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Never one to slouch in his comfort zone, Carsten Nicolai is always pushing himself as an artist and exploring new directions. This collaboration is a case in point where he collides with Einsterzunde Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld with astonishing results. I had read about this pairing but really couldn't imagine how it would sound and certainly didn't expect to be as excited about it as I am. The titl ...

12" £10.99 VYR120-12

12" on Raster Notion.

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Ret Marut Handshake by ANBB (Alva Noto & Blixa Bargeld)
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Ant Staff review, 24 June 2010

Never one to slouch in his comfort zone, Carsten Nicolai is always pushing himself as an artist and exploring new directions. This collaboration is a case in point where he collides with Einsterzunde Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld with astonishing results. I had read about this pairing but really couldn't imagine how it would sound and certainly didn't expect to be as excited about it as I am. The title track is a wondrous assault on the senses with teutonic vocals and beats wrapping around each other and cascading before a throbbing kick emerges. Nicolai treats Bargeld's vocals with respect as each move is highly considered and each pulse, static sound and click placed with total precision, but then we'd expect nothing less from Alva Noto. The intensity builds with slabs of metallic noise shearing across the speakers. A distinct change of mode for Nicolai considering recent mellower recordings but something you could easily expect Neubauten to have come up with, certainly in terms of its energy. Myself, Phil and Brett were simultaneously blown away by this track. Then onto the melancholy 'One' where Blixa declares 'One is the loneliest number' over a deeply moving and gorgeous backdrop of hiss, bleeps and restrained beats. 'Electricity Is Fiction' goes into darker terrain with nightmarish overlaid vocals and a synthetic sound like pure electricity itself, all spiky frazzled blue light along with chopped up and chaotic beats. This is probably as close to "IDM" as I've ever heard from Nicolai and quite unexpected. 'Bernsteinzimmer' is a stunning cinematic track that's all too brief and then the EP closes with their minimal version of trad American folk song 'I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground' which ends in a lock groove. Hghly recommended in posh sleeve with black plastic tape stripe. Ltd edition that probably won't be around for too long.


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