back in stock as of
july 1st, 2010
first in stock on
february 1st, 2008
|ideal (sweden) #ideal 048 cd|
aleph-1 “aleph-1” compact disc
- 1 c a a 01x (7:46)
- 1 c a b 05 (2:24)
- 1 c a c 08.2.2 (7:56)
- 1 c a d 04 (3:36)
- 1 c a e 02 (8:50)
- 1 c a f 0.2n 1 (5:36)
- 1 c a g 08.4s (8:55)
- 1 c a h 09 (3:40)
|december 2007 release ; carsten nicolai here returning to his straight beep/click roots ...|
after being a little bit underwhelmed with some of his more recent efforts (save for the late 2008 “unitxt”) i was somewhat surprised to find that he’d released such a fully realized suite of upper-polyrhythm etudes on a non-raster label (normally the sign of a side-project/throwaway work) , and that it echoed most of the material that put him on the map all those years back ...
deep, heady & rhythmic work, again, for fans of nicolai’s late-90s output (and that of ryoji ikeda, also, especially his early work) ...
cat. no. ideal048cd/lp
aleph-1 is a project by carsten nicolai aka alva noto / noto. aside from his sound works under those pseudonyms, aleph-1 is electronic music with an acoustic sound aesthetics that was especially developped for the ideal recordings label. the concept of aleph-1 derives from the theories of the mathemtician georg cantor, who was teaching in halle, germany, a city, to which nicolai is deeply connected with through his family.
the sound pieces of aleph-1 deal with the idea of infinity in terms of structure and length. without actual beginning or end, they fade in and out. the pieces have a very logically constructed nature of overlapping tracks, which seem to be never the same thus could be extended into infinity. the album consists of eight rhythmic circles, based upon acoustic material, at first sight very minimal but always carrying pulse and melody. music you can loose yourself in.
for a deeper knowledge of the term aleph-1, here’s a short definition: 1884 the term aleph-1 was introduced by georg cantor into the mathematical world. since then the first letter of the hebrew alphabet, combined with a number has been used to represent the cardinality (or size) of infinite sets. the aleph numbers differ from infinity (?) commonly found in algebra and calculus. alephs measure the sizes of sets; infinity on the other hand, is commonly defined as an extreme limit of the real number line, or an extremal point of the extended real number line. while some alephs are larger than others, ? is just ?.
some thoughts on the aleph recordings, including a letter to carsten nicolai.
i just want to remind your of the fruitful days we spent in geneva in august 2004, doing that 16-hours-interview that became the material for the essay i wrote for the catalogue of your exhibition the following year at schirn kunsthalle in frankfurt. the city of geneva was like a passage, leading us into foreign and complex territories of the mind, like the fact that you stayed in l’hotel carnavin, the same hotel that features in the tintin story the calculus affair – a book based on the fact that professor calculus invents a sound-device capable of destroying objects from a distance – or the strange encyclopedic thoughts linked to the fact that the argentinian master writer of imaginary fiction, jorge luis borges, died in geneva, in 1986.
it all comes back to me when i listen to these fantastic new recordings of yours, issued on the gothenburg ideal label, with their rhythmic variations on a most limited set of sound materials. here you use the alias of aleph, the first letter in the hebrew alphabet. but aleph was as well the name of a book of short stories by borges, published in 1949. the title story of that book presents the idea of infinite time and the experience of finding the whole universe contained in a single place. maybe this kind of connections and correspondences makes me a bit superstitious and hyper-interpretative, but it’s rather astonishing how well the sounds of the aleph recordings fit with the abstract freedom of the borges story. the music is beautiful and mysterious in the same way that borges wrote, with a precise alertness to the minimal changes of the material. you have to listen carefully. which is not a problem at all, but a feeling of possibilities.
the endlessness that comes out of these variations makes the music physically direct and ephemerally conceptual in the same time. the connection to your sculpture/sound work bausatz noto from 1998, with its construction of four technics 1210 record players playing a series of endless loops, seems very natural. and naturalness is the key to this music, i think. nature in the sense of complete and neverending wonder. i listen again and again to your new record, everytime astonished how fresh the music sounds, how clear and sensual. aleph is simply one of your best recordings so far. so thanks a lot, carsten.
all love from
magnus haglund is writer and critic, based in gothenburg, sweden.