Alva Noto: Xerrox (Vol. 3) (CD, Raster-Noton, April 2015)

From about a minute in, it’s pretty clear we’re in for a treat here. The Xerrox project has always been at the lush ambient end of Alva Noto’s output, so different from the razor-sharp glitch of, say, Unitxt. But this he’s outdone himself here: there is a huge depth of emotion just humming out of this. Based on a process of sampling, copying, mutating, and copying, the results are at once familiar and unearthly. There are string-like chord progressions and ethereal plinky-plonky melodies and quiet tapping rhythms, simple elements which get their power from their expert layering. (The string loops inevitable invoke William Basinski, but this is really quite different: Basinski’s works get their power from their relentless repetition and meditative minimalism, they’re obviously fantastic but you have to consciously surrender yourself to them; this is warm and inviting and draws you in.) The label’s blurb makes a reference to Tarkovsky’s Solaris, which is telling, both in the preoccupation with the fallibility of memory and its imperfect simulcra, and in the hazy, understated power.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Modern Classical / Ambient.

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