Posts Tagged ‘Raster-Noton’
BLEEP: How did Raster-Noton come about? And what is your involvement in the label?
OLAF BENDER: Together with Frank Bretschneider, I founded rastermusic in 1996 in Chemnitz, where the label is still based. It was the result of our experiences we had made as a band (AG Geige) being under contract to other labels. We wanted to take total control!
Later we met Carsten Nicolai and we distributed his activities on the sub-label called ‘not on’. We started to work closer together concerning ideas and concepts. In 1999, we merged to raster-noton. Since then, Frank Bretschneider was not a part of the label politics anymore.
During the last decade, I headed the network and I designed a lot, like covers, books, advertisement a.s.o. But nowadays I’m more focused on my own music.
B: What is the importance of the physical object to the Raster-Noton output?
OB: We love physical things. It’s a question about quality, because there is a difference between a real book and a file on your hard drive. If you are surrounded by physical objects, like books or records, you really feel like living with them. Haptic information is subtle and important, everybody agrees with it in matters of love. We also think it is important in food or any other aspects of life, even record packages. We are not crazy about design. For us, design needs a function. And, as a small independent label, we simply want to show our freedom from industrial-maximum profit-concepts with our products.
B: The overall aesthetic of Raster-Noton is of the highest fidelity of electronic music, how do you see this translating in to live context?
OB: Good question! We are an open platform with an evident visual focus. We often use visual concepts for our live performances, like Alva Noto, Ryoji Ikeda and I do. On the other hand, I totally respect if an artist doesn’t want this second aspect of his music performance. We try to transmit our concepts via label showcases, but generally, a performance represents more an individual personality than the concept of the whole label.
B: There seems to be overarching aesthetic and approach to your label, is there some sort of manifesto (Ton und Nichtton?) that informs the work or some larger idea that you are trying to communicate? What other art / music movements are you interested in or relate to?
OB: We like polarity, noise needs silence to be noise, shadow needs light to be shadow. Often, we find it more interesting to break things down to its basic elements. As we grew up in East Germany, it was normal to share books and music, from science fiction to philosophy, from punk rock to free jazz. There weren’t many possibilities to delve deeply into one direction. We probably looked more for parallels between the directions than for differences between them. If you have a sense for this, you are able to find it in many basic things, even beyond art.
B: The label has such a strong stable of artists, what do you be look for when you sign a new artist?
OB: For personality, for a personal language, for someone who is able to reflect upon personality.
Plateaux is an audio-visual electronic festival is Poland on the 19th to 22nd November. An amazingly curated electronic festival with acts including Fennesz, Lusine, Byetone, SND, The Sight Below amongst many more…
For more information about the festival, go check out http://www.plateauxfestival.pl/
We have a pair of tickets to win, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and say why you think you should win…. simple!
(Please note, this competition is only for the festival ticket and does not cover transport or accomadation costs).