The Bunker presents a Raster-Noton Showcase with Signal, Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), Frank Bretschneider (aka Komet), Olaf Bender (aka Byetone), Morgan Packard, and Joshue Ott at Galapagos
The Bunker presents a Raster-Noton Showcase with Signal, Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), Frank Bretschneider (aka Komet), Olaf Bender (aka Byetone), Morgan Packard, and Joshue Ott at Galapagos 70 North 6th Street 21+, 11p-4a
We don't think it is an understatement to say that Raster-Noton is one of the most important record labels in the world. Formed when Carsten Nikolai's "noton.archiv für ton und nichtton" record label merged with Frank Bretschneider and Olaf Bender's Raster Music label in 2000, it quickly gained international acclaim with the ARS Electronica award winning "20' to 2000" series of 12 cds released monthly in 1999, featuring 20 minute sound pieces from electronic music heavyweights like Wolfgang Voigt, Ryoji Ikeda, Mika Vainio, and Thomas Brinkmann alongside the core R-N artists. They have gone on to release many dozens of amazing projects since then, building a core group of fans who pretty much buy everything they put out. The sound of the label is decidedly minimal, composed of micro-elements, glitches, bleeps, static, and electronic interference sounds. Their sound is extremely different than most of the music which has been called "minimal techno" (pretty much a completely meaningless term at this point) in the past 5 years or so. It is deep and experimental, but not without humor and funk.
We have been wanting to present a Raster-Noton label night at The Bunker ever since we saw the same line-up we have for this show in Mutek back in 2004, which completely floored us. For various reasons, we were never able to connect with the label and pull it off on their visits to the USA. Then, back in October, we were at a small Raster-Noton show for Bender and Kangding Ray and Bunker photographer Seze found a cell phone on the floor. She got a panicked call on the phone from the German guy who lost the phone and told him to come back to the venue and get it. He was extremely grateful and bought us a few drinks and started talking to us. He was in town for his opening at Pace Wildenstein Gallery (this is a blue chip gallery for those of you not familiar with the visual art world). We were in disbelief when we put 2 and 2 together and realized the cell phone guy was Carsten Nikolai, and quickly invited him and the rest of the crew to the Thomas Fehlmann show at The Bunker that week. Well, he showed up and had a great time, agreed to come back for a Raster-Noton showcase, and everything fell into place.
Carsten Nikolai has made a huge impact on both the visual art and electronic music worlds, and he often navigates the territory where they intersect. His visual artwork and sound installations have appeared in solo exhibitions in huge galleries around the world, and he has been included in Bienniel shows in Venice, Moscow, Singapore, Istanbul, and Liverpool. He has been recording music as Noto and Alva.Noto since 1996, and has released at least one album per year on his own label since then. Like the other members of the Raster-Noton collective, Carsten presents synced visuals on self-designed software during his performance.
Frank Bretschneider works as a musician, composer and video artist in Berlin. His work is known for precise sound placement, complex, interwoven rhythm structures and its minimal, flowing approach. Described as "abstract analogue pointilism", "ambience for spaceports" or "hypnotic echochamber pulsebeat", Bretschneider's subtle and detailed music is echoed by his visuals: perfect translated realizations of the qualities found in music within visual phenomena. Along with his many releases on Raster Music and Raster Noton, he released three albums and several tracks for the "Clicks N Cuts" compilations on Mille Plateaux.
Olaf Bender is the co-founder and principal administrator of Raster-Noton. He is responsible for much of the graphic design that has been such an important part of the label's identity since the start. Like everyone else involved in the label, he is also and important artist with many releases under his belt. He began as an experimental filmmaker before getting involved with a band, then working at a record distributor, then launching the label and working on his own computer music.
Frank Bretschneider, Carsten Nikolai, and Olaf Bender together form Signal. While they occasionally find time to record an album for the label (last year's "Robotron" is probably one of the best in Raster-Noton history), it is extraordinarily rare that all three of them are in the same place at the same time to perform live. This is an extremely rare treat that the Bunker is very proud to present for the first time ever in New York.
Morgan Packard has been working on electronic music in various forms for over a decade, using his classical and jazz training to inform what he does in subtle ways - whether it's drum and bass, a soundtrack for a modern dance performance, or his versions of abstract techno and ambient sound. While his music may be wrangled into the minimal category, he is actually eschewing minimal tropes in favor of highly wrought arrangements - fitting multiple sensibilities into music that could easily be mistaken for existing genres, though when explored carefully, hardly fits into any. Using the idea of techno/house/breakbeat music as a beginning, not an end unto itself, Morgan arrives at a sound which manages to include various ideas from the worlds of electronics, jazz, and classical in a manner that has no hint of experimentation, but rather a purposeful, concrete rendering of his vision - combining a composer's heart with a programmer's brain.
Morgan's DVD/CD collaborative release with Joshue Ott on Anticipate has been in rotation at Bunker HQ since it was released in 2007. The duo will be opening the night with a special a/v set featuring incredibly beautiful live visuals from Joshue using his very own Superdraw software. In May, they will be playing the Mutek festival in Montreal, opening for Bunker favorite Murcof.