-Tokafi interviews Son of Rose + reviews "All In"
There's a nice paradox behind Kamran Sadeghi's new album under the moniker of Son of Rose: It may actually feature his oldest material to date. Over the past four to five years, Sadeghi has virtually immersed himself in sound, churned out three full-lengths (one of which under his civilian name) and become a mainstay on both the experimental music- and the visual arts scene. While predecessors "Top Flight" and "Divisions in Parallel" were more or less clearly delineated snapshots of particular periods, "All In" can be understood as an integral summary of a process which dates all the way back to 1999. Even though, as Sadeghi claims, time has virtually raced by, a lot has happened in these years: He has refined his technique of making use of the natural resonances of acoustic instruments. He has equally made a name for himself as a producer and recording/mastering engineer. He has intensified the dialogue between music and video. And finally, he has found ways of translating his intricate and minimal soundscapes to the stage and is now a regular guest at international festivals. All of these developments are somehow palpable on "All In". Sensual opener "Falling Forward" floats both with with yearning grace and bittersweet elegance and "Toward Sensation" is all shimmering texture, like a musical still life of a red-hot corona. "Radii", meanwhile, creates a bewildering sense of tenderness from seemingly disparate and nervously twitching elements. On other cuts, Sadeghi allows in harsher timbres and a certain edginess, even though the surface of his poignant pieces always retains its composure. Some of these tracks may not be his most recent compositions - but they sure sound as up-to-date as anything he's done.
In which way do you see installations, visual arts and site-specific work as complementary to your audio work?
All of my creative directions rely heavily on my interest and explorations in sound and music. I see it less as complementary, or a simple accompaniment but as a way of re-imagining the medium and my process. I like the idea of completely exhausting the potential of a medium, allowing for it to inform itself rather than having to search for some meaning to attach to it in order for it to have integrity.
Would it be correct to say that „All In“ constitutes a sort of retrospective of your work as a Sound Artist?
You could see it that way. All In consists of at least four years worth of recordings made in my old studio. I spent a lot of time there, actually I practically lived there... We had all kinds of instruments and a very fun "live room" for multi track recording. Microphones were taped to the walls, hanging from the ceiling, under blankets, you name it! All In captures this time when I was able to be extremely tactile with composing and recording.
Five years is a long time. What, to you, are constant themes running through your work?
The years seem to be flying by, but yes, 5 "recording years" is a long time! This is a really hard question for me... I guess the obvious ones would be resonance, texture, timbre, experimentation, patterns, technology, reduction, abstraction, minimalism and maximalism.
In which way have your technique and aesthetics changed over these years?
I don't think they've changed necessarily, for better or worse. I am torn between being a creature of habit and never wanting to do the same thing twice! This being said, I do feel that I am maturing as an artist and composer and in constant refinement of my technique. I hope this never ends! What I did 10 years ago is very different from what I do now but this could be the result of the process...
Have there been artists that you worked for as an engineer or producer influenced your own work on „All In“?
Not specifically, maybe in a very indirect way. Actually, I can say that Zachary Watkins sparked my initial interest with the piano and various resonating techniques. Furthermore It's crucial for me to maintain a steady flow of work regardless of who and what I am work with. It's an act of exercising my skills, it keeps the blood flowing. I recently mastered a beautiful record for Ryonkt and I used a lot of the same techniques I used for All In.
„Falling Forward“ is one of my favorite tracks this year. How did it come about?
Thank you, that makes me smile! Falling Forward was actually a track that I've been working on for some time. The title came first - I was thinking of weightlessness, I wanted to interpret this feeling of weightlessness with sound. It sounds like an Organ but it's actually just the resonant frequencies of a Grand Piano processed in real-time. I actually had an entire record under this title, it never got picked up.
Your press releases freely admits that the original source of a lot of your instruments is no longer recognizable after the transformation process – why are you nonetheless relying on them in the first place, then?
Ah... good one! It's the tactile nature of drawing sound from an acoustic instrument that I was attracted to (less so know). I also like drawing parallels with synthetic sounds and acoustic sounds. I have had my hands in all sorts of instruments over the years, I was collecting them like someone would collect records or books. My first instrument was a Trumpet, the person I bought it from asked if I knew how to play or if I was going to take a class, they were a bit shocked when I told them " I just want to use it to resonate a room and record it". I laugh now, but I was dead serious then!
Son of Rose seems a very personal project. How do you decide, what material is released under your own name and what as Son of Rose?
Son of Rose is a very personal project and I am glad you sense that. Although I only have recordings dating from 2004 I have been developing this project since 1999. The work I release under Son of Rose is, in my opinion, more musical and deals with more musical theories and techniques, explorations with a dash of how I may be resonating at that moment in time. What I am doing under my own name can go any direction at anytime and has no limitations what so ever. Very liberating actually!
-nice review of Son of Rose's "All In" on Italian blog Libero
" Il mare dei computers non si sfalda facilmente. Queste onde propongono battiti lenti che colpiscono, delicatamente, il cervello umano. Le vibrazioni electroniche che fuoriescono da "All In" sono ansiose e delicate. Son Of Rose è lo pseudonimo dietro il quale si cela l'artista Kamran Sadeghi. La sua proposta sonica è salda e tentatrice, in un certo senso questa è la pop music del nuovo millennio. Microsuoni che sfrecciano dentro un sogno lungo una vita. "All In" è, sotto certi aspetti, un sogno libero che si sviluppa all'interno di una grande bolla. Una bolla di sapone che non si vuole staccare dal suo cordone ombelicale. Il sound di questo cd è rarefatto e permette di ammirare aspetti della natura veramente sconosciuti. Un album da memorizzare nella vostra discografia e ricordare negli anni."
-july 21.09 | ALL IN by Son of Rose review by Alan Lockett at Igloo Magazine
(July 2009) It seems like only yesterday that NY-based Iranian-born Kamran Sadeghi's 2007 Dragon's Eye debut as Son of Rose was sat on the review pile. Divisions In Parallel gave notice of an experimental artist who shepherded sounds towards finding structure and harmonics without overdetermining their route, allowing access to interesting pathways and odd tangents along the way. Now on his own label, just a couple of years on, here's his fourth full-length, All In, finding him still engrossed in exploring prepared piano through digital processing. Sadeghi this time sets out "to capture the holistic immediacy of each composition" by deploying live takes and minimal post-production interventions, and the approach does in fact feel more tactile this time, as piano strings are manipulated with various objects, DSPedal less indiscriminately to the metal.
Initially, static spray and synth-shimmer conspire on the tone-tides of "Falling Forward," pristine pads and ethereal chimings coming on like Dragon's Eye doing Kompakt Pop Ambient, albeit with signature cracks and fissures showing through. "Row" makes good use of the lulling swell-relent dynamics of the e-bow and its glassine corridors of gauze, bringing to mind the late-period guitar-wrung tone-poems of Paul Bradley, lyrical drift skirting the fizzing periphery of digital noise-mongering. On "Movement Transposed" the dark end of the piano's innards - strummed and reverbed strings - is trailed across the soundstage in a fog of thrumming and trilling timbral motion. There are more challenging, even grim, explorations, such as "Nineteen Sixty Five," with its sharp metallic soundmasses in abraded heavings, or the final "Fragrant," in which the listener is placed in an odd suspension of scrapes and bows and strange resonances. But the most effective Son of Rose territory is in the inbetween, as on "Toward Sensation," which hovers ambiguously in an intermediate nonplace between edgy nerve-scrape and delightful frisson, gesturing toward harmonic consonance, then choosing nuanced dissonance; or "RADii," with its spray of fibrillating droplets over thin liquid drones in aqueous tintinnabulations, resolving into tides of low-end well-up and slow 'copter-blade pulses of Reichian keyboard clusters.
There are times when Son of Rose's silvery and slivery ambience hints at something of the lyrical sound-collage spirit of Gas. But mostly its alignment is toward the 12k - and/OAR - Sirr side of accessible experimental things, and a predilection for cold-warm communings of glimmering sine-tones. All in all, All In plays out a kind of Pop Microsound, one shaken loose from the stuffier end of lowercase minimalism, and choroegraphed in elegant tonal balletics through a veil of smears.
-june 24 | ALL IN album review by Cyclic Defrost Magazine | read review |
-may 27.09 | ALL IN album review by Dave Segal | full article |
"Falling Forward" starts the album with beatific shimmering drones and what sounds like pitched-up wind chimes. It's understatedly gorgeous and calming, conjuring a mystical healing-music sensation. "Movement Transposed" sounds like an altered dulcimer or harp riff ka-chinging amid steel-wool whorls, while "Toward Sensation" is a stellar, metallic drone, akin to Charlemagne Palestine's Bösendorfer organ, honed to a needle-sharp tone. "RADii" is quite possibly the sound of Saturn's rings forming. "Fragrant" evokes Xenakis's oblique atonal thrusts and corkscrewing diminuendos; it's a kind of a skeletal, electroacoustic dub and a disturbing anomaly from the rest of the disc........ more
REVIEW (DIVISIONS IN PARALLEL)
Max Schaefer | dec. 08
In veering away from the saturated noise savagery of previous works, Seattle-based composer Kamran Sadeghi third full-length is an example of immaculately engineered sonic sophistication. A sense of musicianship and an applied intelligence of the sound and feel for the piano is rendered apparent, as Sadeghi splits its sharp report, adjusts its frequency and pans it across the stereo field. Along the way, drastically panned E-bow leave fluttery trails of sonic after-images, which form a network of cross-connections with the ghostly, sub aquatic assemblage of crackles and delicate chimes.
Asides from the virtuosity in the interweaving of these forms with considerable subtlety, certain tenderness is shown in the due attention paid to the spectrum of possibilities inherent to this area of minimal electro acoustic experimentation. Sadeghi considers a wide variety of them, both in-themselves and in the respective manners in which they fit into or expand upon the forgoing developments.
The album thereby oscillates from works such as From The Well, with its slow motion electronics and soft hum that concentrate on nuance and subtlety to pieces of fuller, to others of more disruptive tendencies in a convincing manner. As such, the powerful sense of focus that seems at first predominant is more fully fleshed out, rendered malleable, and informed by other concerns. Rather than being compromised, though, this fact makes for stronger, more characterful compositions.
REVIEW (DIVISIONS IN PARALLEL)
The Wire #284
Iranian born, Seattle based musician Kamran Sadeghi, aka Son of Rose, has carved a niche over the last couple years sculpting tinkling drapes of simmering sound from elemental minutiae. Divisions In Parallel moves away from the concentric circles of noise on his self-titled debut and last years Top Flight into more adventurous instrumental realms.
Making use of the strings of a grand piano and a playful E-bow, it creates an arresting opening trilogy of tracks. Familiar grainy static drops into the watery textures and angelic chimes of “Triple II” before settling into a vegetative tonal din in the concluding “Triple III”. For a sound artist who veers so close to cinematic, it’s perplexing as to why Sadeghi hasn’t scored any movies to date. Midway, he switches to his trademark cyclic textures in the tantric bells of “Passage”, which carries an airy, weightless feel that would benefit Larry Clark’s or Harmony Korine’s probing verité style of film making. The ensuing 15-minute “From The Well” edges between nervy and tingling Ambience, Sadeghi’s use of the slow-swelling properties of the E-bow filtering through subterranean museums of opaque, glassy dreamscapes like a less oppressive virsion of Halo Manash’s Isolationist Ambience. Disarming Stuff.
REVIEW (DIVISIONS IN PARALLEL)
Kamran Sadeghi aka Son Of Rose es un músico, compositor e ingeniero de audio residente en Seattle quien ha estado trabajando en el campo de la electrónica desde 2000 y ha editado tres álbumes, su debut homónimo en 2005, “Top Flight” [Dragons Fly Recordings, 2005] y “Divisions in Parallel”.
En este disco entrega una composición minimal con sutiles armonías, drones, brillantes tonalidades obtenidas del piano y cuerdas y abstractas texturas hechas a partir de sonidos análogos y digitales.
Sus composiciones van desde los timbres, clicks y la quietud hasta un espacoio intenso llenos de drones y una amplia gana de tonalidades.s.
REVIEW (DIVISIONS IN PARALLEL)
This second release from Seattle's excellent Dragon's Eye Recordings comes from Kamran Sadeghi working under the name Son Of Rose. Once again the aesthetics of the artwork and music are of the highest quality and the packaging really is lovely... simple use of classic typography, lovely photography... very much the less is more approach that I find so appealing. The 7 tracks that make up 'Divisions in Parallel' are constructed using grand piano strings, Ebow and computer and the diverse range of tracks really brings to mind the best of labels such as 12k, and/OAR or Sirr-ecords. Yes, really, it's that good. Beautifully deep and sculptural sound design is combined with a deft touch on the arrangements to give you a sense of intimacy with the work that's instantly accessible and surprisingly warm sounding. The work of Taylor Deupree certainly springs to mind and there's something incredibly pleasing when you discover that the whole CD is based on improvisations with no studio trickery... just live manipulationsof beautiful sounds. For fans of the aformentioned labels this really is a release to savour and, yes you've guessed it, it comes *highly* recommended. Absolutely superb.
REVIEW (DIVISIONS IN PARALLEL)
Kamran Sadeghi is more a dealer in shimmering and sustaining micro-tones, and his latest recording Divisions in Parallel seems to document sounds in transit towards, but staying shy of becoming, full-blown music. In this respect, Sadeghi’s Son of Rose is less a musical enterprise and more of a sonic travel operator, vaguely shepherding his sounds towards finding design and harmony, but without spelling the route out too clearly so they can stray interestingly along their chosen pathways and find interesting tangents and by-roads. He engineers a felicitous encounter of grand piano strings and E-bow via DSP intermediation which finds articulation in contours evoking terrain in an experimental ambient expanse roughly mapped out between Sirr and Kranky, or and/OAR and 12k. Opening in sparse tinkles, the sound stage gradually builds into a thin liquid drone infused with fibrillating droplets and aqueous timbres like minute bells in melting motion (“Triple II”) before a microsonic bio-mechanic sine-drone takes over for the lowercase minimalism of “Triple III”. The 18-minute “From The Well” shifts from slow sustain-swells in a gauzy rotation, choreographed into tonal balletics glimpsed as if through a smeared glass darkly. Engrossing. Compositions suggest the secret inner life of sounding objects aspiring towards a cryptic melodicity in quiet and drifting soundstreams. These eventually find satisfying semi-static consonance on the closing “Eleven Eleven".
Signal to Noise
The Experimental Showcase was an oasis of minimalism. All four artists, Yann novak, Son of Rose, Richard Chartier and Taylor Deupree, opted to perform without visual displays, and the calm of the darkened theater forced the audience to focus completely on the sound emanating from the speakers on both sides of the stage. It brought to mind Stan Brakhage's approach to exhibiting his films. He said simply the he is a filmmaker. If you want narrative, read a book. If you want sound, listen to music. If you want to watch film, watch film. he forced audiences to appreciate his art for what it was, not what they wanted it to be.
Taylor Deupree's set was a hauntingly beautiful minimal soundscape that would have been equally at home at the Ambient Showcase.Yann Novak took a field recording of a machine noise and programed it into a long series of seamless permutations. Son of Rose's set stood out in that it was distinctly tactile amidst sea of computers. Using ebows on the strings of a grand piano, he manipulated the vibrations electronically or used them to trigger synth sounds that were in turn manipulated - a sort of electronically prepared piano performance that was truly experimental instead of impenetrably weird.
2006 MIXTAPE (INTERVIEW)
Paper Thin Walls
Of course a city with as many tech programmers as Seattle is going to have loads of terrific electronic musicians. 2006 was a damn good year for them, too, from tech-house producer Bruno Pronsato’s tongue-in-cheek sensuality to the warmly cockeyed techno of Jeff Samuel (recently relocated to Cleveland, alas, though his Step was recorded in the Emerald City) to the 13 artists on Memex’s Cumulous compilation, a smart overview of the dronier, more experimental end of the city’s circuit-bending activity. “Crossings” leads off the comp and pretty much delivers everything you might want from it—shifting layers of aqueous drone that evokes, in no particular order, looming sunrises, long overhead shots of a church organ in a field, Tron scored by Boards Of Canada, ladybugs running through a maze, Terry Riley’s preferences in stereo panning, the mouth-feel of frozen margaritas and dozens of records with the same basic idea only not done this well. Which is, might as well be basic about it, an amazingly rich and pretty drone. Which is enough.
Kamran Sadeghi (a.k.a. Son Of Rose) on “Crossings”
Your bio states that you “actively [explore] the use of electronics and recording techniques in contemporary music, with an emphasis on computer synthesis as a live instrument.” To what extent is a track like “Crossings” “live,” per se. Was much of what we hear spontaneous, or did you try a lot of things and utilize the best of them?
Spontaneous. Of course I sometimes have a palate of prerecorded or synthesized sounds to choose from when I’m not processing a "live" instrument, but the actual composition or placement of sound was, and is in most cases, spontaneous.
You do a fair amount of live performing. What role would “Crossings” play in a situation like that? Is a performance for you more about improvising with elements of finished work, or do you present things more straightforwardly?
I try not to mix up my live performances with my recordings—I try and keep it seamless. I try and only record what I can do live. I need to be able to build a piece from scratch while in a live setting. If it is strictly synthesis then I try and have all of my synths at a value of 0 and build the composition from that value based on my reaction to the P.A. during sound-check, the room and my state of mind. If it is using an acoustic instrument then I try and allow the source sound that I’m pulling out of that instrument manually to be present in the piece at one time or another so that the audience—if willing—can hear the source sound before it is colored with computer processing.
“Crossings” is the opening track of a compilation. Was it something you had been working on or something you created specifically for this project?
Both. I had played with this piece previous to the request but hadn’t really given it much attention until the project was presented to me. It wasn’t specific to the project, but if it wasn’t for the project then the piece wouldn’t exist. This was also one of the inspirations for the title.
AUDIO VERITE (TOP FLIGHT)
Son of Rose (aka Kamran Sadeghi) tickles the auditory senses much in the same way as Carsten Nicolai and the whole Raster-Noton crew. Waves of hyperactive pinprick dances, interruptive dialtones, and banks of computerized stratocumulus clouds inform the nine ‘ware-housed tone poems comprising Top Flight. Adapting the meaning of his artistic guise, Rose’s tracks are thorny bits of agitated flotsam, the types of clean yet visceral noises Ryoji Ikeda, PanSonic and Alva Noto bathe in on a regular basis. Unlike those chaps, Rose’s tracks eschew rhythm and opt for a more sedentary posture; his thick drones, when not disinterred by walls of digital brillo, scatter laterally across the spectrum in carefully sculpted wedges of triumphant noise. A Rose by any other name surely won’t sound as sweet, evidenced further by Sadeghi’s atomizing contribution to the label’s Paper com, “Reunion,” which finds the composer’s strangulated noise loops spiralling ever upward in angelic, concentric circles.
DATA BREAKER (TOP FLIGHT)
As the news of the world worsens (as it reliably does), one yearns for psychic consolation, for mental balm. One of the most effective means to those ends is through minimalist music (no, really). Granted, it's tough to achieve inner peace when tools like Rove, Rumsfeld, Robertson, Cheney, Bush, and their media apologists stalk your consciousness, but some producers are up to the challenge presented by our misleaders. Two who dwell in Seattle—Son of Rose and Yann Novak—achieve the desired effect with admirable economy.
Both laptop prodigies have been featured before in Data Breaker; they're back in the column now to mark the simultaneous release of their sophomore albums for Novak's burgeoning Dragon's Eye label, whose output's been receiving strong reviews in UK experimental-music bellwether The Wire.
Speaking of which, Son of Rose (Iranian-American laptop composer Kamran Sadeghi) had the daunting task of trying to better his phenomenal debut, Son of Rose; with Top Flight, he succeeds.
Whereas Son of Rose was more bass-heavy and dubby, Top Flight hovers in more ethereal realms. The disc's opening cut, the aptly titled "Spectral Spectacle," encapsulates Son of Rose's ability to conjure vast, astral depths through densely layered tones and granulated textures. On "Eventide," Son of Rose creates a brilliant constellation of silvery ambience that recalls early Orb and Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project. It's a shame that Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series was made too early to have this grace its soundtrack. "Top Flight" could be a UFO's engine idling in the Milky Way Galaxy's furthest outpost. This is gravityless sound design of meticulous craftsmanship.
Top Flight ends with an excerpt from Son of Rose's triumphant set at Broadway Performance Hall during 2005's Decibel festival. Titled "Sudden Departures," the 25-minute piece demonstrates the multidimensional magnitude of Son of Rose's sonic arsenal. Reminiscent of work by electronic-music innovators such as Conrad Schnitzler, Gil Melle, and Morton Subotnick, "Sudden Departures" facilitates just that from grim reality. Rarely does escapist music sound so intoxicatingly cerebral.
SLOG (TOP FLIGHT)
Kathy F. Mahdoubi
Laptop composer Kamran Sadeghi’s newest release, Top Flight, appeared in Data Breaker here, but I’d like to put in a word, because Son of Rose creates some of my most beloved local music.
Sadeghi’s self-titled debut made him something of a Seattle monarch of minimalist electronic music, but minimal doesn’t seem like an appropriate description. At first listen, the components of his sound may seem delicate and sparse—arranged from the confines of a computer, but don’t be deceived. All command of faculties is soon lost to the music’s omniscient effect.
I loved the first album, but I’m finding myself more attuned to Top Flight, which sounds far more conceptual than the former. It’s like an algorithmic allegory of flight.
It seems strange that something so futuristic could provoke nostalgia, but I lived on or around air-force bases from the time I was born until I was 12, and during that whole period I was immersed in the hum of jet engines. There are aeronautic nuances captured on Top Flight that pretty much take me back to suspension in amniotic fluid.
Audio-aerodynamics are patterned throughout, like the hiss of rocket propulsion, the hypnotic revolutions of propellers, hollow metallic sounds, like pinging and riveting upon fuselages and other emanations from the gaping maws of airplane hangars. The evolution is full-spectrum, spanning from tremulous insectiform winging and the ephemeral whirring of cicadas to deep-space, nebular permutations and otherworldly hovering and pulsing.
All of these tones and textures are deftly synthesized and set on a trajectory toward the end track, “Sudden Departures,” the live, 25-minute odyssey that was Son of Rose’s 2005 Decibel Festival performance. Listen to it, and understand why Sadeghi has such a devoted local following.
OZ & ENDS (SELF-TITLED)
Seattle’s own Dragon’s Eye Recordings is not only that city’s best kept secret, they provide one of the better arguments in recent memory for the legitimacy of the CDR as recording format. Skinny clear jewel boxes shorn of tray card and booklet immediately bring Raster-Noton to mind, but Yann Novak’s label isn’t strictly an exercise in glitch politics as usual. In fact, Wyndel Hunt strikes me as a chap who’s yet to dump his Belgium EBM/Play It Again Sam stock. Fascillations fairly reeks of the swanky Euro bump ‘n’ grind so popular in those late 80s days pre-techno, slowed down and emasculated, but there all the same. It’s also shot through with test-card frequency phases and some good ‘ol fashioned U.S. grade-A prime noise for comfort, straight outta the RRR catalog. I’m there. Yann Novak himself could be any one of a dozen phonographers/field recordists, and, well, he is, thank you. He’s also got more ideas in his pinky than some of his colleagues have in all their DATs. Fade Dis/appearances just about defies easy categorization, if not criticism. A work such as “Julia With Flanking,” with its obtuse pulses, insectile thrush and burnished surfaces, puts to shame most sweathogs who labor intensely over the latest plug-in without finding a suitable plug to stick it in to; truth is, Mille Plateaux in its heyday would’ve killed for this (are you listening, dear Sirr?). Son Of Rose hath slayed me as well, his self-titled debut corrugated ambient/dronestuff that actually plays too coarse on the tongue to be, as goes the trad “ambient” definition, ignored. But it should be admired. “Baltic” goes from imperceptible blackness to snap, crackle ‘n’ pop so subtly, effectively and exuberantly your head’ll be days catching up. Then there’s Family Affair, the requisite label compilation, featuring all the above in addition to other comparés. This lot mandates Seattle be embossed on the proverbial map.
Although Seattle producer Kamran Sageghi’s parents first moved with him from Iran to America shortly after the country’s Islamic Revolution, He still grew up in a home constantly filled with the sounds of Persian folk and pop music rather than the culturally benumbing white noise of broadcast TV. The music he creates as Son of Rose may owe more to ‘numerically specific frequencies’ than rhythms and melodies, there’s a unique delicacy and poise his compositions. More like digital scrims made up of fluctuating groupings of microscopic events, all six tracks on this limited edition debut EP manage to establish precise boundaries and parameters, so that forms gently manifest themselves through the accumulated flow of minute activities.
DATA BREAKER (SELF-TITLED)
Son of Rose (Seattle producer Kamran Sadeghi) is big on sonic minutiae. Microscopic sounds loom large in his art. For Sadeghi, the subliminal is sublime. Shhh. Hear that? It's the intimate immensity of this extravagantly subtle electronic music.
The emergence of Son of Rose as a live performer in 2004 was one of our laptop scene's most exciting developments. Not since Bobby Karate has Seattle had such a compelling, inventive creator of microsound. Now Son of Rose is poised to drop his excellent eponymous debut CD on Yann Novak's Dragon's Eye label.
Sadeghi stands out not only for his intelligently designed tones and drones, but also for his Iranian background. His parents moved to America to attend college around the time of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. "I don't think [my ethnicity] influences the type of music I make, but perhaps it influences the fact that I make music at all," Sadeghi says. "Music was always in the house and in the mood of the culture. So in that aspect, I guess it did. Instead of televisions being on, I was forced to listen to either Persian folk or pop music."
You won't hear Persian folk or pop in Son of Rose's music. However, Sadeghi was influenced by Harold Budd's 1984 ambient classic The Pearl, "for direction, but not necessarily for sound," Sadeghi observes. "Subtlety... the kind of music I make comes from fixations and the between parts of music, [not] from any kind of schooling. It comes from clearing or cleaning distractions."
You can notice the bracing results of Sadeghi's quest for clarifying purity in Son of Rose. The disc begins with "Distance," with watery, Doppler-effected drones accompanied by spectral shivers of Cocteau Twins–like guitar. The Pole-like "Velo I" is true 21st-century dub, with killer depth-charge bass and reverbed aquatic ambience. "Shadow Us" is a stunning recreation of tidal, oceanic phenomena. "Velo II" evokes perpetually blooming flower petals of gorgeous digital tonalities. So it's funny that this music derives from "numerically specific frequencies."
"I'm not doing algorithmic equations," Sadeghi explains. "I spend a lot of time listening to frequencies generated by sine waves that I apply certain values to. In a sense these numbers translate into sounds. It's like I am more of an audiophile, someone [who's] interested in how things sound through speakers. I spend a lot of time listening to different frequencies, and these frequencies are mainly generated by sine waves."
Son of Rose's frequencies have carved out a special niche in Seattle's burgeoning electronic movement. "Seattle has motivated me to continue and develop my work with its constant musical growth," Sadeghi enthuses. Good work, Seattle.