Ryoji Ikeda Test Pattern

Japan’s leading micro-sound composer, Ryoji Ikeda has never produced anything less than challenging over the course of his 13-year career, and Test Pattern is no exception. This latest project is the culmination of a touring exhibit that’s best described as a study in the assaulting extremes of high and low frequencies, and though that might sound a bit uninviting, those assaults on CD are mostly relegated to the final composition, which comes with the warning of potentially damaging your speakers. It sounds daunting but those who are ready to listen closely will discover that something that otherwise sounds random is actually held together by the faintest hints of melody running between the many syncopations in rhythm. And that is what’s most impressive about Ikeda and Test Pattern: here’s a producer with enough insight and control into musical structures to push this far away from what most people consider musical and yet still maintain ties to musicality. Fans of experimental minimalism from Mego, Pan Sonic and other Raster-Noton acts will not be disappointed. (Raster-Noton)