Sleeping Dogs Lie 16jul10: Alva Noto

Alva Noto’s latest venture into the Xerrox series has finally arrived. This time, the dusty tracks of Vol. 1 are shadowed by darkened clouds, and the air has become electrified with higher-voltage static. For instance, track 4 sounds almost as harsh as a droney, hypnotic track from Merzbow’s Electro Magnetic Unit. However, no one can deny Vol. 2’s highly intelligent and often touching musicality. The mood is sombre on many tracks, but Alva Noto expertly seduces the listener by peeling back layers of static to reveal the trademark strings which broke our hearts in Vol. 1. Here they sing different melodies, but the same underlying sorrow permeates the fuzzy atmosphere.

Works by Stephen O’Malley, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and even Michael Nyman were sampled and transformed into different creatures by the inimitable expertise of Alva Noto. Who knew that O’Malley’s crushing riffs could generate such haunting sadness (Xerrox Soma)? Who foresaw that Sakamoto’s commercial film score could be mutated into a gentle drone/glitch supernova (Xerrox Sora)? Who counted on feeling the beautiful soul of Fennesz glowing on tracks such as Xerrox Phaser Acat 1?

With its subtle surprises and ‘ear-opening’ ambience, Vol.2 no doubt lives up to its predecessor’s poetic brilliance and edginess. Carsten Nicolai could not have expressed himself any better. Once again, Xerrox has electrified and stunned us into stupendous awe. (Review by FLuViRuS)

01. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Phaser Acat 1” (12:11) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
02. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Rin” (0:51) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
03. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Soma” (7:11) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
04. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Meta Phaser” (6:23) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
05. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Sora” (6:54) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
06. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Monophaser 1” (8:04) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
07. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Monophaser 2” (5:31) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
08. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Teion” (2:03) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
09. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Teion Acat” (5:26) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
10. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Tek Part 1” (5:28) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)
11. Alva Noto: “Xerrox Monophaser 3” (6:14) from “Xerrox Vol. 2” (2009)