Tuesday 12th may sees the re-release of Alva Noto’s Xerrox Vol.2. A beautifully crafted album, of rythmic electronic ambience.
The opening track Xerrox Phaser Acat 1 has deep rumblings hollow and welcoming, building to static surges. It’s an epic track at over twelve minutes long. This length serves its purpose and by the end you are fully engrossed and enslaved to the musical journey Xerrox Vol. 2 wishes to take you on.
Xerrox Rin with its high pitched deep tones act has a buffer between the epic Phaser Acat and the beautifully relaxing but no-less epic Xerrox Soma. Its ambient sounds have a deep resonating beat, with seemingly random static interference.
The rythmic ambience is much less coherent in Xerrox Meta Phaser . This track builds tension with a deep yearning and adds an inkling of fear. After the relaxing sounds of the start of the album you are now engrossed in a much deeper darker place that Xerrox Vol.2 has taken you.
Xerrox Sora lifts you from the depths of despair and the mood created is no less deep but filled with hope with its rhythmic hums. The overlay of electric interference on Sora adds a calming, almost ocean wave like relaxing rhythm.
Mono Phaser 1 is one of the stand-out tracks of the album, with its film soundtrack-like quality, which would serve the most momentous of celluloid moments. Its musical wonderment is interspersed with an electrifying static storm.
The mood deepens again come Monophaser 2, taking you to the deep places of the sub-conscience. The melodic malfunctioning adds an alien like quality to the track. With the occasional gust of digital wind, adding mystery and intrigue to the ambience. You could be forgiven in thinking that this was a soundtrack to a thought provoking sci-fi film-noir.
Alva Noto’s ability to manipulate the listeners’ mood and thought process is demonstrated once again with Xerrox Teion and Teion Acat. The pleasant sounding rythmic qualities are again exchanged for deep rumblings of aggressive static noise and humming.
Xerrox Tek Part 1 continues the themes of Teion but subtly softens the mood by mixing with melodic ambient calm. This subtle change acts to help blend it seamlessly with the final track Xerrox Monophaser 3. This final track serves as the epic climax of the musical journey Xerrox Vol.2 has taken you on.
With Xerrox Vol.2 Alva Noto has managed to create a cocoon for his listeners in which they can close their selves off from the um-drum of reality. The album never once allows the listener to escape from its beauty and scope. Each track acts has a different leg of the electrically charged rhythmic journey, each path taken offering a very different musical landscapes to admire.
With Xerrox Vol. 2, Alva Noto has set a very high standard for electronic music, which will please both fans of the Raster-Noton label and new comers alike.