Photo by Udo Siegfriedt.

Active since 1996, raster is the influential German label that has released music from the likes of Ryoji Ikeda, Kyoka, Atom™, William Basinski, Kangding Ray, and Belief Defect, among others. The label was founded by Olaf Bender, Frank Bretschneider and Michael Kummer in Chemnitz with the aim of releasing groundbreaking electronic music. 


With the premiere of "labor" at CTM 2019, the festival and seminal electronic imprint raster celebrated a collaboration almost as old as CTM itself. Byetone + Mieko Suzuki, Dasha Rush, Frank Bretschneider, Grischa Lichtenberger, and Robert Lippok took part in the inaugural edition of the piece, utilising sparse hardware setups to craft perpetual, regenerating compositions.

"labor" explores artistic processes, and how they diverge and develop from the same starting point or set of conditions. Five tables with minimal eurorack setups and a handful of studio monitors form the basis of the piece. The analogue hardware generates and manipulates control voltages, forming a framework in which the artists can complete, connect, and interact with the modules. As the setup does not contain any sound producing components, participating artists select sound sources themselves, which could range from minuscule to gargantuan sonic objects. They may choose to mechanically generate sound, or to integrate microphones and amplify sound.

Generative composition, whether through regulating sonic events or strategic compositional decisions, has been a key part of electronic music’s history. "labor" references both academic and DIY histories of analogue synthesis, exploring open and dynamic fields of hardware experimentation. The intention of the setup is to enable interested audience members to directly observe cause and effect, so digital software will be avoided.


Photo by Maurice Mikkers.

"every beginning is cheerful, the threshold is the place of expectation."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

threshold (psych.):
a limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction.

Conceptualised by Olaf Bender, "thresholds" is raster.media's newest light and sound venture, crafted to respond to specific architectural situations. 96 neon tubes, each 2 metres long, form the basis for a flexible light sculpture, completed by a multi-channel composition that incorporates acoustic situation in question. Specially programmed software enables raster.media to manipulate the light intensity of the tubes. The transformation of the sound waves into light waves is realised by an analogue control voltage, which, in combination with fluctuations within the tubes, creates lively translations into light.

raster has been experimenting with these neon tubes since 2003. They are custom manufactured in Thuringia and were originally developed for outdoor advertisements in the 1920s.


Territory: Worldwide → Remco Schuurbiers.

Now booking for 2020, 2021.