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Sonic Bauhaus

Sonic Bauhaus

14-02-2013 | 13.40

Olaf Bender (Byetone) will play in Trouw the 22nd of February. Together with Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) he runs the German label Raster-Noton, home to artists like Ryoji Ikeda.

A couple of years ago a performance by Ikeda left a friend and me speechless. Afterwards, we went outside and didn't say anything for quite a while. Ikeda had delivered a complete experience, visualizing the bare sounds he produced in the form of two horizontal barcodes that were projected all over one of the walls of an old church. The sound itself raced through all of the audible and inaudible frequencies without ever jamming. In one of the few less intense moments, I tried to record the whole thing with my old cellphone but it just died.

Seeing Alva Noto and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto perform in the Catharina Church in Eindhoven was a similar experience, although much more calm. Again, the sounds and visuals were kept to the essential minimum, yet completely effective and captivating. Sonic Bauhaus. I think this sums up Raster-Noton quite well.

When Byetone plays in Trouw on February the 22nd, it will of course be different to the Catharina Church. His last album easily classifies as techno and he is no stranger to clubs. But the reductionistic yet complete approach to sound and visuals will definitely be there. And you should be too!

AM