearly forgotten about my encounter of the previous year as I had neither seen nor heard from the little busker since. It was only when I turned the tape on and heard the manic combination of talent, no talent, originality, insanity that I realised just what it was that I had been sent and quickly turned off the tape and paid more attention to the package it came in.

I’ll go into detail about the front cover after I have discussed the music itself but before I can even do that I must explain the ‘Rules for listening to Rotate the Completors: Completed Rotations of the…’. Set in type written font were 4 rules;

 1.) Listen alone. 2.) Listen with head phones on. 3.) Listen only at night. 4.) Only permissible foods to be eaten when listening to ‘R.T.C’’s: C.R of the…’ ;cruciferous vegetables, members of the allium genus. I can’t really explain the reason for these except maybe they are designed to enhance the listening pleasure, that or was this how the album was conceived and R.T.C wants everyone to hear his music how he hears it? And in fact I think I’d rather not know as this just adds to the mystery.

Sadly I could not wait for night to fall and that I regret as it definitely would have enhanced the pleasure of that first listen if that was his intention but I did adhere to the other provisos by grabbing my old walkman, a plate of cabbage and tucking myself away in the darkest place I could find in my house. Now I thought what I heard on the street the previous year was bizarre but this completely blew that and me away. There are 11 songs in total, none of which are named; all are listed with their number and then an ellipsis for example 1… or 5…   All songs are recorded on what could only be a Dictaphone as the sound quality is so poor, not that it really matters as it probably actually adds and sticks with  the rough around the edges charm consistent of the other R.T.C attributes. All the songs bar the very last, 11…. are played on an electric guitar with some form of effects laden over top. Most of the songs also have drum accompaniment.  Not from a highly skilled drummer over dubbing mind you but just R.T.C mostly out of time using a kick drum and hi-hat and maybe something else at the same time as he badly warbles and plays his guitar. Least that’s my belief as no-one else could possibly keep up with the odd changes in time and structure the songs constantly under go and nor could most musicians play in such a stripped back childish manner.

I won’t be overly descriptive on the music as it is best to hear it for yourself without preparation the first time in case it lessens the initial shock. However to up the intrigue factor on your part I will leave you with these tasty morsels of information. The music is still an indefinable chaotic mess of clashing styles but now with the added bonus of low fi technical wizardry the songs take on a more sinister tone in parts. Song 1…  starts as a normal song would, well as normal as any R.T.C song starts, only to stop completely, start again but this time with the tape sped up, only to stop again at which point another copy of the same song starts playing over the first rendition but half a second behind only to stop again after your head feels like it’s about to explode from a combination of dizziness, confusion and amusement. Some songs are jarringly short while some tend to ramble as if they are searching for the point they are trying to make yet never wind up finding it. All the songs have the ability to evoke a wide range of emotions some of which I have never felt when listening to music or from living in general such as the gut churning feeling of being simultaneously elated, confused and disgusted.

The lyrics from what I can hear and decipher seem to be a mix of metaphors, tales about personified usually inanimate objects or animals such as cabbages and mice and heartfelt mantras like the last song which is basically 5 minutes of repeating  the refrain ‘I am not insane’. Which brings me to the album cover, now I can only presume this child like drawing is a montage of all the characters contained within the songs as the big puffy white cloud thing in the top left must be the ‘dog in the sky’ mentioned in track 5… and cabbage and cantaloupe in the central area from track 1… I had been hoping to send a copy of this to you so you could see it for yourself but unfortunately there is no way that I can see how to attach it.

And best of all something I only just discovered last month is that if one leaves the album to run out then the entire thing is played in reverse at the end of each side.

Hopefully I have piqued your interest on this because my efforts to spread the good word of R.T.C here have been met with a typically muted response and I am in desperate need of some help in doing so. And as my friend kindly told me you would be one of the best people to contact as music like this is your specialty and therefore hopefully you will get as much enjoyment out of this as I have and will also spread the word to other like minded and interested souls. I should make clear that I am not trying to become the next Malcolm Mclaren nor am I dreaming about world domination for R.T.C I’d just like to see others get the same enjoyment out of this music that I have and that he gets some of the recognition he deserves so that he continues to make more of his warped genius music. Not that I think he really cares or needs the validation because since receiving his tape I have been steadily writing to the return of sender address from the back of his parcel with words of thanks, encouragement, questions, my intentions and everything I tried saying that day back in the fruit and veggie market but so far to absolutely no response. Maybe he just isn’t taking me seriously as I’m just a resident of Tauranga, I have no musical credentials or credentials and sees me as a potential stalker that should not be too greatly encouraged.

Now obviously you cannot make your own deductions on the questionable genius of Rotate the Completor without first hearing him as I could be massively delusional due to being starved for good local or contempory music. But there in lies the problem all my attempts to create duplicates of his album have thus far been met with resistance due to the sound quality or lack there of and it seems somewhat dishonourable to copy his album without the permission I have asked for in my unanswered entreaties anyway. But what I can suggest and this I can vouch for is what one of the few people I have shown this album to who have appreciated it has done and succeeded. My friend wrote to R.T.C requesting a copy of his album but did so in a way that he’d be obligated to do so by sending a blank audio tape with a stamped self addressed envelope big enough to carry a cassette, which after a couple of weeks waiting he received along with the photo copied cover and type written annotations that I had. If you wish to do this and I hope I have been convincing enough that you will do so then send your stamped, self addressed envelope, with I suggest a 90minute blank tape if you want the reverse of the album as well to: Rotate the Completor, PO Box 2000, Tauranga, New Zealand.

And if you do choose to do so and receive your copy please email me and tell me that I am not imagining things and seeing what I want to see and that you too enjoy it. And if you do then please pass this message on or tell as many other like minded souls as you can because with enough numbers we may even be able to convince R.T.C to come out from where ever he is hiding and start playing live or at least explain some of the more troubling aspects of his music.

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to read this and I look forward to hearing from you.

Read more: http://blogs.myspace.com/rotatethecompletorfanpage#ixzz0rKW5yl1x

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