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Alva Noto: Unieqav (2LP, Noton, March 2018)

Ah, lovely Alva Noto. This record is a follow-up to 2008’s Unitxt and 2011’s Univrs and very much a continuation of those works, although with elements of the Xerrox sequence in there too — it’s considerably less surprising than Glass, his latest collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto. There are those skittering glitchy clicky beats that I just love, there are those […]

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Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto: Glass (CD, Noton, February 2018)

You’ll think I’m silly, but I almost didn’t want to listen this: I love Alva Noto, I love Ryuichi Sakamoto, I love Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sakamoto’s latest album was almost heartbreakingly perfect, and I didn’t want to be disappointed. Well, I’m glad I got over myself, because this is a magical and wondrous […]

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Alva Noto: Xerrox (Vol. 3) (CD, Raster-Noton, April 2015)

From about a minute in, it’s pretty clear we’re in for a treat here. The Xerrox project has always been at the lush ambient end of Alva Noto’s output, so different from the razor-sharp glitch of, say, Unitxt. But this he’s outdone himself here: there is a huge depth of emotion just humming out of […]

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Alva Noto: univrs (CD, Raster-Noton, October 2011)

Uh-oh, the king of glitch has got the bass bug. This is ostensibly a follow up to 2008’s unitxt. I think it’s fair to say that this is an altogether dirtier affair. The ultra-precision clicks, blips, and edits are all present and correct, but there’s something grindingly industrial running underneath everything here. The tone is […]

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Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto: Summvs (CD, Raster-Noton, May 2011)

It’s no exaggeration to say that my first hearing of this duo’s 2005 album Insen, and their concert at the Barbican, were transformative experiences for me. I’ve steered clear of their two subsequent releases, for fear that they would be disappointing (while developing a considerable awe of Carsten Nicolai’s other work, and Raster-Noton in general). But […]

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Alva Noto: Unitxt (CD, Raster-Noton, June 2008)

When this came out, it seemed like the king of glitch was reclaiming his crown. I forget why I didn’t buy it right away: I do remember that it became hard to find quite soon. So I came to it over two years late… I am glad to say that it appears to have aged […]

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Byetone: Symeta (CD, Raster-Noton, October 2011)

This came out at the high-point of what I am, rather facilely, going to refer to as Raster-Noton’s clicks’n’bass period, released in the same month as Alva Noto’s univrs. Following in the pattern of 2010’s Death Of A Typographer, Byetone continues to represent the poppier side of the label, as far as it goes, with […]

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Anne-James Chaton: Événements 09 (CD, Raster Noton, March 2011)

I first encountered the French avant-garde “sound poet” Anne-James Chaton on Alva Noto’s unitxt: he features in the phenomenal opening track, apparently reading out all the serial numbers he can find in Carsten Nicolai’s wallet. This CD is essentially the logical continuation of that idea. The only (I think) sound here is Chaton’s voice, this […]

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Cyclo: id (CD, Raster Noton, March 2011)

Cyclo is Carsten Nicolai and Ryoji Ikeda. Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) is obviously a firm favourite here. Ikeda, I’ve had my doubts about before, but this goes a long way to dismiss them. Because this is pretty damned great. It starts out with a high pitched squeal, into which glitchy clicks slice in a very physical […]

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ANBB: Mimikry (CD, Raster-Noton, September 2010)

Oh boy. When I first read that Alva Noto was making a record with Blixa Bargeld, I was pretty excited. When I heard the first previews, I was very excited: they were breath-taking. And when I finally got the album, well, it was even better than I’d expected. Oh boy. I adore the work of […]