Ryoji Ikeda’s Blissfully Frantic New Track

A taste of the forthcoming Ultratronics

There’s a new song out from Ryoji Ikeda, the Japanese musician and installation artist who likes to flood massive spaces with immersive minimalist visuals that resemble test patterns for imaginary technologies. When it comes to more intimate zones, such as the space between our ears, he can really edge into the blissfully frantic. This new track, “ultratronics 01,” is everything I love about Ikeda’s music compacted into a strident, glitchy five minutes that sounds as if a dying alien civilization of anxious androids only knew about the idea of music from stray Earth signals carrying Dizzee Rascal and Cliff Martinez albums to their distant, fading star. The constant fritter of vocal cut-ups finds common ground between telecom packet switching and a spin of the FM radio dial, while the underlying rhythms suggest that someone with a PhD in 20th-century percussion music decided to make an EDM record. If data poisoning is your drug of choice, this is for you. The full album, Ultratronics, comes out on the Noton record label, run by Alva Noto (aka Carsten Nicolai), on December 2.

Track originally posted at YouTube.

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