Parallel Persia

23/05/19Tehran-Based Sound Artist Sote Unveils Mind-Rattling New Album On Diagonal Records

Is this the past or is it the future? With Tehran-based electronic music composer Ata Ebtekar, aka Sote, it is hard to tell. Fact is, he has been honing his craft for three decades and counting, an explorer, a scientist, a sound artist in an ever-changing sonic environment. He "composes music with a deeply-held conviction that rules and formulas should be deconstructed and rethought", as he "alters musical modal codes from their original tonality and rhythmic tradition to achieve vivid synthetic soundscapes." 

Sote's musical vision is acutely experimental in form, yet eerily organic in nature and constantly in motion. You might remember his CTM-commissioned album "Sacred Horror In Design" released on Opal Tapes in 2017, which had us wondering, what exactly we had just listened to. And trust us, his latest album is likely to keep you guessing, with musical surprises lurking at every twist, turn and flourish. Preceded by the standalone single Artificial Neutrality, Sote recently unveiled his mind-rattling new full-length on Oscar Powell's Diagonal Records, entitled "Parallel Persia".

Created in early 2018, "Parallel Persia" features an electro-acoustic "series of compositional structures", combining "various synthesis techniques with Iranian acoustic instruments [Arash Boulouri (santour) & Pouya Damadi (tar)] that are pushed beyond ordinary operation." Or in the words of Sote himself, these are "snapshots of an apocryphal Iran [...] presented via sonic schematics for a synthetic 'Meta-Persian' experience," an experience that could be taking place "in our present-day life or maybe somewhere else somehow differently in a parallel world..." We'll let you decide.

You can stream/buy "Parallel Persia" in full on Bandcamp and make sure to check out the magnificent visuals to album track "Brass Tacks" by Pedram Sadegh-Beyki below.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom