BYTONE. live panopticon


Olaf Bender, a 1968-born artist, found some 16mm film equipment by accident while in school, which led to the start of his artistic output. He then began experimenting with both the medium of “film” and the component “film” as of that point. Due to technical restrictions, he had to use unconventional techniques. He immediately scratched geometric designs onto the movie, producing dated motion patterns.

As a result of his experiments, he connected with the East German underground group AG Geige, joining them in 1988 as a permanent member. He gained exposure to musical elements by joining this ensemble. His ability to operate multimedially without formal musical education was made feasible by his home computer.

Bender worked in music distribution following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. His experiences there inspired him to consider independently publishing his own music. He co-founded the music label rastermusic with Frank Bretschneider in 1996, and the two labels later merged to form raster-noton.

Bender has been a member of the bands Produkt and Signal since the beginning of rastermusic and has also produced music on his own under the name Byetone, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he put out his first full-length record on raster-noton. He created an EP for the »20′ to 2000« series, which won the Prix Ars Electronica, in 1999. Later, in 2003, he created the album »Feld« for Bine Music, the label’s debut release.

His 2008 EP, “Plastic Star,” which introduced a rhythm-based music with a rock attitude that can do without excessive processing and decoration, as well as an antiquated, rebellious sound full of energy, defined his signature sound. The highly anticipated sequel to “Death of a Typographer,” “Symeta,” was finally released in May 2008. In addition to his own records, Byetone has remixed music for artists like Modeselektor and VCMG (Vince Clark and Martin L. Gore) and created sound pieces for clothing brands like Rick Owens, Nina Ricci, and NikeLab.

In addition to being a member of raster-supergroup noton’s Signal, he also performs with Carsten Nicolai as Diamond Version, a duo that put out a number of EPs and a full-length record on Mute Records in 2013. May 2017 saw the dissolution of raster-noton, with Bender managing the newly established “raster” label, taking care of the r-n back catalog, and creating installations like Raster. Labor, which had its world premiere during the CTM Festival in January 2019, or Raster, which debuted at the TodaysArt Festival in September 2019.


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