The second volume in Alva Noto’s Xerrox series is majestic widescreen sound art. The kind of bold highly emotive slightly melodic noise that is lush and mesmirising, almost symphonic in its scope and grandeur. Alva Noto is Raster Noton co founder, the German born Carsten Nicolai, who was last in town at the Melbourne Festival performing with Ryuichi Sakamoto as part of Insen. And curiously samples from this live performance are some of the ingredients used to construct the 11 pieces here, as are samples from Stephen O’Malley (Sunn 0)))), from screen composer Michael Nyman, from a malfunctioning Continental Airline Inflight program and from metaphysical function 1 and 2 (whatever that is). The process is about snipping these samples and removing any semblance of their former selves, altering their tones, timbres and textures, and correspondingly the music is highly abstract, slow sweeping melodic oscillations, transcendent digital noise, electronic pulses, clutches of static and brooding bottom end. They’re ingredients that we’ve heard used many times before by numerous artists, but they’ve never sounded so vibrant and been used in such arresting ways. This music is simply jaw dropping. It’s abstract sound design that has evolved into the score and plugs directly into the emotions. The closest parallel I can draw is the Fennesz’s unique ability to make noise so emotional, as this music runs the emotive gamut. It’s yearning, tranquil one minute and then it evolves into something sprawling, aggressive and finally transcendent. It’s apparently the second in a series of five Xerrox releases and such is the beauty and scope this ambient noise music that you’d find it very hard to believe that it could every be surpassed, by him or anyone else.
Bob Baker Fish n