Thursday, 8 April 2010

Byetone - Plastic Star

Byetone is a recording alias of Olaf Bender, one of the co-founders of the Raster-Noton label from Germany. I love a lot of the music on this label, which is normally a kind of icy, detached electronic minimalism; sometimes even distant and sterile (and often brilliant). This, on the other hand, is a bit of a beast. Right from the off it storms in with an electro kick drum and a glorious throbbing bass. This is driven along by minimal cymbals, and punctuated with stabs of distorted harmonic noise, before a triumphant droning melody is introduced and the track rises to a victorious peak. This demands to be played loud, and is the kind of tune that makes you raise your fist into the air.
There are four mixes on here, all excellent, none of which deviates greatly from the original, which is a good thing. Sleeparchive does a characteristically excellent job, shaping it into a more syncopated techno pounder. Fellow Raster-Noton luminary Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai) funks it up a bit, cutting and chopping with clipped beats and some of his trademark high pitched noise signals. And it's nice to see Dr Walker turn in an Air Liquide-style acid-hop version, adding some acoustic bass and swirling trippy synths in the classic mid 90s Air Liquide style.
Marvellous. After hearing this I had to buy it on vinyl.


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