CD, Crunch Pod, 2005
Declared a bridge between C/A/T’s last full-length album (“The Prisoner”) and a forthcoming release in 2006, “The Rogue Pair” highlights the band’s live sound over the past year and introduces an unequivocal rhythmic noise style. Unlike previous work, according to Seattle-based artist Ben Arp, the album is intended as non-political; instead, filled with sample-laden metaphors, its focus shifts toward internal struggle. “The Rogue Pair” features eight new tracks, plus four solid remixes by Caustic, Endif, Manufactura and Terrorfakt.
“The Rogue Pair” is characterized by epic and methodical space-age synths and fanfares integrated with nicely layered power noise elements. Notable examples are “The Rogue Pair [v.1],” as well as “Enemy Within” and “Liability.” The latter also includes a satisfying breakbeat hook that might catch some unawares. “Severed” continues in a masterful experimental industrial tangent with melty abstract grooves, which are again echoed in Endif’s electro-heavy take on “Seditious Minds.”
The samples in “Seditious Minds” of mayor Ray Nagin, from a memorable September 1, 2005 interview, underscore the desperation of New Orleans in the disastrous wake of Hurricane Katrina. Creating cohesion between tracks, Nagin’s voice is again heard in Caustic’s well-articulated “Enemy Within” remix, which modifies the ostensible political agenda of the original. Because C/A/T has stressed the political sentiments expressed in these samples should not necessarily be taken literally, the notion is more easily embraced when faced with the humorous social commentary of “Enhanced.”
Saturated with crashing rhythms variegated enough to capture the armchair listener’s attention, “The Rogue Pair” is also punishing and catchy enough to keep the dance floor fueled. Its excellent and crisp production enables a unique, clean and uninhibited sound, without doubt exhibiting one of C/A/T’s strongest attributes.
— Dutton Hauhart