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Album Review

Following two critically acclaimed album-length collaborations, Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto set off on an expansive tour of Europe's most prestigious art galleries and concert halls to celebrate their partnership. This three-track Rev EP was released as a tour accompaniment, and features three previously unreleased compositions from the Insen and Vrioon sessions. The EP's opener "siisx" features Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) taking complete control over the sound design and arrangement of the composition; dissecting Sakamoto's emotive piano lines carefully as a surgeon and feeding them through his laptop; processing and recalculating every measure with immense consideration to tempo and dynamics. The EP's second tune "mur" sounds similar in arrangement, tone, and rhythm to Insen's opening tune "Aurora." Rev EP concludes with a very loose, very skeletal reinterpretation of Sakamoto's "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence," which was the theme to a 1983 David Bowie movie with the same title. It's easy to see why none of these tracks were on the initial two albums, as none of them really could be included and flow along with the initial sequencing easily. But for fans of their collaboration wanting more it's a delight to hear even the outtakes from these two electronic music pioneers past and present.

Customer Reviews

A.N. & R.S. continued...

I'd recommend this album to anyone that already owns (and loves) Insen and Vrioon. It's a great addition to their work--never heard something like siisx from them!


i like the song ax mr. l, the rest is ok

One of a kind!

Considering most electronica (like any genre) is derivative and uninspired, this EP (and Noto & Sakamoto specifically) is a true masterpiece. These compositions can easily stand side by side with any top notch composition past or present. Creative, surprising, wholly original…Reich, Glass, even you, Bach, move over and make room. “Siisx” especially, takes electonica to a whole new level. Buy it.


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...
Full Bio
Revep, Alva Noto
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Customer Ratings