Click to hear a 2min MP3 of 'kern.rotar' Click cover to hear a 2min MP3 of 'kern.rotar'

PLATE LUNCH catalog #: PL 04

noto.kerne (CD) / released July 1998



1: kern.cycle 4:54

2: kern.end 0:18

3: kern.180 6:08

4: kern.rotar 5:47

5: kern.modular 3:59

6: kern.180sta 1:59

7: kern.stimme 2:19

8: kern.aka 3:20

9: kern.wa 2:28

10: kern.lab 4:25

11: 5:04

12: kern.was 0:09

13: kern.rund 5:45

14: kern.hertz 6:28

15: kern.summe 4:09

16: kern.pol 2:29

17: kern.hybrid 1:25

18: kern.bis+1 6:31

Total running time: 62:37




"Well not a lot happens with this except various high pitched twitters and growls that anyone with no idea how to use a VCS3 may come up with. The press release says that 'his pieces are created as if they are sketches of ideas in pencil on a very small bit of paper - then hidden away' - in the rubbish bin?"

from: AUDION, November 1999 review by Alan Freeman


Ultra-minimalistisch nicht nur in der optischen und informativen Präsentation - drei "Einschußlöcher" im weißen Cover sind schon alles - sind die "kerne" von Noto. Das erstemal außerhalb des selbstgeschaffenen Noton/Rastermusic-Rahmens zeigt Carsten Nicolai - auch er übrigens ein Mann mit einem Standbein in der Kunstszene - skizzenhafte Geräuschminiaturen ohne Titel, die zwischen ihrer hermetischen Intimität und sympathischer, allgemeinverständlicher Simplizität schillern. Kleine pulsierende Motive, die sich ständig wiederholen, addieren sich in lässiger Monotonie zu Strick-oder Tapetenmustern. Repetitive elektro- nische Akkordreihen schieben serielle Homunkuli vom Band. Pixelpunkt für Pixel- punkt füllt den Klangraum zu Roy Lichtensteins pointillistischen Pop-ikonogra- phien. Nur steht man zu nah davor, um aus den gestanzten Polkadots irgendwelche Motive zusammensetzen zu können. In der Unschuld seiner Ornamentlosigkeit strahlt "kerne" eine schlichte Heiterkeit aus.

from: BAD ALCHEMY #33, January 1999, review by: Rigobert Dittmann


Noto refrains from taking the assaultive stance and jolting us out of complacent appreciation of his constant patter and chirping ultra-high frequencies. Thus the few instances of decibel abuse carry all the more weight. When Noto does choose to rip through his meticulously mapped binary patterns, he does so with looped soundwaves that seem to build in force and intensity with each revolution. Kerne is an even quieter record than *0s 0.00, its peaks and valleys generally graphed within a deliberately limited range of sonic exploration one which should feel familiar to adherents of Bernhard Guenters Trente Oiseaux label and Ralf Wehowskys Selektion stable. As such, the drama of these eighteen exceedingly quiet pieces may not be as readily apparent as it is in O or *0s (relatively) exciting and varied work. But, like the barely detectable disturbances in seismic or barometric activity which precede the first indication of a natural disaster, Notos tweakings on the nano-level stir an anticipation for eventual sonic events of tremendous magnitude. Its up to us to fill in the rest of the story. One need only imagine what cataclysmic upheaval might follow from where Kerne leaves off to appreciate the significance of the proverbial "calm before the storm"

from: MOTION (UK), 12/1998 reviewed by: Gil Gershman


The WIRE lists NOTO: KERNE as one of the 15 best Electronica releases of 1998!

Noto's noises on "kerne", when they are audible at all, are so divorced from any source we're used to calling an "instrument" that you have to look to the secret music of the body to describe them: whirlpools in the mouth, the ticking of the heart, and the knocking of cartilage-cloaked bones. Intended or not, this surgical Electronica's heart beats stronger than the buried flutters of Bernhard Gunter or Francisco Lopez.

from: "THE WIRE" #177, 11/98, review by: Rob Young


18 tracks of subdued glitches and rumbles from Carsten Nicolai. As before, the emphasis on frail loops made from the hums and crackles of musical equipment, carefully arranged over bass-heavy non-descript soundscapes. Very delicate and highly listenable, this is perhaps the best introduction to Nicolai's work...

from: "ANGBASE" #3, Fall 1998, review by: Carlos M. Pozo


Noto is the musicname used by visual artist Carsten Nicolai. You might also know him for the releases he put out on his own label, Noton/Rastermusic. Much of his music takes drum beats (actually better: bass kicks) that are fed through effects and synths. He chooses ultra frequencies (extreme high or low) to make it into a psychic effect, music you feel hurting in your ears and stomach. This places Noto amongst people like Pan Sonic, Goem or Ryoji Ikeda - and even though it seems dance music (there is a certain demanding pulse in there), it will never be popular in the clubs. It remains too minimal and raw. And that's fine, I guess, who wants to clubby anyway. Noto manages to crank out 18 tracks, which all have their own distinct beauty and aren't boring at all - just sit back and listen!

from: "Vital Weekly" #138, 8/98, review by: Frans deWaard


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