7/10 Laurie Staff review, 14 October 2014
Sote is the alter ego of German/Iran-based Ata Ebtekar, and he makes bonkers music. Accompanied by a blurb declaring a reinvention of music, Architectonic does indeed navigate the outlying curves depicted on the cover while sharing a few elements with the existing electronic scene. As usual with this sort of abstracted 'sound art' the music is abrasive and difficult to predict leaving the listener with nothing but a blank stare and a shaken grip on normality.
Who even needs melody anyway? Here dissonance reigns supreme and rhythm is presumably dictated by punching into a calculator. Even when the two (especially the latter) brush with the regular, particularly on 'Helix', there exists layer upon layer of twisted frequency bending, culminating in an EP highlight which I guess could be the Single of the release. There are clangs that bring to mind the drunk uncle of banging hard techno, or (dare I say it) the mid-career psychoglitch musings of Aphex Twin, just taken even more to the extreme. It is no surprise that the press release mentions the experimental realm of music academia and installation works - I can completely see this being played in a university lecture theatre, spawning a multitude of essays and critique including comparisons to the master Iannis Xenakis as well as the San Francisco Tape Music Center goons.
A real standout lies in the opener of side B, 'Dxtral'. It's a lengthy excursion that morphs so many times that it holds no concrete form whatsoever, and is a track of such high quality that it is only rivalled by final track 'Lilt' with its quirky groove and screwed-xylophone palette. This side of the release is noticeably better than the first with a lack of slightly uninspired tracks forming my main issue with Architectonic - some side A pieces exist purely as oddities and without context don't pull enough attention. However, Sote certainly does succeed in creating what he calls 'the other sound', mostly devoid of culture and totally bonkers.
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