Ryoji Ikeda has waited patiently for the future to catch up with him. Since his 2005 album Dataplex, the Japanese composer and visual artist has explored the dazzlement and darkness of our digital age in electronic works partly generated by algorithms and blur the border between music and maths.
Performing behind a wall of intense 3D light patterns, his hourlong composition Datamatics [ver 2.0] – reworked from a piece that debuted shortly after Dataplex – packs an even heavier punch in 2018 than on its first unveiling in 2008.
The result is a work that presents the internet’s constant churn of information as an oppressive, unrelenting rain. More playful is a collaboration between Ikeda and the Swiss collective Eklekto that glides through musical movements focusing on single acoustic instruments. Body Music is a rhythmic odyssey created by two seated performers clapping, while Metal Music III sees four percussionists produce otherworldly drones using cymbals. It is a melee of mechanical rhythms stripped to its essentials. The future was worth the wait.