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playground reviewed diamond version @ sónar 2012.
When have the people of Raster-Noton ever let us down? Never, that's when; which is why they're at Sónar every year with, often exclusive, shows for electronica epicures. While last year's Cyclo show made considerable impact, label founders Alva Noto and Byetone's new incarnation - alongside Japanese artist Atsuhiro Ito - as Diamond Versionwas at least as impressive visually and sonically. The fact that they had hardly played live before, and possibly won't again, made it all the more attractive. While the Germans were launching waves of well-polished techno - minimal, crude, industrial and dry - the Japanese artist was desecrating the people's ears with the Optron (a fluorescent tube, modified for use as a sound source). It was quite extravagant an experiment, as the tube ended up being used as a regular instrument, with Ito playing it like a guitar in the end. The symbiosis between the sounds was complete. Ito offered some good doses of brutal noise, going straight for the jugular, which, in combination with the deafening sub bass of the Germans, made for a shock of epic proportions. The visuals, sober yet powerful, did the rest. AGM