Byetone Ė Symeta (CD Raster-Noton)
Byetone is the musical project of Olaf Bender one of the founders of Raster-Noton. Symetaís his first album for three years and has been worth the wait.
The album sound itself is fairly stripped down to an almost live set up and has been written in and around live performances over the last couple of years.
I guess the easiest reference to point towards here for the two openers is a mix of Pan Sonic and Plastikman, bordering on minimal techno with itís very repetitive drum rhythms that whilst pushing the tracks along and grounding them donít have that 4 to the floor, in your face, big bass drum beats and snappy snare hits youíd associate with more busy techno.
The pace slows down a little for Neuschnee the third piece and whilst retaining its minimal techno beats it has a slightly more industrial feel to it, with its layered synths and slow filtering.
Opal the fourth track ups the tempo and moves us more towards the dance floor with its slowly evolving rhythm patterns and repeated snare hits adding more and more density to the piece until it all drops away leaving just a rhythm to cling on to.
The remaining three tracks on the album are a lot heavier. The synths are far more distorted than before and it almost feels like weíre listening to an Alec Empire album on DHR. Helix the first of these heavier pieces is particularly powerful. A deep heavy intense synth sound banging out a distorted riff whilst percussion and what almost seems like metal bashing backs it up. Itís probably the highlight of the album for me. The remaining two pieces arenít quite as intense with Black Peace the penultimate track retaining the heavy synth riff but adding an Add n to x bass line to it all. Golden Elegy the albumís closing track again has the heavy synth riff but with it slightly lower in the mix and the rhythm dropped down in tempo.
Symeta is a very solid release from Byetone with the final three tracks for me really being the highlights of the album. DB