Release date
25 Oct 2005
Running length
7 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Aurora 8:49 27,527
2 Morning 5:26 24,413
3 Logic Moon 6:48 23,624
4 Moon 6:06 25,354
5 Berlin 6:15 21,017
6 Iano 6:51 21,267
7 Avaol 2:51 19,451

About this album

With “Insen”, Alva Noto (aka Carsten Nicolai) and Ryuichi Sakamoto continue their collaboration which started with “Vrioon”. The debut album released on Raster-Noton in 2003 was voted Record of the Year 2004 in the electronica category by British magazine The Wire. Particular interest was shown in Nicolai’s creation towards a new synergy of acoustic piano and digital post production that had not witnessed before, in his approach and interpretation of Sakamoto’s piano clusters.

The strict splitting of the composition process on this record (piano: Sakamoto; production and additional sounds: Nicolai) reminds one of the debut album. However, “Insen” carries a kind of “transcendental aura” of an early morning meditatory exercise – but at the same time avoiding the field of new age philosophy. Enriched by new elements, this “high-tech meditation” follows a consistent line.

On “Vrioon”, Nicolai’s typical sinus sounds counterbalanced Sakamoto’s piano accords. Now, on “Insen”, Nicolai works directly with the piano sounds. He dismantles Sakamoto’s recordings with a “surgeon-like precision” into micro loops, into its atomic elements. Starting with these atoms of sound, he creates a new basis for form, compressing floating rotating rhythm with harmonic sequences, with melodic counterpoints, and laying it underneath the piano tracks. This makes “Insen” appear more of a complex experience, although the time-stretched flow, or even the clear lines of the piano stay untouched.

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