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Customer Reviews

Headphone Commute Review

The only other greatest collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and his contemporary electronic musicians besides Christian Fennesz (and as I have recently witnessed live, Taylor Deupree), is his ongoing critically acclaimed work with Alva Noto. The duo first got together in 2002 for their worldwide lauded Vrioon release. Three years later Insen fluttered the modern classical and minimal glitch scenes alike, only to be followed up with Ensemble Modern collaboration on _utp in 2008. This Virus series concludes with a final installment of Summvs, in which Noto and Sakamoto continue to explore the sparse electronic micro rhythms layered with abstract glitchy piano notes. I only say “final” because Raster-Noton published a collector’s boxset that features all of the above four full-lengths, plus a Revep EP! Besides Noto and Sakamoto’s work showcased at its best, there are a few more surprises on the album. The “microon” tracks contain recordings of a 16th tone interval tuning piano – “piano metamorfoseador en dieciseisavos de tono”. The album also features two covers of the track “By This River” originally composed by Brian Eno, Dieter Moebius, and Hans-Joachim Roedelius in 1977. “In their instrumental versions of the song Nicolai and Sakamoto create and investigate the song’s appeal in both normal speed and slow motion.” The title of the album derives from Latin “summa” (sum) and “versus” (towards) hinting at an overall wrap up of a collaborative project. And although I refuse to accept this release as their, I must admit that it is their very best!


Born: September 18, 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Alva Noto is the pseudonym of German audio-visual artist Carsten Nicolai. Born in the east German city of Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1965, Nicolai first studied architecture and landscape design before pursuing an interest in the theoretical properties of sound and space. Resettling in Berlin in the early '90s, Nicolai founded the experimental music label Noton.Archiv Fuer Ton Und Nichtton as a platform for his conceptual and experimental musical concerns. Those concerns finally took shape as a 12-issue...
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Summvs, Alva Noto
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