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D/B Recommended: Carsten & Olaf Nicolai versus Robert & Ronald Lippok

Saturday, September 26, 2009, 9 pm @ temporäre Kunsthalle in Berlin
[audio:03 Plastic Star (Alva Noto Rmx).mp3] DJ-Battle: Nicolai kontra Lippok | 4 Turntables – 2 Mixer – 1 Dancefloor – 1 Jury – 1 Price. Two brothers in the DJ Ring: since their youth, the Lippoks and the Nicolais have been celebrating New Year’s together. Now they appear against one another at the turntable: a battle of beats and sounds in a temporarily resurrected Palast der Republik. As transgressors between art and music, nobody is more qualified to do this than Robert and Ronald Lippojk from the electronic designers to rococo rot and Carsten Nicolai, the sound mathematician of raster-noton, along with his brother Olaf.

Sound artist Carsten Nicolai who uses art and music as complementary tools to create microscopic views of creative processes. Another alias he uses is Noto. He is a member of the music groups Signal (with Frank Bretschneider, AKA Komet and Olaf Bender, AKA Byetone) and Cyclo. (with Ryoji Ikeda).

Carsten Nicolai also works as a visual artist. Using the principles of Cymatics he visualizes sound. Nicolai’s practice is formed by a convergence of sound, painting and sculpture that results in installations exploring the idea of creativity filtered through modularized systems and codes. His music features prominently in his art. Nicolai’s work exposes the limitations, and potential beauty and creativity, possible within strict logical systems.

Nicolai plays with the rules of physicality. Sound is changed and evolved into time and space and transformed by looping oscillators and tone generators. Through these processes the essence of pure electricity is made audible. He works without sequencers, but mathematically edits his work to give his compositions precise rhythmic structures. Clicks and glitches are not used as ornamental additions to the compositions but make up the essential elements of the work and these sound sources are applied to the rhythmic groove of Hip-Hop and R&B. The sounds of electronic information transmission such as fax tones, modem sounds and telephone pops and clicks are sampled and organised into loops to which Nicolai adds longer electronic tones in the background and foreground as the piece progresses.[citation needed]

He has recently written an opera in collaboration with Michael Nyman, Sparkie: Cage and Beyond.


Alva Noto will perform at the MADEIRADIG Festival 2009.

To Rococo Rot is a mostly post-rock trio from Berlin, Germany. Composed of bassist Stefan Schneider (ex-member of Dusseldorf-based group, Kreidler) and brothers Robert (guitar, electronics) and Ronald Lippok (drums, effects). Ronald Lippok has also gained praise for his work in Tarwater. The band’s name is a palindrome as it can be spelled the same both forwards and backwards.