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ryoji ikeda - Matrix
Originally released in 2001, Matrix is the final installment in a trilogy of works from Japanese ultra-minimalist Ryoji Ikeda. Beginning with the puritanical digital constructions of his 1996 masterpiece +/-, Ikeda set about shifting the parameters of electronic music, steering it towards ever more austere and streamlined sounds. While the album was met with comparisons to the likes of Alvin Lucier, LaMonte Young and Tony Conrad, there's something uniquely 21st century about Ikeda's vision; far from being a drone artist in the classic sense, the music he makes feels like a thing of absolute fixture that almost transcends notions of authorship. The first disc is just about as stripped bare as electronic music gets, supplying a series of sine tones that take up a physical presence within any room you care to play them in. This is music so elemental that it changes character depending on the playback space and the listener's position within it - even the slightest tilt of the head functions as an act of modulation. The second disc is a more detailed affair, which at least in aesthetic terms features some of the hallmarks of glitch music. There's a more rhythmic focus to the music here, and by the 'Matrix 2.4' mark you'll be hearing music that could rub shoulders with the nano-rhythmic dalliances of Alva Noto, with a slight echoic quality creeping into the work that adds an extra spatial dimension. Remarkable, timeless stuff.