Alva Noto
Unieqav


4.8
classic

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
March 19th, 2018 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Everything is chrome in the future!

Alva Noto sculpts sounds with what he's been bestowed, whether it be from Word and Excel files or from patterns weaved together to form a whole, united work unlike the original source. Concluding a series of albums tracing back to 2008’s Unitxt, Noto’s most recent work finds him in the most prolific period of his career yet; already has there been two other albums he’s been involved with: with Ryuichi Sakamoto, he put out a wondrous live album by the name of Glass, which incorporated live textures and improvisation into the duo’s performance; and on the other hand, the 2002 recording featuring himself along with Ryoji Ikeda and Mika Vainio, featured harsher soundscapes and murky glitchery in a live setting. Number three for the year finds Noto batting near a thousand, with Unieqav being yet another triumph for Noto’s undying creativity and the exploration of beats within abstract realms.

Unieqav is perhaps one of, if not, the most accessible work Noto has put his name on; for each second draws from the dancefloor rhythms of his residency at Tokyo club UNIT rather than the dronage of Stephen O’Malley or the modern classicalism Ryuichi Sakamoto often provided to their collaborations together. Described as a representation of an “underwater dive,” Unieqav bounces through obscured patterns and glitched melodies, marking a pathway for Noto’s exploration of urban nightlife and a sensual techno grind. At one sparse moment, like in “Uni Dna,” Noto counters his own rhythms with that of guest vocalist Anne-James Chaton, who provides a recital on the ingredients of DNA so monotonously it creates this astoundingly wonderful counter-rhythm. “Uni Edit” goes against the grain by emphasizing distorted beats and grimy glitched chirps, whereas earlier album cuts “Uni Sub” and the pair “Uni Mic A” and “Uni Mic B” delve into broody, glimmering synthwork joined with beautifully repetitive basslines. The repetition throughout Unieqav is firm and resolute, a by-product of Alva Noto’s vision of a futuristic dancefloor; or better yet, his idea of a deep sea dive.

Delving further into even more tense, evolving sounds, cuts such as “Uni Clip” and “Uni Normal” both slowly unravel themselves into textural set pieces that reveal a world of contrasting results from the patterns and unexpectedly random moments of divergence, although within this place of similarities is a sense of unity in which the album is deeply rooted within. Unieqav doesn’t immediately set out to reveal its ace nor the tricks it contains for us to see. It doesn’t aim to instantly satisfy unsuspecting listeners, dazzle newcomers, or alienate longtime fans; but what Unieqav does is craft a digital world sewn together by technology, biological information, science, and action. Engaged by the imprint of minimal techno beats and gliding melodies, the possibilities Unieqav promise are far from endless, but are indeed beautiful.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

cred to bloon/sounds for the summary



Uni Blue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJLo-xMn0Os

Uni Mic A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swOBC66w5RM

Uni Edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR_RMfb06cY



The Belgian premiere of Unieqav at Concertgebouw Bruges, 4/13/2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LmtqGrC808



Alva Noto on the 13 records that inspired him: http://thequietus.com/articles/24050-alva-noto-interview-favourite-records?page=1

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Delta Momma Blues

SteakByrnes
March 19th 2018


13294 Comments


"Alva Noto sculpts sounds with what he been bestowed,"

*he's been bestowed yea?

Dope review Fripp, really like the last few sentences

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

oof, big thank on the slip

SteakByrnes
March 19th 2018


13294 Comments


nice, big welcome fren < 3

Papa Universe
March 19th 2018


17699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My ambient seeking nerves are tingling.

Digging: Ex-Isles - Luxury Mass

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You'll be tingling, alright.

Gyromania
March 19th 2018


25902 Comments


Oh shit!!

luci
March 19th 2018


10047 Comments


Album is great. Definitely not amazing, but pretty great. Nothing innovative or exciting here, just well-executed minimal techno.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


8769 Comments


everything is coming up Fripp in the first quarter of '18.. all these releases..

Digging: Oxbow - The Narcotic Story

tacos n stuff
March 19th 2018


3137 Comments


this looks dope fripp, the song posted sounded super sweet so ill jam this soon

Evok
March 19th 2018


7429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna get on this asap. Awesome review.

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

Papa Universe
March 19th 2018


17699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

*tinglings intensify*

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


1321 Comments


Listening to this now.

It's so chill I feel like I'm dissolving into some kind of slushy liquid.

It's cool.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Super hype

FullOfSounds
March 19th 2018


15764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

10 ratings. you did it kid

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

next stop, 20 and a spot on the newly-christened 2018 charts!

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2018


2337 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not really feeling this as an album; first half never really coheres and even the songs are built around moments more than anything sustained. coulda used a trim too. but i mean when it's on it's ON so

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2018


17898 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

let it immerse u, winey



Edit should've been longer, as you pointed out last night

IAMERROR
March 20th 2018


312 Comments


I'm digging these tracks. Gonna get into the UNI series.

TwigTW
March 20th 2018


3425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great. It's the first of this series to really grab me. Maybe it's time to go back and review the others.

Digging: Elvis Costello - Look Now



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