ryoji ikeda

dataplex [2001-05]


ryoji ikeda

dataplex [2001-05]

»dataplex« is the much-anticipated new release from leading japanese electronic composer ryoji ikeda. since the mid 1990s, ikeda has pioneered a radical and highly influential minimalist approach in the worlds of electronic and contemporary music. his seventh solo album and the first musical composition in the »datamatics« series - a new body of work across various media that uses data both as its material and its theme - »dataplex« presents a significant and stunning progression in ikeda's career.

aside from demonstrating ikeda's unrivalled standards of technical precision, minute sound construction and engineering, the album also introduces an extraordinary and fascinating overall structure.

the first eight tracks of »dataplex« consist mostly of high-frequency raw data. their structures are located clearly outside the cosmos of music. instead, these linear tracks seem to be source code transformed into an audible medium; a constant stream of data, representing the basic material of the album.

the following pieces become longer, increasingly complex and distinctly inter-related, before the rhythmic structure itself metamorphoses. rhythms and tones are refracted progressively, until, with the 18th track »data.vortex«, ikeda opens up an apparently infinite acoustic space with an expansive piece that contrasts dramatically with all that precedes it.

following this caesura, the album almost ends in the way it started, sinking back into the data flow. the last track »data.adaplex« contains specific wave form data that subtly reveals the tolerances involved in processing digital signals. it will cause some cd players to experience unpredictable playback errors; but will not damage equipment in any way.

through meticulous attention to detail and the a minimum of gestures, ikeda succeeds in expanding and enhancing his sound designs to reveal a new universe to the listener. »dataplex« opens up avenues of pure musical abstraction whilst simultaneously embracing complex, unique and elegant individual compositions.

in its entirety, »dataplex« remains inscrutable; a mystery whose secrets require individual investigation and discovery. its defiance of appropriate definition, description or comparison, ultimately underpins the pioneering nature of this long-awaited release.


»dataplex« is the first musical composition in the »datamatics« series, a new body of works by ryoji ikeda that explores the aesthetic potentials of data by using data itself - from its transparency to its materiality, from its ultra-speed to hyper-diffusion. the project derives the hidden constants of data-ness from the vast data ocean that ranges from DNA and the everyday world to the universe and pure mathematics.