FACT mix 739: Sote

Sote experiments with rave history on this cataclysmic selection of all-original material.

When he was a teenager living in Germany, Ata Ebtekar started his first electronic music project, an all-electronic band covering tracks from Depeche Mode and Front 242. As the band matured, they progressed from covers to original material and when Ebtekar moved to the USA for school, he began to develop his skills even further.

Soon, Ebtekar’s interest in electronic music began to take over his life; he was initially studying to become a dentist, but quickly shifted into Sound Arts, focusing his energy on experimental music. Soon, he was producing abstract rave sounds under the Atax moniker and was eventually snapped up by Warp Records, who released his first 12″ as Sote, the apocalyptic ‘Electric Deaf’.

Over the years, Ebtekar has released a wide variety of music, collaborating with the Iranian Orchestra for New Music on 2009’s Ornamental, exploring the depths of rave on Hardcore Sounds from Tehran and experimenting with Persian instrumentation on 2017’s Sacred Horror In Design and this year’s unsettlingly brilliant Parallel Persia.

Ebtekar has also been instrumental in supporting experimental music in Iran, using his Zabte Sote imprint to highlight crucial developments in his local scene. The label focuses on experimental electronic music by Iranian composers and has released a slew of compilations as well as albums from 9T Antiope’s Nima Aghiani, Temp-Illusion and Rojin Sharafi.

For his FACT mix, Ebtekar celebrates his decades-long obsession with hardcore and rave, dissolving years of activity and influence into 45 minutes of pounding rhythms, wobbly synths and gut-churning bass. All original material culled from his recent live performances, this is a special selection, archiving the heady improvised experimentation of one of electronic music’s cherished originals.