A decade since its inception, Ryoji Ikeda and Carsten Nicolai are relaunching their collaborative project, cyclo., a project that focuses on the visualisation of sound and seeks to create a new hybrid of visual art and music. Both leading electronic composers/artists from Japan and Germany respectively, Ikeda and Nicolai release their second album (CD/EP on raster-noton), that will later be followed by a publication with an extensive presentation of their visuals. Since the beginning of the cyclo. project, the artists have developed a database of sounds composed to produce visual responses when analysed in real time with the help of stereo image monitoring equipment. Phase and amplitude of stereo signals can be illustrated graphically: the audio elements are constructed through the minute editing of frequencies (often beyond the physical range of human hearing) and selected by the artists for their visual characteristics when analysed. Through processes of composition, editing and experiment, cyclo. is amassing an 'infinity index' of sound fragments. In building this archive, Ikeda and Nicolai transcend the usual dynamic whereby image acts merely as a functional accompaniment to sound. Instead, the audio element in the process is subservient to the desire and appetite of the image. This record purposefully remains unmastered, in order to retain the waveforms as originally visualized through an XY phase scope. For listening, please do not convert the tracks into a compressed format such as mp3.
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