Friday, November 13, 2009

Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol.1 (2007)

The results mark a departure for Nicolai both in terms of source materials, as well as overall structure. As one of the premier exponents of conceptually-minded post-techno, Nicolai has created abstract, pixelated funk modeled closely on the rhythmic schematics of contemporary hip hop and R&B. In the fine-tuned sound world of alva noto, the art gallery was rarely far from the dance club. Although it begins with a bracing bit of crackle and buzz, Xerrox is far removed from the pinprick percussion and sub-bass thump of so much of his past work. On this latest CD, Nicolai navigates a gentler, almost pastoral musical terrain, full of gently pulsing rhythms and simple melodic patterns. The omnipresent static typically comes in soft, swirling clouds rather than sharp, percussive bursts, bathing the listener in finely wrought hiss. It's a beguiling pretty record, which is not something you'd necessarily expect from a conceptual project so tightly focused on the process of digital reproduction.

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