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Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Two Worlds of Alva Noto (MP3)

Alva Noto is both the odd figure out, and the compositor of odd figures. In the month of September these roles coincided, as he was both initiating a new art installation at the esteemed Manhattan gallery Pace (under his given name, Carsten Nicolai — and posting an hour-long mix on the dancefloor-friendly website The exhibit features a work for an inflated parachute (see image below). The mix collects two dozen tracks into a purposefully seam-laden whole, one that dispenses with the idea of a steady beat in favor of peculiar congruities, sudden silences, and expanses of stasis. It opens with the locked-groove rigor of Andy Stott’s rarefied “Execution” and proceeds through several of Noto’s own works, and everything from MIA to dance-oriented Boys Noize, somehow working in a bit of Angelo Badalamenti (from the Mulholland Dr. soundtrack) and currently ubiquitous Steve Reich — his pastoral “Reed Phase,” which follows some squelchy Nine Inch Nails, appears briefly on its own, and then settles under the latter-day disco of MMM.

Registration at is required for free download of the mix. More on Nicolai/Noto at and

By Marc Weidenbaum

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