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 …


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 …