Rotate the Completor
Rotate the Completors: Completed Rotations of the...

Rotate the Completor arrived at Primitive Future’s headquarters with very little fanfare. Though there was a New Zealand address attached (always intriguing), the crayon-crafted cover was an immediate turn-off. The juvenile illustrations and complete lack of description screamed that this was a group of youngsters aping the Elephant Six motif with blunted effort. No names, no tracklist, no bells or whistles or proclamations as to why I should care to listen. A rainy Wednesday morning and I’m drawn to the disc for some reason.

Maybe it was telepathy broadcasting from the island that forced me to put it on. The Completed Rotations of the... is presumably a one-man operation, weaving a strangely and achingly beautiful string of songs together without a sense of boundary. Digging deeper I come to find out that Rotate the Completor is the product of a cassette protracted from a mysterious busker in Tauranga, a city far removed from the hustle and bustle of Auckland or Dunedin. The lack of titles is accepted, as no one really knows, and with no guide fragments, the fully formed, but lazily spun, bedroom trips begin to bleed into each other. Any contact with the artist has been met with retreat. And so, Rotate the Completor (that is what we’re calling the guy), along with this gem of a find, begs the question if this is truly the work of a severely warped outsider artist or a sham. We can call the Shaggs outsider artists, but equally be aware of their own awareness that they were pounding out genius opposite-spectrum pop as long as you found their frequency.

You’ll need to tune to a specific wavelength to appreciate Rotate the Completor, as we all weren’t wired the same way as this guy. Savant? Intentional? Little of that matters when you’re sucked inside what must be a very cramped space and this brand of loner lo-fi is throwing the book into the salt air and instead contorting around various spats of prog, blues, nursery rhymes and haunted folk with only guitar and a voice that’s as malleable as those guitar strings.

More often that not though, you get the feeling that the man has total control of when he goes way outside and when he reels in it with lilting sincerity. The Sun City Girls come to mind whenever I begin to think about that innate ability of some bands to give you “Smoke on the Water” and flip it over to reveal a grotesque vision of psychedelia unhear, and obviously not created by people who have their mind’s righted. Rotate the Completor has that skill and in repeated listens resemble SCG, if only they were influenced by smuggled copies of Beefheart records and the local ever-presence of beloved weirdos like Chris Knox and the Dead C. This is local mayhem, rarely removed from the bedroom perhaps and definitely not intended for a wider audience. But the question of what exactly this is remains, especially when confronted with the seven-minute finale wherein our protagonist repeats “I am not insane” as a hypnotic raga in a wide range of (inner) voices. I’ll take the myth as much as I’ll take the record.
Kevin J. Elliott

MP3: “Song #6”