From "Grid Index," Carsten Nicolai catalog, raster-noton.

raster-noton founders on how they found visual inspiration

Few electronic labels or acts have an identity as well defined as raster-noton, and its co-founders Bytone (Olaf Bender) and alva noto (Carsten Nicolai). And I don’t just mean single cycle waveforms or quick bursts of noise, hard-edged projected high contrast geometries or digital aesthetics, though those associations will certainly spring to mind. Even as the label has expanded in its musical scope in recent years, it has retained a sense that aesthetics themselves matter, that its artist roster are capable of painting with sound and exposing the process of using technology. Understanding where that comes from visually is key …

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If Carsten Nicolai Had Designed the Lighthouse: Massive, Pulsing AV Installation in Hong Kong

The lighthouse’s white beam of light seems a perfect fit for a Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto to music fans) makeover. α (alpha) pulse is a new audiovisual creation from Nicolai, commissioned by Art Basel for Hong Kong. And in a megapolis that does scale in a big way, the minimalist content gets a grand implementation in Hong Kong Harbor. The entire facade of the giant International Commerce Centre (ICC) – all 490 meters (1600 ft) of it – is illuminated. For fifty minutes, synchronized pulses of light and sound will beam across the harbor, connected and synchronized to mobile apps. …

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Raster-Noton Gems, with Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Emptyset, Aoki Takamasa [Videos]

What’s remarkable about German music label Raster-Noton is not simply its staying power. Rather, it’s the way the aesthetic direction of the label, across visual and sonic media, has remained on course — and how that vision is just as relevant today. The label, founded in the far southeastern German town of Chemnitz by Carsten Nicolai und Olaf Bender, has a stable of artists united by a sense of common interests. That aesthetic is often visual as well as musical; you get the impression that the music is designed as much as produced. Carsten Nicolai, for his part, has become …

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Music for Vending Machines: Alva Noto, Anne-James Chaton

The imagination of Carsten Nicolai, aka Alva Noto, is a special place. No matter how minimal, there’s always a subtlety to his beats. No matter how dry, there’s pleasure somewhere in the sounds. A love for technology, mundane and otherwise, is something of a cliche in electronic music, but Nicolai manages to throw himself into his work with such infectious enthusiasm that it remains fresh. And his love for electronics can spread even to vending machines. I have to admit when I first heard this track, I almost had to laugh at the stream of numbers. But, the more your …

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