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Reviews of Günter Schroth “Barcode Music”

Alien News 6/2000
ARCHEGON aj tento rok pripravil pre svojich fanúsikov dalsiu antihudobnú abnormalitu, ktorá nesie názov BARCODE MUSIC

Analog-plénum
Günter Schroth "barecode music" [Archegon]2000
Encore et toujours les caprices de l'art moderne, mais l'art moderne allemand et uniquement en audio dont le concept est de faire de la musique à partir de la lecture de codebarres. Pourquoi pas ? Mais que donne le résultat ? Et bien, il peut donner la migraine selon le sujet affecté ! La musique, bien que le terme s'y prête assez mal, est une sorte de trituration et de mixture électronique qui n'est pas destinée à un large public, mais plutôt à des individus avertis et amateur de musiques nouvelles. Toutefois, n'ayez crainte, ce n'est pas bruitiste, mais parfaitement expérimental, relativement calme ! De la musique de chambre pour laborantins en robotique appliquées !

Angbase #7 2002
SCHROTH, Günter "Barcode Music" CD Archegon (Germany) 2000
Using a supermarket barcode scanner hooked up to devices of his own invention, Schroth generates abstract mechanical bleeps and metallic chirps that sound quite a bit like early computer music. The sleek fidelity of the recording gives the noises an added dimension, making me think of something like an Otto Von Schirach track without the booty bass. Whatever the methods used this music is pretty damned unstoppable. Occasionally the quirky sounds stray too far into a digital synth preset tone but the music changes so quickly from one swooping fidgety blip to another that the resulting mass sounds nothing less than fantastic. The sounds are very digital and clipped - a bit like skipping cds or very tiny looped sound files - clicking and whirring noises - this is what electronic music should sound like i suppose. Track 7 brings in guest Claus Van Bebber on "vinyl" for some added electroacoustic confusion. The mood on this track is much sparser, as the sounds fade in and out with delicacy and the bleeps are much more subdued. Franziska Quandt adds some multi-tracked avant garde scat vocalizations to another piece. Again, this track, like the other non-solo piece is much less dense than the other pieces on this cd. Overall a very entertaining CD, well worth repeated listens that easily transcends what could have been a "gimmicky" concept. Website:
www.barcodemusic.de/

Apostazja #1 06/2002
Günter Schroth "Barcode Music" Archegon [63:37]
Co byscie zrobili poproszeni o wydobycie jakiegos dzwieku z opakowania na przyklad po czekoladzie? Po chwili zastanowienia pewnie udaloby wam sie nim zaszelescic. Dodam teraz, ze na opakowaniu tym znajduje sie kod paskowy. Ile pomoglo? Niewiele, nadal tylko go zgniatacie wywolujac szelest. Na tym konczy sie nasza wyobraznia, popis swojej natomiast daje niemiecki artysta Günter Schroth. Muzyka jaka tworzy sklada sie bowiem z dzwiekow ukrytych w niepozornie wygladajacych szarnych paskach znajdujacych sie na wielu przeroznych produktach otaczajacych nas na co dzien. Za pomoca specjalnego czytnika sprzezonego z komputerem odczytuje on chore nutki zapisane przez drukarskie Maszyny. Chwala tworcom zarzadzania magazynowaniem towarow! To dzieki nim powstaje tera sztuka. Wylowiona z przedmiotow martwych kakofonia to niezwykle zgrzyty i halasy, krotkie oiski i niebyt przyjazne dla ucha szmery. All electronic sounds are 100% barcode controlled. Slogan ten mowi wszystko. Ponad 60 minut odkodowanego szalenstwa w 9 odslonach. Oprocz pojawiajacej sie goscinne Pani Franciszki Quandt, ktorej glos pojawia sie w utworze Voice-Scan, mamy do czynienia w 100% z eksperymentalna elektronika. Bardzo ciekawe doswiadczenie... Do naby u samego performara pod adresem Archegon. SzymonStryjski

Aquamarin #20
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music CD (ARCHEGON)
Experimental compositions made by electronically reading barcodes on an assortment of household products. It´s not really ‘music’, not in the sense of the term that I understand - more a series of random sounds. I think that non-melodic electronic experimentation can sometimes work well if used for sound effects in films, but it isn´t something I´d actually choose to listen to and really get absorbed into. I reckon various tracks on this album would fit in a soundtrack for a particularly weird animated movi, but as ‘music’ on its own, it´s all a bit too avant garde for me.

Auf Abwegen #31 10/2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music (ARCHEGON)
Vielleicht ist Günter Schroths Konzept der Barcode Music so etwas wie ein Blueprint der experimentellen Geräuschmusik: Durch Abtasten saugt  diese Information in sich ein, um sie verfremdet wieder auszugeben. Auch bei Günter Schroth ist dies so. Mit einem schleifenden Sirren werden die Strichmuster abgetastet; im Resultat ist es egal, ob es sich hierbei um eine Kondomverpackung oder einen Tetra Pak gehandelt hat. Schroth liest aus den Strichen brutzelnde, manchmal metallisch klirrende Klänge aus, die eine eigene Dynamik entfalten. Dies wirkt besonders, wenn, wie in den Kollaborationen mit Claus van Bebber und Franziska Quandt, die eigenwilligen Sounds auf andere Klänge treffen. Zipo

Background Magazine # 72 11/2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH - BARCODE MUSIC (2000, 63:12, ARCHEGON GON 1005)
Günter Schroth is one of the people behind the experimental collective Six And More, whose last album has been reviewed in BM # 69. As far as I know, this is his first proper solo-release. The idea of “Barcode Music” is described fairly well by the title: why not use the musical qualities hidden in barcodes on everyday articles like a box of cereal or a can of coke, when the potential is there. Just listen to the short “beep” when they are scanned in the supermarked. Günter worked for six years on developing computer programs to bring the barcodes to life and on the CD we hear the results of this form 1995 unitl now. Of course one should not expect that these barcodes of everyday items will produce everyday melodies... Sure, there are some fragments, but it´s mainly beeping and electronic bubbling. Perhaps best compared to a band of R2D2´s jamming together. Still, it´s definitely not electronic chaos, but sounds pretty structured in a way. Besides pure barcode-controlled music, there´s also a voice-barcode duet with female singer Franziska Quandt, who uses every vocal expression one could think of, at times weirder than what the barcodes come up with, and a vinyl-barcode duet  with improvisations of specially prepared LP´s of artist Claus van Bebber. Well... I won´t play this at a party (although it would provide great material to start a discussion about which item produces what sounds), but I rate the idea behind it highly and the results are pretty amazing at times. No rating! (Carsten)

Bad Alchemy #37
ARCHEGON
* Strichcodes sind überall. Jeder Artikel in deinem Lieblings-Supermarkt hat z.B. eine sogenannte Internationale Artikelnummer auf der Verpackung. Günter Schroth dürfte allerdings einer der ersten Musiker sein, die solche Codes, die den reibungslosen Austausch von Geschäftsdaten gewährleisten sollen, in seine Computermusik einbezieht. Mit einem Laserstift tastet er Strichcodes ab und steuert so die elektronische Klangerzeugung. Und sorgt damit für eine gewisse Aleatorik. Selten klingt mit Hilfe eines Computers generierte Musik so improvisiert wie hier. Und so changiert Barcode Music (GON 1005, 2000) zwischen Neuer (Computer-) Musik und Improvisation. Am überzeugensten finde ich allerdings nicht die reinen Computer-Stücke sondern die beiden Tracks, auf denen zum einen Franziska Quandt singt und zum anderen der Plattenspieler Claus van Bebber co-improvisiert. Gerade dieses Aufeinandertreffen von analoger und digitaler Welt, von elektronischen Sounds und analogem Kratzen oder Rauschen bringt eine gewisse Lebendigkeit in die systembedingt etwas kalte, fiepsige Computerwelt. (PS: Bermerkenwerterweise besitzt diese CD keinen EAN-Code!). GZ

Bizarre 13
GÜNTER SCHROTH BARCODE MUSIC (CD-ARCHEGON)
Inspired by the sounds produced by individual products as they are passed over the scanner. Each item has a hidden melody or sonic structure that is unique to that item. An obtuse premise as inspiration to a musical project, but ideas can come from the most obscure places. Abstract bleebs and blips processed and restructured to form some kind of melodic machine language.

Blow up #28 9/2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music (CD ARCHEGON) (9t-63:37)
Avete mai ascoltato o vi siete chiesti quale può essere il suono di un codice a barre? Prova a darne risposta il tedesco Günter Schroth, ideatore e membro del collettivo aperto Six And More, autore di un singolare novelty record che rende manifeste melodie e strutture sonore insite nei barcodes stampigliati su differenti pordotti d´uso quotidiano. Astruso e cervellotico? Meno di quanto sembri, in realità. In effetti Schroth non fa altro che scannerizzare i suddetti codici a barre con l´ausilio di una penna ottica e pilotarne le repentine emanazioni foniche in composizioni di senso compiuto. Tra eventi casuali, effetti meccanici, asettici bleeps e varie crudezze digitali sembra però di intendere che i momenti migliori arrivino allorché vengono impiegati anche ospiti e materiali acustici, segnatamente in Vinyl-Scan con Claus van Bebber (non si capisce però se viene scannerizzato un vinile o se invece si usa un semplice giradischi), continuo tambureggiare di sfrangiature e schegge minime, e Voice-Scan con Franziska Quandt, brillante pagina di segno improvvisativo. Se volete ascoltare e sapere di più sulla barcode music suggeriamo una navigata on line al sito
www.archegon.de (Nicola Catalano)

BurningEmptiness #1 10/01
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon - CD - Pro Crystal Package
The concept itself is interesting enough to appear here on its own. This CD consists of compositions and improvisations using barcode-generated sounds (though the interfaces used to make the sounds aren´t explained we can see mr. Schroth at work on the CD sleeve). /A very good use of medium/low harmonic frequences makes this a pleasure to listen to with my headphones. Something good too is the not-so-frequent use of fhythmic patterns (though how rhythms are produced using live impros with barcodes remains an interesting mystery to me). The music reminds me of the experimental ambient works of Harry Oldfield and likes using almost robotic, very digital-sounding synth sounds instead of crystal or other analogue sources. Track #8 is a good piece of vocal strangeness in the vein of Pierre Henry´s Granulometrie, so ´interesting´ is probably a better word to describe the CD than ´entertaining´ is. But you know: we really like interesting music, here, and often think entertaining music is crap, so this one will get frequent listening.

Chain D.L.K.#8 10/2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon CD-9tx-63’
This is a solo CD of Günter Schroth, the mastermind of the glorious improvisation project Six And More. The main-instrument on this recording is a self created computer system with two FM sound generators controlled by a laser-pen and barcodes and nothing else. Over the years working with his system Günter Schroth created a very unique and diversified style of experimental computer music. BARCODE MUSIC is full of obscure, abstract and never heard sounds, always arranged in a musical manner with clear structures. On two tracks he´s supported by Claus van Bebber (Vinyl-performance) and Franziska Quandt (voice). Manuel G. Richter

Cool and Strange Music! #23 11/2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon 1005
Here´s a disc to sit next to Christian Marclay´s mixes of scratchy records. Schroth took UPC barcodes and scanned them. Apparently, each barcode has a unique sound, but Schroth deos not describe how there sounds were derived. If barcodes made these sounds in normal use, checking out at Wal-Mart would be like going to an Ed Chang performance (which would get me into Wal-Mart more often). The CD is your basic random electronic noise collage. There is one track with a women´s vocal quartet that has a haunting effect in the chaos, and another using “vinyl scans”, which is probably what made me think of Marclay. Only two of the tracks are composed, all the rest are from performances (you know the drill). While this is an interesting concept, I wish there was a more thorough description about how the sounds come about, and some information on the mixing. It´s a fascinating disc for noise fans that will have less adventurous “music lovers” scrambling for the remote.
Wilhelm Murg

Der Achimer Hausfreund #34 03/2000
Barcode Music. Günter Schroth
Letztens gönnte ich mir mal wieder einen Trip durch die Kaufwelt des V-Markt, und als ich mit meinen Konsumgütern auf dem Laufband die Kasse passierte, passierte ES: die Lichtschranke wurde aktiviert, und mit einem schrillen Pfeifton begann die Alarmanlage loszumachen, garniert mit einem roten Warnlicht . Seelenruhig packte ich den Rucksack aufs Band - ausser einer Handvoll Hausfreunde befand sich nichts darin. Die Verkäuferin registrierte ein abgelöstes Strichcodeetikett, welches sich in den Schlaufen verfangen hatte... Mich den enttäuschten Gesichtern ob des vermeintlichen Ladendiebes in der Warteschlange zuwendend skandierte ich: Ja, das ist sie. Die Musik der Zukunft! Selbstverständlich hatte ich da bereits eine Begegnung der elektronischen Art gehabt: Barcodemusic ist Rechnergesang - werde ich träumen? fragt HAL - R2D2´s Minnegesänge - Kontrollweltspiele + noch mehr willkürliche Assoziationen. “Das ist ja E-Musik”, rief Bodo Lee Hooker aus, und sei “nur mit gefestigten Nerven zu hören”. Barcode Music gibt´s bei: Archegon (D. Dachtewitz)

Der ultimative Lauschangriff #8 2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH "Barcode Music"
Ich glaube ich befinde mich gerade in der Situation, in der sich Eltern irgendwann auch mal befinden, ihre Kinder aufzuklären. Das soll jetzt meinerseits keineswegs anmassend sein, zumal ich denke und hoffe, dass Ihr Leser das inzwischen schon vor ein paar Jährchen hinter Euch gebracht habt. Also nenne ich als erstes Reizwort mas den Begriff “experimentelle elektronische Musik Nun nicht gleich mit dem lesen aufhören. Es geht ja noch weiter. Zwar wird oder wurde diese Musik geboren oder auch erzeugt, in dem man es geschafft hat, durch eigens ausgetüftelte Computerprogramme, die Strichcode von Verpackungsmaterialien des täglichen Bedarfs, in Töne und pulsierende Klangstrukturen umzusetzen. Das lässt sich von unsereiner zwar schlecht vorstellen, aber nach 6 jähriger Tüftelei ist es gelungen und liegt nun in Form dieses CD vor. Jetzt glaubt nur nicht, dass auf der Scheibe nur Pieptöne drauf sind, die Ihr an fast jeder Scannerkasse hören könnt. Weit gefehlt. Kleine und kurze Melodien gibt es, die zusammengesetzt eine Art Melodie ergeben, wobei leider der Rhythmus etwas zu kurz kommt. Sollen ja aber auch keine Songs im eigentlichen Sinne sein. Vielmehr ergibt sich eine Vorstellung davon, was es um uns herum im Alltag für Töne/Klänge zu entdecken gibt, die uns bisher völlig fremd sind. Bereits die Titel der Stücke lassen Grosses und Unbekanntes erahnen, so z.B. “Im Lichtkreis des Scanners” / “Code 39 in Rotation” / “Im Scanner verborgen” / “Abgescannte Welten”. Wenn Ihr denkt, dem kann man nicht noch einen draufsetzen, liegt Ihr richtig.Auf zwei Songs gibt es dann noch Sondereinlagen von Gastmusikern. Im Song “Voice-Scan” versucht, in faszinierender Art und Weise, eine weibliche Stimme im improvisierten Dialog mit diesen Klangwelten zu harmonieren und packt es auch so unwahrscheinlich das auch klingt. eim Song “Vinyl-Scan” versucht sich dann ein Künstler mit seinen präparieten Platten am selbigen Experiment, doch die Art von Faszination wie beim “Voice-Scan” kommt leider bei mir nicht auf. Alles in allem eine Scheibe die sicher nicht bei jedermann wie eine Bombe einschlägt, aber für stets Neugierige, Forschende und das Aussergewöhnliche suchende, sicher eine Neuentdeckung wert! Das Gute Stück gibt´s unter folgender Anschrift, wo es übrigens noch mehr so Abgefahrenes gibt. Einfach mal den Infoflyer mit anfordern.

Dhyana Records catalogue 06/2002
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music (Archegon, CD)
Bleep-Resteverwertung und elektronischer Müll hörbar gemacht. Wie klingt der Barcode einer Coladose? Der Scanner im Supermarkt kennt die Antwort. Ein gewagtes Stück Musik. Bernd Spring

Eld Rich Palmer webzine #10 reviews 2 08/2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH "Barcode Music" CD Archegon
This album is a result of Gunter's many years' interest in barcodes as a source of sounds which he used to use during his solo performances as well as a part of SIX AND MORE. He sees the thing this way :"Barcodes are condemned to be dumb contemporaries of our world ruled by computers. Only by bleeping at the scanner of the supermarket checkout they bashfully refer to their musical qualities. In each and every barcode there is hidden a melody or a sound structure strongly marked by the product on which the barcode sticks. By nature, the barcode on a can of Coca Cola sounds different from the barcode on a pack of cheese, of chocolate or of rolled oats." However interesting his words may seem, one thing must be said - this is a very difficult listening! After couple of struggles with the pack of bleepings, buzzings, and lots of out-of-control sonic snippets I got impression that author's variations on processing and manipulation of initial material don't go far beyond his academic interest. At this stage, I have no idea how to handle with "Barcode Music...This is not for me...The only listenable piece is the one with guest participation of Franziska Quandt "Voice-Scan" - her beautiful but undecipherable voice is an island surrounded by stressful waves of noise... Krzysztof Sadza

El Patriota Ha Muerto
Günter Schroth: "Barcode Music" CD, Archegon
El segundo CD es el proyecto de quiem maneja las actividades de esta disquera, aparte de ser músico de Six And More And More. Günter Schroth manipula los sonidos extraídos de scanners registradores de códigos de barras, creando texturas ambientales de flujos electrónicos únicos. Me quito el sombrero y alaudo de pie. Delicioso.

Estrada Studio 9/2000, Moogazynek
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon, GON 1005
1. Im Lichtkreis des Scanners 2. Code 39 in Rotation 3. EAN 13 exclusiv 4. EAN 13 ultra 5. EAN 13 industrial 6. Im Scanner verborgen 7. Vinyl-Scan 8. Voice-Scan 9. Abgescannte Welten
Kody paskowe powszechne w handlu okazuje sie, ze staja sie powoli wszechobecne, skoro piskliwe sygnaly, jakie slychac w kasie podczas ich odczyytywania, posluzyly za material wyjsciowy do stworzenia muzyki.Niemiecki eksperymentator, Günter Schroth, uznal, ze kazdy kod paskowy zawiera ukryta melodie lub strukture dzwiekowa silnie okreslona przez produkt, na ktorym zostal naklejony, co sprawia, ze kazdy z nich brzmi inaczej, gdy przeciagnac po nim czytnik. Artysta od kilku lat zapisuje te sygnaly, a nawet tworzy z nich cale kompozycje, którezdarza mu sie prezentowac na zywo.Mozna sie zastanawiac, coz to za atrakcja, sluchac popiskiwanelektronicznej maszynerii, ale wysluchawszy plyty stwierdzilam, ze wachlarz mozliwosci jest calkiem... Nie ukrywam, ze przez caly czas mialam odczucie, ze biore udzial  w bliskim spotkaniu trzeciego stopnia, na którym ufoludki debatuja na temat ich polityki wzgledem nas, Ziemian, ale ich glosy zawieraly spora rozpietosc mozliwosci intonacyjnych. Niewiele z tego zrozumialam, bo po pierwsze: jezyk przedstawicieli obcych cywilizacji jest mit tak samo obcy jak one same, co wyjasnia brak zrozumienia na poziomie intelektualnym, a po drugie: (tu dotykam poziomu estetyczo-emocjonalnego) nie lubie takiej muzyki i to do tego stopnia, ze niechetnie nazywam ja muzykia.Sa ludzie, którzy uwielbiaja katowac swoje uszy i im polecam te plyte, bo wiem, ze sie nie awioda. Obiektywnie dodam, ze Günter Schroth jednakowoz potrafil z piskow, sprzezen, i trzaskow stworzyc... Kompozycje, w ktorych tu i ówdzie mozna uslyszec cos na wzór melodii, a nawet strzepy harmonii. A zatem milych wrazen. EL-KA

Fluxeuropa
GUNTHER SCHROTH Barcode Music 2001 Archegon 63:12
The soundtrack to this stinking start to the twenty-first century is electronic, random and remote. It is the sound of mobile phones endlessly repeating phrases of Bach and snatches of Eminem, the click of your hard-drive as you download yet something else you neither want or need, the beep of beepers, the wail of car alarms, the ding-dong-ding of automated public address systems, the chattering white static of faxes and modems transmitting blindly, compulsively. Gunther Schroth's cunning exploitation of the aural possibilities afforded by barcode scanners is entirely apposite in the context of a terminally sick society obsessed by throwaway consumerism and communication for the sake of communication. The codes in question ping and burr happily away, each different, each with some unintelligible something new to say. From beans to bread to beer to brassieres, from sanitary towels to salt cellars to sequins to sausages, from dog food to diapers to daffodils to dirty magazines. And so it goes on, and you die, then you rot in the ground and this faceless, arbitrary music will have been the soundtrack to your life, the whole as instantly forgettable as its constituent parts. Like that life, this album is at its best when at it's least ambitious - the droning, buzzing 'EAN 13' sequence, for instance. Gunther Schroth's Barcode Music strikes me as a necessary progression to the type of stuff his fellow countryman Peter Frohmader was putting out in the eighties and nineties. Very Rehberg and Bauer in both concept and execution - other reference points being EAR's Data Rape and the Vox Insecta recordings of Q.R Ghazala - the only possible reason why Mego/Staalplaat haven't already signed Schroth up is that they haven't heard this yet. A pity, because it deserves a wider audience than it's currently going to get.  STEWART GOTT - 29 October 2001

Forth Dimension Mail Order #58 5/2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon
New. I believe the title provides a clear enough indication as to what lays ahead to even the most sloth-like of neural networks. Nevertheless, there are nine different compositions, improvisations & ‘performances’here derived from... well, you guessed it, the tweaking, manipulating, condensing & expanding of barcode signals on scanners by some unsuspectingGerman lunatic (who looks like he´d be more at home in a Def Leppard tribute band, going by the sleeves shots...!) and a coupla ‘guests’ (year, like it needed three of ém!). Actually quite effective and not all that far removed, easthetically at least, from some modern classical composition works! You might be well withi your rights to disagree, of course.

Freq 08/2001
Günter Schroth - Barcode Music Label: Archegon Format: CD
"Barcodes are condemned to be dumb contemporaries of our world ruled by computers. Only by bleeping at the scanner of the supermarket checkout they bashfully refer to their musical qualities." Günter Schroth composes and performs music that is 100% barcode controlled. This ranges from prepared sheets of barcodes to the contents of a weekly excursion to the shops. The result is similar to Stockhausen's electronic pieces like Kontakte. This gives you some idea of the sound, but this is as much down to Günter Schroth's understandable liking of concrete noise, shortwave tweaks, and oscillator squeals as it is to the barcodes. The barcodes themselves have their own peculiar cycles and repetitions. They are closer to the structure of computer data than conventional music cycles. Well, they are computer data. Barcodes are such simple little chunks of data that the sound moves in blocks that resemble ZX81 computer cassettes or the signals from the antique satellite Pioneer 10. -s5000-

Gecko #21 2002
Archegon Günter Schroth "Barcode Music".
I can honestly say that the world of barcodes is definitely not my world,but günters world of barcode controlled sounds is way more familiar to me. scanning through cans, tins, sheets full of barcodes günter creates via programs and synths a pretty chaotic but still relaxed soundworld. On this Cd you get 4 compositions (so maybe that sonx are reproduced in a live-situation?), the remaining 5 sonx are performances and improvisations, like "vinyl-scan" that is a collaboration with vinyl-turntable-artist Claus van Bebber that offers even more variation in sounds (if that is possible?) and "voice-scan" finally brings you back to reality with a very nice improvised dialog between Günters programmed scan-sounds and Franziska Quandts fully virtuos use of her beautifull voice and singing (multi-tracked), which surely is my favourite song. This might also be interesting for you, although the digital world never had much fascination for me (i am a really old-fashioned guy maybe) günters conceptual but still free aproach to work with barcode as "soundsource" left me at least astonished about the wide field of possibilities. pille

Incursion #38 14.10.2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH: Barcode Music  Archegon | GON 1005 | CD
Munich based artist Günter Schroth composes barcode music; that is, music made from scanning barcodes. Schroth has observed that "in each and every barcode there is hidden a melody or a sound structure strongly marked by the product on which the barcode sticks... By nature, the barcode on a can of Coca Cola sounds different from the barcode on a pack of cheese, of chocolate or of rolled oats." Since the inception of the Barcode Music Performance in 1995, Schroth has developed software that facilitates the translation of scanning barcodes into music. This disc, released in April 2000, documents his compositions and improvisations dating from 1995 through 2000. Barcode music is a strange and abstract thing; electronic tones, whistles and textures, some smooth and some harsh, playfully interact with each other. Sometimes Schroth indulges in a more noisy climax of intense sound, and usually the soundfield is extremely busy and alive with all manner of sounds that move from one channel to the next. One of the more interesting tracks here is a barcode-vinyl improvisation with Claus van Bebber on vinyl, where shuffles and minute electronic clusters and tones create some interesting combinations. The other "duet" is a barcode-voice composition, with vocals provided by Franziska Quandt. Schroth's harsh textures offer an effective foil to Quandt's voice, which alternates between a smooth soprano and a flustered and nagging tone. Her wordless intonations are an intriguing and refreshing element in Schroth's otherwise restless and densely layered electronic sound. In all, Barcode Music is a difficult and challenging record which offers an interesting approach to making music, with some nice results. [Richard di Santo]

I: wound
Günther Schroth "Barcode Music"  (Archegon)
Unglaublich, aber wahr: Diese Kompositionen basieren auf den Geräuschen von Barcodes - ihr wißt schon, diese penentrant piepsenden Dinger an den Supermarktkassen. Computergesteuert (und bei 2 Tracks mit Vinylgeräuschen respektive Stimmakrobatik kontrastiert) entwickeln sie allerdings ein faszinierendes Eigenleben. Ob nun als Kritik an der Warengesellschaft verfaßt oder als Ausleben einer Neurose nach 20 Jahren an der Kasse - die Teile grooven einfach, egal ob als Studiokomposition oder Liveperformance, und das ist bei PC-Musik ohne Beats schon erstaunlich genug. Tip!

Hawkzine #60 12/2000
Günter Schroth: Barcode Music (CD ARCHEGON 2000)
Eigentlich kann ich die elektronischen Klanggebilde nicht mehr Musik nenne, dennoch.... Auch klassische Orchester veruchen mit den   ihnen zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln mit Klanggebilden mancherlei Wirklichkeiten zu ummalen, und das unternimmt der Günter auch. Zu meinem Leidwesen sind es Klänge aus dem Bereich des industriellen Computers, Barcodes, Voice-Scan auf ‘Abgescannten Welten’ denen sich der Günter widmet - dies allerdings recht spannend und klar durchgezogen. Die geschilderten Welten werden durch die Klangweltn präzise charakterisiert, insofern eine gelungene Platte, .. aber ist´s Musik? ...

Independent Electronic Music 2001
SCHROTH, GUENTER "Barcode Music" CD (Archegon)
The first solo album of the aforementioned "live electronic music" ensemble Six And More, which is clearly approached to the very metaphorical idea of barcodes musical interpretation. The evident links between barcodes, this property of every thing produced by mankind forces, and modern "art for masses" giving an insight in todays artificial world structure. Alltime actual, but everchanging and constantly getting more complex, this art is intended to describe current state of civilisation circumscription. As far as very special terms of information technologies applicable to the control and integration of global consumer goods redistribution system, the album investigate the world around only through the machine language. Minimum of emotions symbolized in the only natural sound, the voice of Franziska Quandt, producing contrast with dehumanized, but fine-drawn processes traced with laser scanner and two generators, decoding sheets of barcodes into sound. So the music is 100% barcode controlled, and musician's input is generally to translate technical parameters like: cycles, frequency, bytes, errors correction etc. Computer music as the subject of computer program or computer program written with music? Dmitry Vasilyev

Lefantastique 2001
Le label teuton Archegon fait dans l'expérimental. Ainsi 2 productions étonnantes devraient attirer l'attention des amateurs de bruits de casseroles, de synthés, de son de cloches,* bref tout ce qui peut passer entre les mains de Six And More (" Oisi Voci ") ou de Günther Schroth (" Barcode Music ").

Leonardo Digital Reviews 2001
Barcode Music by Günter Schroth Archegon, Germay, 2000
"All electronic sounds are 100% barcode controlled", runs the strap line on Günter Schroth's album from experimental music label Archegon. This could be taken as either a polemical statement on the contemporary music industry or an assurance of the methodological integrity of this product. Either way, it is slightly disappointing that "barcode music" sounds like what you'd expect barcode music to sound like. As presented through the apparatus of Günter Schroth the barcoded patterns of domestic products produce an industrial "scronk" of wet synthetic noise. Consequently hearing this record is like listening to an alien sound-effects CD, parts of which are hauntingly evocative and other distressingly intrusive. Robert Pepperell

Lockjaw #10
Günter Schroth - Barcode Music CD 63.12 - ARCHEGON
This release is exactly as the title suggests: 100% barcode controlled sound compositions. Within each and every barcode there is a hidden melody or a sound structure unique to that product with is only touched upon at the scanner of a supermarket checkout. Günter Schroth has structured these barcodes into sound compositions of an avant-garde/experimental nature which at times blows your mind with the sounds on display, and the others bored the pants off me. Recommended to those readers who enjoy a challanging listening experience.

Lord Litter´s Radioshow #43 07/2000
Günter Schroth: Vinylscan - CD Barcode Music (completely unusual, Mr. Schroth collected barcodes from packings, scanned them ´n fed his synths with these .. out comes sounds unheard so far!)

Marble Moon 2002
Günter Schroth - Barcode Music CD (ARCHEGON)
Nel nostro monde, comandato e governato dai computers, nessunmusicista aveva forse pensato di dedicare una straordinaria e monumentale opera ai.. codici a barra. Beh, questi tedeschi sono folli, la Archegon è un´etichetta die folli, Günter Schroth è un folle. Scusate la ripetizione, non mi sono certo scandalizzato all´ascolto di questi 70 minuti, ma bisogna avere anche una mente molto ma molto aperta per approcciarsi a queste sonoritá. Partendo da una filosofia che dice che il codice a barra su una lattina di coca cola é diverso da quello su un pacco die cioccolato e che in ogni uno di essi si nasconde una melodia segnata dal prodotto sul quale é stampato il codice, Schroth partorisce brani dalla durata ´folle´che vanno da una media di 10 e passa a scarso 3 minuti tra la predominanza di chitarre, assoli di voci, computers e brani fatti col... vinile. Experimentelle Industrial Muzik. Davide Morgera

Metamorphic Journeyman Online Mag
GÜNTER SCHROTH “Barcode Music” TRACK LIST: "Im Lichtkreis Des Scanners" - "Code 39 In Rotation" - "EAN 13 Exklusiv" - "EAN 13 Ultra" - "EAN 13 Industrial" - "Im Scanner Verborgen" - "Vinyl-Scan" - "Voice-Scan" - "Abgesannte Welten"
Mr. Schroth claims this music is created from barcodes on various products, but there's a whole lot of human influence here - it sounds too similar to his earlier work for that not to be so. You'd expect something created from price tags on your average week's grocerys to be dull as baked beans on toast, but there's so much variety here - more so I feel than on any of his earlier works - that there has to a firm hand on composition. For those unfamiliar with his work with SIX OR MORE and NEGLIGE - ELECTRONIC UNDERWEAR, this is a sparkling, glistening, rumbling journey through electronics at their most raw and uncultured - think STOCKHAUSEN, think VARESE's "Poeme Electronique" and you get the field we are talking about - the sound electricity makes on it's day off - let wild to express itself through music. Forget the sterility of preset keyboard sounds - forget obvious rhythmic structure - this is sonic madness and wonderful for it. Take any one second from this - loop it and describe the sounds - distant fire alarms, bubbling waters, steam escaping through minute fractures, a rat let loose in the cutlery drawer, a whole bunch of items hit at random - no, still nowhere near how this sounds. The thing which makes me doubt that this is as wholy random as the concept might suggest is, that while it is an immensely busy - I mean as busy as a bustling city street - with sounds, it is nevertheless far from cluttered. Now that takes a deft hand at the controls. There is structure too - admittedly you may have to search to find it, but it's there. I remember that LYALL WATSON wrote that there is no such thing as random, it's just that cycles can sometimes be so large as to be indiscernable by mere mortals. Think infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters. But SCHROTH's randomness is far, far smaller, and thus quite easy to spot. If you're into sampling strange sounds this will keep you happy in this life and the next.

Microview :: Volume 6
GÜNTER SCHROTH :: Barcode Music  CD: Archegon
GERMANY :: Talk about innovative - imagine taking something from industry, used commonly in everyday transactions and making music with it? That's what's taking place on Gunter Schroth's Barcode Music where he takes the magic wand of consumerism to task for its abilities in a completely left/right brain test. Between 1995 and 2000 these mostly live recordings are a completely distorted conception about the device that catalogues almost everything we purchase. Shifting zips and sha-zzaamms, twinkling tones and an assortment of rubbed and masked harmonics dominate these performances. As an instrument the barcode reader is truly on par with the human in/output of the laptop or synthesizer, it would seem to me to be just a bit more of something defined in improv, though these sounds are quite controlled and patterned. At times I am reminded of the cheesy sound effects from the 70’s kids sci-fi spoof Land of the Lost - though even the Sleestaks couldn't induce the pitches and grunts of Schroth's divine intervention with this infrared wand of wonder. What makes this all more curious is exactly what is he reading to create these sounds? Are these the barcodes for packaged meats, cosmetics, book jackets or perhaps even music? One wonders what Stevie Wonder's "Original Musiquariam Vol. 1" may sound like through this method or perhaps a rendition of Frédéric Chopin's "Polonaise" by Maurizio Pollini. On "Vinyl-Scan" Claus van Bebber adds a second layer of the painstakingly annotated crispness coming from his turntable. Vinyl at its most uncontaminated - slowed down, reversed and all that its edges provide. On "Voice-Scan" vocalist Franziska Quandt speaks in tongues that battle the depths of the angelic to the inner cavewoman bass in cadences that just rise above and float behind the percussive structure of digitized pen work by Schroth. There is an analytical mystery to the process, but the output is riveting and crosses into the world of micro-noise. By TJ Norris

Motion 2001-10-18
Günter Schroth Barcode Music Archegon
In the realm of electronic experimentation every now and then something appears which is new both conceptually and technologically. Günter Schroth uses arcane equipment to transpose barcode readings into sounds, and the result is this album. Testimonies of his experiments date back to April '95, when barcode music was performed for the first time at 'Tag für experimentelle Computermusik' in München. I have occasionally thought of the possibility of direct translation from visual into acoustic mainly in the terms of ambient and musique concrete. 'Barcode Music' seems be the very first step in a different direction, one where visual is actually read (scanned) with a direct output into sound. I might have occasionally thought of that one, too, but never that it could be actually done, or done so soon, and with barcode scanners. In this sense, for me, this CD is simply amazing in itself, as a concept.Musically it isn't so different from your standard electronic experimentation, apart from the fact that it's perhaps quite listenable. The tracks here are mainly improvisations. It seems that Mr. Schroth hasn't given that much thought to sound sequencing, and this might be a drawback. But the sounds are interesting, especially towards the end of the disc, where tracks like 'Vinyl-Scan', 'Voice-Scan' and 'Abgescannte Welte' show some signs of careful melding. As the rest of the cuts here seem to deal with barcodes, this raises some questions. A vinyl was scanned? How? Barcode readings should be binary and discreet, what about other surfaces? Maybe next time we'll hear more unexpected surfaces reveal their 'scan codes'. Can't wait for that. Erkki Luuk

My Way #50 2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH “Barcode Music” Guests: Franziska Quandt, Claus van Bebber, CD ARCHEGON
Barcodes sind dazu verdammt, stumme Zeitgenossen unserer computerisierten Welt zu sein. Nur durch das Piepsen an der Scannerkasse weisen sie schüchtern auf ihre musikalischen Qualitäten hin. In jedem Strichcode versteckt sich dennoch eine Klangstruktur, die vom jeweiligen Produkt, der sie anhaftet, geprägt ist. Die Cola-Dose hat deshalb eine andere heimliche Melodie, als die Packung Kondome, oder Dicke Gerstengraupen, die uns im Supermarktregal scheinbar stumm erwartet.Seit etwa sechs Jahren ist der Frankfurter Electronic-Sound-Tüftler Günter Schroth dem verschlüsselten Seelenleben des Barcodes auf der Spur. Durch selbst entwickelte Computerprogramme entlockt er per Scanner den schwarzen Strichen, eigenwillig pulsierende Klangstrukturen und bringt diese auf die Bühne oder ins Studio.Seine jetzt erschienene CD "Barcode Music" (auf ARCHEGON) enthüllt auserlesene und stark emotional geprägte Kompositionen, mit verheißungsvollen Titeln wie: "Im Lichtkreis des Scanners" oder "Abgescannte Welten". Neben sieben Solostücken sind auf dieser CD noch zwei Gastauftritte zu hören: "Voice-Scan" - ein ursprünglich frei improvisierter Dialog zwischen Barcodes und der Stimme von Franziska Quandt und  Vinyl-Scan - freie Improvisationen von präparierten Schallplattendes niederrheinischen Künstlers Claus van Bebber und Barcode Music.

Progressive Newsletter 2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH “Barcode Music”
Dass sich hinter jedem Strichcode auch eine eigene Klangstruktur verbirgt, dies macht Günter Schroth auf seinem ambitionierten Werk “Barcode Music” (GON 1005) hörbar. Avantgardistische Collagen, die so abenteuerliche Titel wie “Im Lichtkreis des Scanners” oder EAN 13 industrial” zum Leben erweckt werden und ganz neuartige, sehr fremdartige Höreindrücke entstehen lassen.

Real Art magazine 5/2004
Gunter Schroth "Barcode Music" (Archegon)
The Solo album by the leader of improvisational formations Six and More, known by their radical avant-noise-releases even in ours province... It is funny but 8 tracks from it r"resent all musical interpretations of various bar codes (I can easily imagin to myself how "real" guys climb on a stage with bottles of beer asking: "Hey Bro, try this one!..."). Pardon me, I have distracted... All this sounds rather chaotically, however with interesting and even successful moments. For certain, the role of the musician is not so modest as they try to inspire us (in attempt to ke" the conc"t...), therefore I'll attribute all the pluss of this album on Gunter Schroth's account. One of the tracks - not very distinct experiments with vinyl (with the help of Claus van Bebber), and the penultimate 10-minute track is recorded with female vocal of Franziska Quandt - it is a very unusual combination of a musical component and live human voice! Generally, in spite of the fact that bar codes in this case seem "farfetched" to me (or probably it is simply an excellent PR joke!), the album can be attributed as innovative and moderately radical experimental music.

RRCA 09/2001
GUNTER SCHROTH Barcode Music Archegon (2001) Country: Germany CD
It took me a long time to get into this disc but when I did I finally decided that I liked what I heard. I could not determine the plot line/concept for the disc, if there was one, but that did not destroy the felling for it. This is another one of those experimental music discs. There is nothing conventional here. It is almost completely created with the assistance of electronics, computers, distortion machines, etc. A little trivia here: the computers were specially programmed to accept the input of a light want moving across barcodes and simulate noise based on those readings!! (That's what it's called BARCODE MUSIC, get it). Electronica is the order of the day. Imagine a symphony of computers! The music waxes and wanes while you sit in the middle of it all. Of all the interesting tracks on this disc I thought track 8 (Voice Scan) was the best. The only track that features a voice (not singing - the voice is yet another noise on the cocophony of sounds). A female voice adds a beautiful harmony to the masculine sounds surrounding it. Vinyl Scan (7) was in a close second to me and was equally as strange and interesdting. This is not a disc that you can sit with and dedicate your attention to; instead it is one which is best played in the background. I found it quite relaxing while working on the computer. Grade : 7/10

Rumore102/103 08/2000
L´idea alla base di Barcode Music (ARCHEGON: www.ARCHEGON.de) del tedesco Günter Schroth è quella di produrre musica con suoni ricavati dai codici a barre. In copertina l´autore è appunto intento a “suonare” con penna-scanner comuni prodotti da supermercato: un flusso electronoise giocoso e squillante seppur un po prevedibile nelle performance dal vivo, che si scompone in piu astratti e mobili bricolage micro-rumoristi nelle quattro trace di studio. Vittore Baroni

Static Zine #30 03/2002
Archegon “Barcode Music" Günter Schroth
At first I thought this was just another noise CD but the way the sounds are created is quite interesting, it´s all done ba one man controlling a barcode scanner, the sounds are cool sometimes but this is for the serious abstract fan.

Sztuka Fabryka 12/2001
CD - Musician: Günter Schroth - Title: "Barcode Music"
Tracks: 01. Im Lichtkreis des Scanners - 11'52" 02. Code 39 in Rotation - 03'28" 03. EAN 13 exlusiv - 08'38" 04. EAN 13 ultra - 06'10" 05. EAN 13 industrial - 03'14" 06. Im Scanner verborgen - 02'53" 07. Vinyl-Scan - 10'45" 08. Voice-Scan - 10'24" 09. Abgescannte Welten - 05'48"
The way how this music is composed is just simple. Günter uses a barcode scanner which is connected with a computer and some electronic music equipment. The computer transforms the data behind the barcodes into music. If this is right I can not tell you but is it what I make up from the pictures on the CD-cover. What you can hear is that he uses clear electronic tunes and sounds as basis for the translated data from the barcodes. The electronic music has the atmosphere of improvisation music. Tunes and sounds appear randomly according to the data, but it is in the details of the music that you hear a structure within each track. These details brings fine and interesting music. There are also tracks in which not only barcodes are scanned but also vinyl. On this vinyl there is engraved artwork from Claus van Bebber. Claus we know from NurNichtNur from this label we have reviewed also several releases. In another track there is also vocals used from Franziska Quandt.
General conclusion: Great idea, concept and electronic improvisation music- Where to get: ARCHEGON De Decker Geert

Taladro #12 2001
GÜNTER SCHROTH “Barcode Music” (ARCHEGON)
Este artista alemán crea suites experimentales apoyado por la lectura de códigos de barras diversos... Como si los distintos sonidos en las cajas registradoras de un supermercado se unieran para crear una orquesta de ruidos computacionales aqui Günter controla todo con la vara lectora des código de barras... el resultado asemeja algunas obras de música contemporánea o música concreta (existen timbres y ambientes bastante curiosos). Además se incluyen scans invitados (de vinly por Claus van Bebber y vos de Franziska Quandt), y es precisamente en Voice-Scan donde escuchamos uno de los mejores momentos: la combinación de electrónica sonora y voz femenina (excelente registro vocal por cierto). Sólo para verdaderos aventureros auditivos...

Tango #9 2002
Günter Schroth "Barcode Music" Archegon GON 1005
Kaip skelbia albumopavadinimas, autorius groja bruksninius kodus [prekinius zenklus]. Archegon tai logiska?Reiktu isivaizduoti stai tokia situacija: Jaunas bicas, apsistates apie save firminemis [manau, vokiskomis] prekemis su prekiniais zenklais, elektroniniu bruksniniu kodu skaitytuvu skenuoja tuos prekinius zenklus, veliau garsinius signalus siuncia i kompiuteri kuriame surinkti garsai toliau apdorojami ir mikseruojami. Visai nebloga ideja, reiktu pripazinti. Taciau ar is tikro si ambicianga ideja igyvendinta? Vienareiksmiskai butu sunku atsakyti. Kiek esu girdejes, skenuojant prekinius zenklus ypatingos garsu ivairoves neisgirsi. Todel si elektroakustine, tembriskai ir garsiskai turtinga muzika, matyt, yramikseravimo ir kompiuterinio darbo rezultatas. Taciau tai nera minusas, galbut toks sumanymas ir buvo - pasiulyti ideja kuri kitaip realizuota, nei buvo planuota.

taz Nr. 6572 vom 12.10.2001, Seite 14, ULF IMWIEHE,  Rezension
testcard - Beiträge zur Popgeschichte, Nr. 10, 304 S., Ventil Verlag, Mainz
Rock den Strichcode
Schriften zu Zeitschriften: Die neue Ausgabe von "testcard" beschäftigt sich mit Zukunftsmodellen in Sachen Pop. Umgebaute Gameboys sind dabei - und Chris Cunninghams Video-Alpträume auch von ULF IMWIEHE
Schon das Titelbild fordert, den altbekannten Punkslogan aufgreifend, eine Entscheidung: No oder Future - bitte clicken Sie hier! Zukunftsmusik ist das Thema der zehnten Ausgabe des halbjährlichen Kompendiums testcard - Beiträge zur Popgeschichte, und so vage dieser Oberbegriff die Richtung weist, so vielfältig sind die Ansätze der AutorInnen. Von Geschlechterrollen im Radio über die ökonomische Vereinnahmung punktypischer Mechanismen bis hin zur Paranoia als Leitmotiv der Science-Fiction spannt sich der Bogen. In allen Texten geht es um die Zukunft der Popkultur, um den Pop der Zukunft. Mehr auf mögliche neue Musik-elektronische Arbeitsweisen und Ästhetik verweist das Interview von Ina Beyer mit Diego Badian und Günter Schroth, beide Musikproduzenten in einem eher marginalem Feld der Elektronik. Diego Badian komponiert seine minimalistischen Tracks mit dem Gameboy. Mittels des Programms Nanoloop, einer Sound-Cartridge, die sich wie ein Spiel in das Gerät einführen lässt und Zugriff auf verschiedene Parameter von Klangerzeugung und Sequencing erlaubt, wird daraus eine zeitgemäße Version der Wandergitarre. Noch skurriler und dabei so nahe liegend sind die Soundquellen, die Günter Schroth verwendet. Strichcodes unterschiedlicher Produktverpackungen liest er mit einem Supermarktscanner ein und wandelt die codierte Zahlenfolge mit Hilfe eines eigens zu diesem Zweck entwickelten Programms sowie Synthesizern und Computern in Tonfolgen um, die er intuitiv live, aber auch im Studio bearbeitet. Schrulliger Jungskram einerseits, politisch aufgeladen nicht minder. Für Günter Schroth jedoch ist der mögliche Hintersinn seiner Arbeit eher nebensächlich. ...

testcard #9 11/2000
GÜNTER SCHROTH “Barcode Music”
Labelbetreiber und Experimentalelektroniker Günter Schroth hat die Dinge - genauer: ihren Warencharakter hörbar gemachr. Es ist keine komponierte oder arrangierte, sondern kontrollierte Musik: Schroth überläßt den klanglichen Verlauf vollständig sogenanntenStrichcodes, wie man sie auf denVerpackungen der Dinge findet. So wie die Kälte der Gegenstände in Klang umgesetzt, das Gebrauchswertversprechen als leer entlarvt. Ihren Höhepunkt erreicht diese so oder so originelle Musik mit der Sängerin Franziska Quandt und dem Plattenkünstler Claus van Bebber. Am Ende hat Schroth die Biographie der Objekte nacherzählt (vgl. denAnfang von Benjamin Berliner Kindheit).

The Noisiest issue #4  09/2001
ARCHEGON
This new label from Germany has released recently the CD from GUENTER SCHROTH "Barcode music". The previous releases were: GON 1004 Six And More "Oisi Voci", GON 1003 Six And More "Blue Q", GON 1002 Six And More " Do Not Open!", GON 1001 Négligé - electronic underwear "Pränatal Inferno".

The original Sin week 45 + 46
GÜNTHER SCHROTH Barcode Music (CD) (Archegon)
When I first read it, I must admit that I had to swallow as without knowing it (…..and 99,99% of all the people will be unaware of this!) in every supermarket there’s plenty of music to be found and I’m not talking about the latest compilation by Eric Clapton but I’m talking about barcodes! Yup, those black lines you’ll find at every product contains music…so have you ever stood still by the truth that a can of Coca Cola contains music? I think not… Gunther Schroth who lives in Frankfurt developped a computer programm in where he could make music out of the barcodes by the use of a scanner and the result can be heard on his "Barcode Music"-cd. Of course if you’re thinking products contain smashing hits then of course you’re pretty insane as we’re talking about industrial sounds. Industrial sounds that at times are pretty scary as it sounds like if there are small living creatures have found a home at your household products! The music itself is a bit unstructured and it absolutely is industrial music in the purest sense of the word but remember that back in the late 70’s bands like Psychic TV or Throbbing Grissle also had to fight to let the public understood that their industrial stuff is music so who knows this approach of music is a sort revolution on its own. "Barcode Music" is music seen through other eyes and it’s not always the easiest of the easiest but it’s pretty mindblowing to see this exist! Didier Becu

The Sound Projector #9 08/2001
Gunter Schroth Barcode Music GERMANY ARCHEGON GON 1005 CD (2000)
Another concept album based on the transformation of mundane electronic communication devices (cf. Scanner, Michael Prime, almost anything on Touch and Ash International).  This, unsurprisingly, takes barcode readings as source material and puts them through various computer-based processes to produce a suite of rich, densely-layered electronic improvisation and compositions that are far removed from the beep-beep at your supermarket checkout. Perhaps to title it Barcode Music is to invest in it something of the extraordinary (you mean this is just the sounds of barcodes?) that detracts from its charm as electronic music per se. Perhaps it is making too strident a statement about how, from the banality of the commonplace - from commercial transactions in a digital age - we might compose something of great beauty? This is nothing like Cage's dictum about freeing sounds to be themselves, the sounds are too refined and transformed for that - they are no longer barcodes, neither are they the music of barcodes. That said, and despite the apparent lack of structure in many of these pieces which makes (even of the compositions) them rather rambling and poorly-focussed, this is a pleasant enough addition to the electronic everyday.
CHRIS ATTON

The Taped Crusaders #10 10/01
Günter Schroth, “Barcode Music”
If I ever had a Recording Of The Issue, this (along with Eyelight) could well be it. Some of the absolute finest “experimental” stuff I´ve heard in yonks. You know how Günter gets his sounds on this? Barcodes! Really, those annoying little stripes you see on everything you buy in shops. I have no idea what he was doing at the time to discover this, but it seems that each and every barcode has a little melody of electronic beeps and sounds in them that are distinct for each one. So, what he does is process those sounds through a computer. How the fuck does he do it? Who cares? I remember I told a friend that SPK used to record things like throwing knives heated white hot into bath of acid, he remarked something like you wouldn´t really know that if you just heard it. Fair enough, but knowing where these sounds come from does make it all the more amazing, to me. But of course it´s jack shit if the sounds themselves wheren´t worth listening to. This is where musical ability comes in. Günter is a musician, albiet of the non-musical variety (I don´t know, maybe his job is playing guitar in a cover band), in that he gets a huge palate of interesting sounds and textures from his chosen instruments. It´s varied, exiting, paced, diverse, intruging, all the cool stuff. Some sounds are like a church organ going wrong. Others are like synthesizers going bereft. That this is a digital recording highlights the feel of the sounds, and in fact does remind me of Merzbow at times since it´s recorded at a hight volume. It could almost be Noise at times. Maybe it´s what some Noise people would have done if they where working in the Cologne studios during the 50´s. Uh, and had acess to digital gear, I suppose. Fucking great fun to listen to, this. Improvisations and compositions, but again, not that you could tell, you know. anyway for those who can handle the real deal here it is.

Touching Extremes 2005, January 30
GÜNTER SCHROTH - Barcode music (Archegon)
Picture a deformed cross-pollination including the hardest computer music, sci-fi movie soundtracks, the first Synclavier experiments by Frank Zappa (circa "The perfect stranger") and some digital snapshots of kitchen sounds and electric circuits fusing together; then you'll have a faint idea of how "Barcode music" sounds like. Günter Schroth used an optic pen to read several lots of barcodes from different objects, transmitting these data to his system of computer and effects and controlling them on his own terms: the achieved results are for the most part very interesting as new synthetic permutations and lots of variable spectral refractions fill the air, cold as ice one moment, funny like an extremist cartoon the next; Franziska Quandt and Claus Van Bebber help with voice and vinyl in two of the tracks. Schroth doesn't give a damn about alluring the listener and this is a definite plus in his thoroughly demanding sonic output.

TREATS FROM THE UNDERGROUND! (October 2002)
GUNTER SCHROTH - BARCODE MUSIC (9 song CD) ARCHEGON
This is some really, really bizarre stuff! The music is very, very experimental & is done all electronically. From the pictures on the inside CD jacket, I believe all the music is made from combining the sounds from scanning bar codes on products & then putting them into a computer to construct them together. This is very weird, but kind of cool. It is definatelly a very original idea. The music has a kind of space, fantasy, sci-fi feel & sound to it. I don't think this style would have a huge following, but for people who have very open minds & who truly appreciate true art, originallity & experimentation will love this!!! -

discovery.mala.bc.ca
The Barcodean Era by Brianna
Musician Gunter Schroth uses the barcode with his music in an entirely different way than Slipknot. In his release "Barcode Music" Schroth, with the use of his own personally developed software, manages to capture each unique sound made by the barcodes of different objects. According to Schroth "in each and every barcode there is a hidden melody or a sound structure strongly marked by the product on which the barcode sticks....By nature, the barcode on a can of Coca-cola sounds different from the barcode on a pack of cheese, of chocolate, or of rolled oats." This manipulation is less disheartening than Slipknot's excess, allowing for Schroth to seem more in control of corporate, consumer agenda by pulling from it a hidden secret, beautiful, abstract and not intended by its creators. Here, the manipulated manipulates. Barcodemusic.de offers images and sound clips of barcode music, as well as several other reviews.
 


Name of the fanzine

Date I put the review on this site

Touching Extremes 2005, January 30

12.02.05

Real Art magazine 5/2004

05.06.04

Microview :: Volume 6

25.03.04

El Patriota Ha Muerto

17.03.03

TREATS FROM THE UNDERGROUND! 10/2002

31.10.02

Angbase #7 2002

17.08.02

Apostazja #1 06/2002

10.07.02

Dhyana Records catalogue 06/2002

12.06.02

www.discovery.mala.bc.ca/web/deimertbm/barcode.html

12.06.02

Gecko #21 2002

26.05.02

taz Nr. 6572 vom 12.10.2001

03.05.02

Gecko 2002

03.05.02

Marble Moon 2002

16.03.02

Static Zine

16.03.02

Tango #9 2002

10.02.02

I: wound

25.01.01

Fluxeuropa

17.01.02

Analog-plénum

17.01.02

Auf Abwegen #31 10/2001

13.01.02

The original Sin week 45 + 46

13.01.02

Lefantastique 2001

21.12.01

Leonardo Digital Review 2001

21.12.01

Motion 2001-10-18

21.12.01

Sztuka Fabryka

15.12.01

Cool and Strange Music! #23 11/2001

01.12.01

BurningEmptiness #1 10/01

01.12.01

The Taped Crusaders #10 10/01

30.11.01

Independent Electronic Music 2001

24.11.01

Incursion #38 14.10.2001

17.10.01

RRCA 09/2001

03.10.01

Der ultimative Lauschangriff #8 2000

30.09.01

Der Achimer Hausfreund #34 03/2000

30.09.01

Progressive Newsletter 2000

30.09.01

Lord Litter´s Radioshow #43 07/2000

30.09.01

The Noisiest issue #4  09/2001

16.09.01

Eld Rich Palmer webzine #10 reviews 2

09.09.01

Taladro #12 2001

09.09.01

Freq

02.09.01

Metamorphic Journeyman

13.08.01

The Sound Projector #9 2001

01.08.01

Estrada Studio 9/2000, Moogazynek

01.07.01

Alien News 6/2000

01.07.01

Rumore102/103 8/2000

01.07.01

Bad Alchemy #37

01.07.01

Hawkzine #60 12/2000

01.07.01

Background Magazine # 72 November 2000

01.07.01

Blow up #28 Settembre 2000

01.07.01

Lockjaw #10

01.07.01

aquamarine #20

01.07.01

testcard #9 11/2000

04.06.01

Forth Dimension Mail Order #58 5/2001

02.06.01

My Way #50 2001

02.06.01

Bizarre 13

21.05.01

Chain D.L.K.#8 10/2000

20.05.01

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