Signal – Robotron

Signal, Robotron

CD – Raster Noton
The Signal are Olaf Bender, Frank Bretschneider and Carsten Nicolai, practically the founders of this prestigious label themselves, born in 1999 by connecting their previous experiences with Raster Music and Noton.archiv.fur.ton.und.nichtton. This is their second album together, coming after ‘Centrum’, an expression of the big changes the new millennium has brought to research music and of the emergence of new means of productions. The recordings used for this ‘Robotron’ were sampled during five years, between Berlin, Tokyo and Chemnitz (the place of birth of the Raster Noton label, in East Germany), combining their talents and avoiding a certain kind of extreme and ethereal minimalism. On the contrary, nearly all the sequences are cut almost with a ‘future-funky’ appeal, with grafted (in an extremely ‘conceptual’ way) articulated rhythmic structures, low frequencies and intense sounds instead of microstructures, which are nonetheless hidden in the background for a more ‘physical’ listening experience. It’s a departure from the usual, or maybe it isn’t: the evolution of musical research, for artists who are so ‘into’ the contemporary nature of sounds can’t exist without the contamination with other models, where the ‘here and now’ of a new relationship with the surrounding sound universe still experiments with other ways that avoid the usual ‘immutable’ postulates (for example, the homeopathic intensification of perceptions dictated by micromusic, or the sound-noise-incident taken from everyday life, reminiscent of Cage and then exalted in many field-recording approaches). The listening experience is unique, very intense and involving, not a calligraphic style exercise, but an expression of wide horizons and expressive power. It’s just what’s needed in our slightly amorphous and cyclothymic times, when every advancement in musical research is followed by depressive and identitarian retro-waves.