Album Review: Ryuchi Sakamoto, Alva Noto – Vrioon (2002)

A music collaboration worth mentioning is the one between Ryuchi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, with their debut album beeing Vrioon (2002). Sakamoto, from pioneering Japanese synthpop, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Alva Noto that started his career as an architect, released his debut album in 2000, by Mille Plateux, a label from Frankfurt specialised in glitch and minimal techno and later on creating his co-owned label Raster.Norton.  Alva Noto does mainly glitch music with heavy synthesizers. It is an experience with sounds and production of music with noises.  Sakamoto, allies his experience as a piano composer and performer, together create Vrioon.

Very minimalist work, followed by other four collaboration between both artists (Insen, 2005; Revep, 2006; utp_, 2008; Summvs, 2011). The work follows the glitch style of Alva Noto mixed with distorted piano recordings performed by Ryuchi Sakamoto. It gives a calm feeling, as if the glitchy noises of Alva Noto fills the remixed piano recordings provided by Sakamoto, causing the symbiosis of chords as a big melodies, turned into music, filling entire tracks. Alva Noto plays with long basslines and the sub-low notes of synthesizers, making high notes with glitches and noises, as sequences.

(Sónar São Paulo, May 2012, at Anhembi)

All the albums that feature Ryuchi Sakamoto and Alva Noto were released by Raster.Noton, the label belonging to Alva Noto himself, together with Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider. They are all works worth-listening, as they follow the same line. They are called Virus series, as the first letter from the albums form the word ‘virus’. Both have performed together, such as the video above in 2012, they have toured the world, including Sónar Festival.


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