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Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai) and Byetone (Olaf Bender), co-founders of Germany’s peerless experimental imprint Raster-Noton, debut Diamond Version, a recording and live performance project signed to London’s Mute Records, that evolved from impromptu encores while touring, and a shared obsession with corporate idioms and company logos.
Both Alva Noto and Byetone have reached more diverse audiences than ever with their recent individual projects. Alva Noto’s collaborations with Anne-James Chaton, Blixa Bargeld, and Riyuchi Sakamoto have brought him wide recognition, and Byetone’s solo albums, Death of a Typographer and Symeta have carved a unique “live-jam” idiom into digital music.
The duo signed to London’s legendary independent label Mute Records in 2012 for a series of five EPs as well as an album slated for 2013. Harsher and noisier than their solo endeavours, the sound is nonetheless underpinned by austere rhythm and funk, and overlaid with Raster-Noton style synthetic visuals, that is, images that are infused with “corporate humour“ and “subversive satire”. Though heavily beat driven, the duo do not categorise Diamond Version as a dance project but as a band doing dance-oriented performances that include associated band characteristics such as a collective identity, a mission statement, and a commitment to improvisation. The opening EP of Diamond Version's series, Technology at the Speed of Life / Empowering Change teeters on the brink of opposing tensions – beats vs noise, art vs function, analogue vs digital.
For their live show Diamond Version team up with Tokyo’s Atsuhiro Ito, a veteran of the Japan improv scene and best known for his noisy experiments with a fluorescent light tube named the Optron.