Ata Ebtekar aka Sote is an electronic music composer and sound artist based in Tehran, Iran. 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. He is a 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, itself 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.

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).



Featuring Tarik Barri, Arash Bolouri and Behrouz Pashaei

For "Sacred Horror in Design", commissioned by CTM Festival, Iranian artist Ata Ebtekar aka Sote collaborates with celebrated audiovisual composer Tarik Barri (Monolake, Thom Yorke, Nicolas Jaar) and performers Arash Bolouri (santoor) and Behrouz Pashaei (setar) on a project merging electronics with traditional acoustic instruments for a "Persian techno apocalypse." 

The project takes on the paradoxical task of preserving the beauty of tradition while bending and morphing existing patterns into unique shapes that may eventually become another form of folklore in the future. Nano particles build micro structures, which in turn construct macro networks in a mega system for a magical, textural multi-timbral environment. 

Tarik Barri’s video work is based on very detailed high definition renderings and textures, that are 100% generated live and allows him to respond to the dynamics of the sounds as an independent voice. The aesthetic of the video is loosely based on the heritage of Persian geometric patterns in architecture, graphic art and decoration, mutated and contrasted by granular and acidic visual noise. This way Barri’s visuals mirror the dialogue and quarrel between tradition and distressed contemporary sentience that is also at the core of the music.

The sold-out premiere at CTM 2017 festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin was met with standing ovations, followed by shows at Ultima (Oslo/NO), Donaufestival (Krems/AT), SOU (Tiblisi), TodaysArt (The Hague/NL), and Bozar (Brussels/BE).

The album of the same name was released by British label Opal Tapes in the 2nd half of 2017, and has garnered enthusiastic reviews by The Wire, FACT, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, The Quietus, and other magazines.  In mid 2018 Sub Rosa will finally release a vinyl version of “Sacred Horror in Design”.

Listen to Sacred Horror in Design (Opal Tapes):


Watch a Video Impression of the live Performance: