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RASTER-NOTON. ARCHIV FÜR TON UND NICHTTON
Domino focuses attention on the minimal electronica of Germans Raster-Noton, established in 1999 and arising from the fusion of two labels: Raster Music and Noton. The name Noton alludes to the German words No Ton (no tone) and the English words Not On, which refer to silence. The remarkably stylish artwork (limited info, unexpected formats and much use of white) is just as unique as the music (whereby the melody is often difficult to identify or non-existent): very minimal.
The label functions as a platform, a network of likeminded musical souls, which focuses on the borderline of pop, art and science. Sound architects CARSTEN NICOLAI (see also: NOTO, ALVA NOTO or CYCLO), OLAF BENDER and FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER manage the label from Chemnitz, the former Karl-Marx-Stadt. Just like electronica labels Mego and Touch they are also a label run by musicians. Around 70 titles (including books) have seen the light of day, from the likes of RYOJI IKEDA, THOMAS BRINKMANN, COIL's alter ego ElpH, ALVA NOTO, RYUICHI SAKAMOTO and PIXEL. The collaboration between ALVA NOTO and R. SAKAMOTO (see: the stunning albums Insen and Vrioon) brought the label to the attention of a broader audience.
On the program this evening: two pillars of the label and a newcomer. Just in case you're wondering what the abbreviation R.P.M in the title means: Revolutions Per Minute. Visit the Raster-Noton exhibition on the evening too, of course.
KANGDING RAY (Fr.)
KANGDING RAY is the alter ego of Frenchman DAVID LETELLIER who currently resides in Berlin. Beginning as guitarist and drummer in rock, pop and jazz bands respectively, he switched over to his great love: electronica. His debut Stabil was released last year on Raster-Noton, at the same time the youngest signing on the label. Stabil is characterized by a mix of warm and melodious - if minimal - electronica with guitar loops, bass lines, and acoustic instruments. One of the smartest electronica records of the past year.
FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER (D)
FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER grew up in the former East Germany. His first electronic experiments date from 1984. Even then he already had a strong interest in the interaction between music and graphics (which he also studied). He helped lay the base for Raster Music, the forerunner to Raster-Noton. His tracks could also be found on the influential 'Clicks & Cuts' series of the German Mille Plateaux label, where he found himself amongst kindred spirits like Jan Jelinek, Fennesz and Thomas Brinkmann. At the moment Bretschneider (also active under his alter ego Komet) works as freelance musician and composer in Berlin.
OLAF BENDER (D)
OLAF BENDER creates his music digitally. He combines tones to form complex sound structures. Because he is of the opinion that computer music played live can hardly be called exciting, he always performs with visuals: abstract images which suit his abstract music. In this way he transforms the rhythm of his music into a graphic equivalent. Bender always performs under the moniker BYETONE and along with Bretschneider and Nicolai he resides in the group SIGNAL. Together with Bretschneider he established Raster Music, the forerunner to Raster-Noton.