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NOTON releases Alva Noto’s cover of The Cure’s 1980 track, ’A Forest’, forty years from its release in the UK.

Sonically, Alva Noto’s rework reveals the unique acoustic and harmonic complexities in the original track - the 80’s reverb-heavy guitar sounds, the organ’s ghoulish murmur, and the sudden flashes of synthesizers dissolve into an almost weightless fusion of warm chords, melodic fragments, and oscillating digital tones hinged on their soft momentum, and the iconic intro.

Approved by Robert Smith himself, Alva Noto’s cover is a study of The Cure’s original score, subtly breaking into its own components, progressions, and moods. The feeling of expanse is palpable as the ten-minute piece sizzles and rumbles alongside ample tenses, a dreamlike wash of sound and distant strings.

Alva Noto has long displayed mastery of the soundscape and data manipulation: some of his most renowned albums under the Xerrox’s pseudonym are built on perfectly reconstructed audio fragments. Here, he makes his slow-moving backdrops evocative by conjuring the brooding tones of the original song. A tribute to The Cure’s long-standing classic that captivated a generation, Alva Noto’s cover avows the musician’s sense of longing for the song, and the era it represents.


“The Cure’s 'A Forest' as has always reminded me of the feeling of "coming home”, and above all, the intro always gave me lots of emotions and excitement. I was fifteen years old when the song was released. At the time my desire for good music started to grow, and, of course, I would look for sounds that reflected the time and age I was living. 'A Forest' is now a The Cure's classic, and I can’t think of another song which could be more representative of the band than this single - forty years after its release, I still bow to it and feel grateful that it exists.”.

- Carsten Nicolai


Release date:

April 8. 2020



Digital & vinyl





'A FOREST'  is available on

 Bleep, iTunes, Spotify

More info

Resident Advisor


The Vinyl Factory

The Quietus

The New Noise


NTS Radio - The Cure Special

Trax Magazine

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