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Alva Noto Unitxt

Carsten Nicolai (a.k.a. Alva Noto) fueled the stereotype that “glitch” techno was as exciting as listening to a CPU save a file. Why the hell didn’t he release records like this eight years ago? The first half of Unitxt brilliantly melds the rhythms of hip-hop and fax machines into a mechanical funk that so many artists failed to screw together. Nicolai merely uses scrapes of static, kick drums, and bleeps that dart between the stereo speakers as deftly proven on “U_08-1.” Sadly, Nicolai’s lofty concepts later sink the album when he converts digital graphic files into sound. The idea of literally making music from images is striking, but the results are painful: 15 tracks of squealing, modem-like noises that punch the ear. Unforgivable.

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