Ryoji Ikeda
Dataplex


3.0
good

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
June 11th, 2007 | 24 replies | 7,623 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More of the same electronic wizardry from the Japanese composer; just not as good.

Very much a continuation of Ikeda's personal style, Dataplex is another concoction of sine waves, bleeps, scratches, percussive effects, and white noise. There are noises so high and low they're barely audible, some noises that ARE beyond the range of human hearing (in both directions) and that only succeed in adding some sort of wave cancellation, noises that pierce, noises that screech, noises that make perfect noise, noises that make no sense. The final track, "Data.Adaplex" (not a highlight, it must be said) even includes optical data that a lot of CD players can't handle; a warning about it is included in the packaging. As a pure exploration of what sounds can be made using just electronics and mathematical algorithms, and how they can be put together and juxtaposed, Ikeda is practically in a class of his own.

And yet, this wasn't what set Ikeda apart for me when I first encountered his music. What I loved about +/- was how (for lack of a better word) funky it was - how the noises came together in a way that suggested dance music, rather than the walls of noise or sparse, meterless stabs I'm used to from avant-garde music. The parts on +/- felt more like bodily movements than just noises, and because of that, it was actually easier to dance to than most of the dance records I like.

For the first 9 tracks, this was a big disappointment for me, because from "Data.Index" to "Data.Microhelix", this album doesn't deliver that aspect of Ikeda's music. Fascinating sonically, sure, but it feels almost 2-dimensional. You do begin to wonder why the hell you're listening to what is, essentially, a load of bleeps.

No worries though - "Data.Superhelix" kicks things off properly. Were this the opening track, and this album only 11 tracks long, it'd deserve a much higher rating. It's easy to imagine rhythms like this appearing in music ranging from The Prodigy to Dizzee Rascal to Four Tet. "Data.Syntax" is even better - its slow build is like +/- in miniature, and it even sports what might be a considered a riff in the traditional sense (it has notes!). If more IDM sounded like this, the genre might not have stagnated. Sitting between them is "Data.Minimax", a return to the slight boredom found in the album's first 9 tracks. But, from there on out, the album retains its rhythmic instinct, settling into classic Ryoji Ikeda territory. "Data.Flex" and "Data.Reflex" see Ikeda stringing a rhythmic pattern through his music that almost sounds like a chordal keyboard line from the early days of rave. The exactly 10-minute long "Data.Matrix" follows the same rough idea as "Data.Syntax", moving through several changes and expansions on original themes, and it ranks as another album highlight.

An inconsistent record then, and one that requires a great deal of patience before it delivers. But what's good here is very good. It may not be on the level of +/-, but if you want something different out of electronic music, this is a good place to look.



Recent reviews by this author
Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood Krzysztof Penderecki / Jonny GreenwoodLana Del Rey Paradise
Scott Walker Bish BoschEmilie Autumn Fight Like A Girl
Susanne Sundfor The Silicone VeilPepe Deluxe Queen of the Wave
user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.7
great
related reviews

+/-

Comments:Add a Comment 
RandyfromPennywise
June 11th 2007



752 Comments


What a strange album!

Slaapkamers
June 11th 2007



596 Comments


mm bleeps

Monticello
June 11th 2007



805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds really interesting. I'm guessing it wouldn't be easy to find?

Oblivioncry
June 11th 2007



601 Comments


nice review, i am surely gonna check out, even more that i am into electronic music right now. only problem i think i will have to DL it, coz no record store i know will hold it.....

Iai
Emeritus
June 11th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Libraries are always worth a shot when it comes to hunting things like this down - easily about 60% of my classical and avant-garde collection has been ripped from CDs out of libraries.

Oblivioncry
June 11th 2007



601 Comments


^^ my collection too, but i never saw this on in our local library, which btw rockz!



Slaapkamers
June 11th 2007



596 Comments


it rockz???!!!

Oblivioncry
June 12th 2007



601 Comments


sounds weird, but our local library looks awesome and contains a lot cool things and their are a lot of art exhibitions going on their, its simply a really cool library. you probably never thought of any library being cool ,heh ^^

i could find +/- but not this album.....

Iai
Emeritus
June 12th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Like I say, +/- is the better album.

Oblivioncry
June 14th 2007



601 Comments


hell if +/- is the better album i really wanna know how this one sounds....coz +/- is really music made totally out of bleeps and scratch-sounds, i never imagined that someone could make music out of such annoying sounds......
i'll give ya 100 reputation point to be so brave to even think of reviewing such music

Iai
Emeritus
June 14th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha.

Yeah, you'd hate this.

Oblivioncry
June 14th 2007



601 Comments


well tbh i kinda like +/- some songs annoys but some other are cool
i think i will DL dataplex just coz Royji Ikeda is the most original thing i have heard in a while

Monticello
June 14th 2007



805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm halfway through this and I pretty much agree with your rating so far, I wouldn't call it compelling, but something like that.
But I'm gonna listen to the rest tomorrow. *yawn*

astrel
June 20th 2007



2614 Comments


I really dig some of the songs off of this album.

AlienEater
June 20th 2007



716 Comments


I have heard +/- which is good

P13
July 19th 2009



1327 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

painful noise is painful

UnfunFionn
April 24th 2010



54 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Looks like I'm the first high rating. This album is unreal. I think it's flawless.

goodshotjanson
July 11th 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"The first eight tracks of dataplex consist mostly of high-frequency raw data. Their structures are located clearly outside the cosmos of music. Instead, these linear tracks seem to be source code transformed into an audible medium; a constant stream of data, they represent the basic material of the album.

The following pieces become longer, increasingly complex and distinctly inter-related, before the rhythmic structure itself metamorphoses"

http://www.ryojiikeda.com/archive/recordings/#dataplex

ie. it really only begins about half-way through with data.microhelix. And it's really something else from then on out

Kman418
July 25th 2013



10153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this looks interesting

Digging: OutKast - Aquemini

mindleviticus
July 25th 2013



8219 Comments


Listening to this with headphones on is a fucking experience



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy