Thursday 2 July 2020
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A trip to the Iranian electronic underground: Meet Sote who combines electro-acoustic structures with traditional music elements

Did you know that Iran is gradually becoming recognised as a hub for some of the world’s most vital, forward-thinking experimental music? In one of the world’s most closed countries, a visionary music community now able to openly share its strange creations.

At Roskilde Festival 2020, we’re happy to present three exciting Iranian artists who will perform in a continuous flow, one after the other, and present each their take on what electronic music can be: Sote, Saba Alizadeh and Temp-Illusion.

Sote is a long-celebrated figure in electronic music. His name means ‘sound’ in Farsi.

His special ability to combine complex electro-acoustic structures and microtonal progressions with hypnotic polyrhythms and Iranian traditional music elements makes him a unique voice in the international scene for electronic music and sound art.

His 2017 album Sacred Horror in Design received widespread acclaim for its haunting, challenging fusion of electronics with Iranian classical music. In 2019, he released the electro-acoustic album Parallel Persia which develops further on his sound.

In 2015, he co-founded the SET festival where Iranians can watch dazzling audio-visual performances and dance to ground-breaking electronica. It required many hard-won government permissions, but the festival is now entirely legal. Moreover, it sells out every year.

Sote also runs his own record label, Zabte Sote, with which he aims to present Iran’s emergent avant-garde to the world. Its inaugural release, Girih: Iranian Sound Artists, compiled songs from 42 projects, including Temp-Illusion who’s also playing Roskilde Festival.