Ata Ebtekar, aka Sote, composes music with a deeply-held conviction that rules and formulas should be deconstructed and rethought. A pivotal figure of the electronic music scene in the Middle East, he alters musical modal codes from their original tonality and rhythmic tradition to achieve vivid, synthetic soundscapes. Over the last two decades, he has published his work via established labels such as Warp, Sub Rosa, Opal Tapes, Morphine, and Repitch, among others. In 2018, he founded a new label called Zabte Sote, which functions as a sub-label of Opal Tapes and focuses on releases by Iranian experimental electronic composers. Sote is also co-founder of SET Festival in Tehran.
Known for creating compositions that range from the delicate to the abrasive, using sounds both of acoustical and electronic origins, Ebtekar sees music as the expression of cultural habits and views on sound and anti sound (silence). Seeking to expand such traditions he creates music that, while rooted in many cultures at once, belongs to none in particular. Sote’s work deals with various blueprints, in particular his solo all synthetic music, his electroacoustic a/v group project, and his multi-channel sound installations.
In July 2017, Sote released Sacred Horror in Design via Opal Tapes. The album came out on vinyl via Sub Rosa in June 2018. His most recent project, Parallel Persia, is forthcoming via Powell's Diagonal label in May 2019.
Ebtekar's solo live show harkens back to his formidable Hardcore Sounds from Tehran release. High-energy hardcore is twisted, pressed into rhythmically and sonically challenging structures. The show has met rave reviews, and has been credited with going "beyond the lazy revivalism of the contemporary set, sounding as searing as Merzbow but with the rhythmic intensity of Hellfish & Producer." (FACT)
He has created commissioned work for and performed at a.o. Berghain and CTM Festival (Berlin), Unsound Festival (Krakow), Cafe Oto (London), Jazzhouse (Copenhagen), TodaysArt Festival (The Hague), Bozar (Brussels), Ultima Festival (Oslo), Donaufestival (Krems).
At No Bounds he will be collaborating with Sandro Mussida as part of Tactical Contact at Kelham Island Museum.