Alva Noto is digitalsound and visual artist Carsten Nicolai, aka Noto, head of the Notonhalf of Germany's Raster-Noton cooperative label now known simply asRaster Music. This disc is brought to us by fellow German electroniclabel Mille Plateaux and is referred to by them as being of the'digital processing' style. The 10 untitled tracks are a continuoussuite of minimalist compositions constructed of the familiar soundsthat seem to naturally emanate from everyone and everywhere in Germanythese days. For nearly 18 minutes Nicolai precisely codes structured,layered loops of clicks, pops, artifacts, 'beats', waves, tones,pulses, static, silence and noise into pleasant and listenablemini(mal) symphonies. The active evolution of each piece is both on amacro and micro level and the stereo field is fully explored ...attentive headphone listening ensures the full effect. And though thesounds are similar throughout, there's plenty of variation in how theyare presented within each track and from track to track, this alongwith sharp composition skills are the keys to maintaining my interest.Nicolai is simply one of the most talented in the field. The titleliterally means 'an original model on which something is patterned' soI can only assume that these prototypes will spawn more in the nearfuture.