Sunday, 29 August 2010

Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol. 2

Alva Noto is a recording alias of Carsten Nicolai, one of the founders of the excellent experimental electronic label Raster-Noton: a label that embraced the aesthetic of clicks-and-cuts but forged its own distinct identity which was expressed in both the music and visual design. Obviously minimalism is an important factor in compositional terms, but the sounds on this album also include lush and epic soundscapes, as well as churning waves of noise. 'Xerrox Soma' has a bed of ambient Eno-esque synths, over which string-like drones swell and recede, amd some processed noise crackles like electricity. It creates a sense of massive space, and is rather beautiful, too. This fades into 'Xerrox Meta Phaser', which sounds like you are descending into the depths of some gigantic generator building, with throbbing humming and metallic drones building to a noisetastic peak.
The album is laden with glorious string drones - on 'Xerrox Monophaser 1' sounding very much like Cliff Martinez's amazing soundtrack to Solaris. These are adorned by crusts of static, or they throb in unison with distant, booming noises; drones, or airy ambience. Although occasionally bordering on harsh, it is a mostly lovely combination - a marriage of abstract, experimental electronica with lush classical ambient.


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