0/r (Nosei Sakata + Richard Chartier)
12K [USA] (12k1006)
CD / edition of 500 (sold out/out of print)
1st release by 0/r, the collaborative project of Richard Chartier and Japanese artist Nosei Sakata (*0). Packaged in die cut perforated sealed sleeve with insert. 0/r is Nosei Sakata (*0) and Richard Chartier. The collaboration was realized in mid 1999 entirely through the mail between the US and Japan. Raw tones and sounds on minidisc were sent to chartier and returned to *0 with new sounds and tracks made from *0's original sounds. This back and forth continued several times, the track titles indicating this process. the cd also includes two tracks "r" and "0" which are original solo works by each artist inspired by the collaboration.
01 - 0r (0:35)
02 - 0/r (3:01)
03 - r/0 (6:25)
04 - 0/r/0 (7:26)
05 - 0/r/0. (4:40)
06 - r/0. (3:42)
07 - 0/r. (7:45)
08 - 0/r/0.. (2:46)
09 - 0 (4:57)
10 - 0/r/0... (12:02)
11 - r/0.. (5:14)
12 - r (4:54)
13 - 0/r/0/r (0:39)
The minimally packaged O/r offers up no information other than its very similar track titles-derived from various combinations of the album's title letters which are then further differentiated by the tinest shifts in punctuation-and timings. However, it's contents reward diciplined deep listening, which reveals a stereo-forest of ampilified insectile noises: occasional blips and bleeps, flickering electronic cackles, click rhythums and pulses, controlled bursts of fuzz, glassy explosions and warbling tones. The dense crackle-rhythum of "r/O" is sliced through with silence. "r/O." works a similar stop-start ploy. Moving slowly, every sound is deliberatly placed with the intense precision of a fetishist.
(The Wire, UK)
To be sure, some listeners will hear only strange electric "noise", but for those whose ears are attuned to the music within these alternating currents, sakata and chartier have produced some powerfully interesting sound design. (Fans of PanSonic and Oval, listen here!) The AmbiEntrance says an 8.5 for emphasis on the microscopic details in this high-tech exploration.
...microwave sounds... registering at around 18khz (below the upper limit of human hearing), a complex combination of computer twitches, subtle squeaks & taps draws reference points to Pole and Oval without any musical structures. In other words, O/r would be the perfect soundtrack for audio-testing equipment and microscopic insects that might be able to hear these odd sounds. And if you can filter through these stuttering tonal effects, I'll meet you at the ear-doctor's office the next day!
(Grooves Magazine, US)
For minimal electronix, this is about the most ominous I've ever heard. It starts off with low-end vibration and rumblings, like an approaching earthquake, offset with the arrythmic high beeps of equipment preparing to break down spectacularly or explode. Delicate, tactile wispy clicks and tweaks, pleasant speaker panning jumbles, quiet sounds that are far from peaceful; the equivalent of breaking or spinning glass. Minimalist techno minus the techno. If you like Ikeda, you'd definitely like this. And everything is off the beat, delayed, like a double-take, like a slip-up.
It may not come as a surprise that these two composers decided to do a collaboration. This CD contains 13 tracks, but can be considered as one work. There are breaks, but not necessarily on (or should I say before) the start codes. It is impossible to tell who's done what on this disc; we hear all the sounds we know from both musicians, but blended together so well, that it could have been one person. From this point of view the project seems to have been very successful. The minimalism of Chartier is complemented wonderfully by the rawer appraoch of Sakata (and vice versa, of course). Sound sources are pulses, sine waves and noises and once again, this stuff works best on headphones, because of the stereo spectrum involved. On speakers some of the (very important) stereophonic qualities of the music get lost. In general this is a quiet work, but not really of a relaxing nature, which is a nice paradox of course. Some of the stuff really gets into the head, which can be pretty unnerving, but also very satisfying (yet another paradox!). This is microwave at its best. And a note about the cover: excellent artwork!
(Vital Weekly, The Netherlands)
Once again 12k delivers an amazing release. do you have a feel for Fennesz/Panasonic/Bernhard Gunter? Clicks and high freequencies that emit nothing short of breathtaking results. It seems every time there is a 12k release it is always at the top of my listening stack.
(Bent Crayon, US)
This isn't the cathartic masachismo of Merzbow or the power electronics set; Nosei Sakata's (a.k.a. *0) and Richard Chartier's pushings are achieved primarily upon the space of mentationÜthe tympanum, the cochlear curl, the tension and release of the cranial cavityÜand work only at low volumes, where needle-like frequencies and constellations of elutriated noise agitate perception in the absence of the forced distraction of pain. The effect is related, however, and sound becomes a rarefied stimulus of corporeal affects the demands of which take precedence over any attempts to explain why or how this music might be "good." Music put to such uses no longer offers itself up to the arbitrary schemata of aesthetic or even conceptual value; it realigns sound with a process such that the body is made strange again. The sounds are "small," sometimes imperceptibly so, but the term is more concerned with the scientific level of precision necessary, for example, in the optimal placement of the speakers during playback, or the orientation of the head in acoustical space. (Headphones are not advised.)