Alva Noto – XERROX


William Basinski has built almost his entire oeuvre on deteriorating copies of original tape recordings. (The Disintegration Loops may be the best example).
So, when reading about the new Alva Noto release, Xerrox, I had to suppress a ‘not again’ yawn..

“Via the technique of duplication the copy often contains mistakes and glitches that differ from the original. The mutating copy emerges as a new original and thereby provides space for development”

I can understand a tape deteriorating (which is what Basinski uses), but how’s that with digital samples? Isn’t a digital copy exact the same as the original?

For Xerrox, Carsten Nicolai used the xerrox sample transformer built by Christoph Brünggel to  process the orginal samples.
Funny, isn’t it? Someone creating a device to simulate the deterioration that the new digital recording techniques eliminated….

The copies of the samples used are very much detached from their originals, and still live a life of their own. The overall sound is harsh and high pitched, as might be expected, but the very thing that struck me is that there is an emotional chord in this recordings that makes it differ from other, comparable projects.
This project is not about how copies sound when sampled and resampled. It’s about how sampled and resampled copies may sound when you order them in a specific way and add emotional content by arranging them to sound like beautiful chords..
In fact, that may be what separates the artist from the standard cut’n’paste computer user

Alva Noto – Xerrox

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *