Alva Noto launches the third entry in his Uni series with perhaps the most directly techno offering he has produced yet. Unieqav follows a recent flurry of activity for both Alva Noto and his NOTON imprint with collaborative albums already released this year in tandem with Ryuichi Sakamoto and a previously unheard 2002 joint live performance with Mika Vainio + Ryoji Ikeda.
Having begun the Uni series some ten years ago when Alva Noto was booked to play live at the legendary club UNIT in Tokyo, the Uni project was born out of an urge to adapt his sound accordingly for the club's unique environment. Continuing the extension of dancefloor dynamics that started with the album's 'Unitxt' (2008) and continued through 'Univrs' (2011), Unieqav has been described by Alva Noto as sonically representing an underwater dive and while this is a good representation of the aquatic depths found within Unieqav, the sheer coldness of the sounds give the feeling that this journey's entry point has been through a frozen border.
For those not hard-wired into the NOTON circuit board, Unieqav is as techno as it gets. This is 'club music' as produced by a mind well skilled within every aspect of what it takes to move both the dancers and the walls, with each sound dynamically drilled to near perfection in its quest to portray an absolute maximum sense and feeling of sheer impact.
Alva Noto's music has always been notable for its expulsions of power in the most all-encompassing sense, yet here he goes one step further than ever before. The spectral essence of Glass is present within the glacial tones of each track, yet the drum modules dissect any unwarranted overspill that (could) exist here, giving each piece a lean, almost muscular feel that when experienced in the correct environment really pushes all senses.
Elements of everyone from SND's hyper-garage, Monolake and Electric Indigo's ICM techno and of course, Mika Vainio's electricity channelling wall of noise drones are present within the DNA of Unieqav, yet very few else come close to Alva Noto right now for cutting records of such sheer sonic magnitude and intensity, tracks that switchgear with such an advanced, cutting-edge sound that we reckon it will be another ten years before we are able to wrap our heads around this one and truly understand the true scope of its velocity.