Truth in advertising. On Arryhtmia, Sote (aka Ata Sote Ebtekar) largely dispenses with paltry concerns like rhythm and standard percussion and lets some kind of algorithm-based compositional wizardry take the helm. While I can’t say I particularly care for the outcome, there are some interesting ideas at work, and now and then it catches my ear rather than shoving me away. Ebtekar maintains the traditional tunings of the music of his native Iran, but rams it through his electronics to create forceful things that fly toward your head at high velocity. The overarching idea seems to be to begin with a batch of noises tangling with one another, squibs and squawks of electro-sound, then push them together into a more cohesive pattern. The pieces each eventually take on their own thumping character, and all are fairly aggressive. The wobbly junkyard clatter of “Pep” gets more in your face as it goes along, its core sounds almost comical in they way they squish and bounce. The effect is heightened by runs like a muted xylophone mated with chipset. “Lacuna” stacks harsh metallic banging on deep bass riffs, and everything works into one of the more outrightly rhythmic pieces on the release. Other tracks more or less follow suit, looking to find that place where aggression meets beat or lack thereof.
Arrythmia is not an easy listen, and not something I’d hurry back to, but at the same time the more I listened to it—and that was very mood-dependent—I began to hear what Ebtekar is doing. It doesn’t mean I like it, but it means there’s a point of entry for the open-minded listener. Those who appreciate noise and the experimental approach will uncover more meaning here.
Available at Record Label Records.