Boomkat Product Review:
Sote puckers up beautifully bittersweet synthetic orchestrations in a staggering new marvel for Opal Tapes, home to some of his most blinding modern works - BIG RIYL Arca, Björk, Autechre.
Entirely synthesised nose-to-tail yet often sounding uncannily instrumental, ‘Moscels’ sees Sote’s acute proprioceptive grasp of acoustic physics transposed into deeply uncanny electronic simulacra. Moving away from the more explosive dynamics of his preceding string of zingers, ‘Moscels’ effectively comes up somewhere between the developments of late ‘90s Æ, Analord-era AFX, and the fascinating new tonal accents and synthesised electronics also voiced by Rashad Becker, but blossoming with dizzying sprouts of fractal magick and needlepoint rhythmic ingenuity in a thrillingly unstable but beautifully coherent style that Sote can safely call his own.
The ‘Moscels’ of the title for Sote’s sixth album refer to his modular synthesisers’ physical modelling features and oscillators, and gives a strong hint at what Sote intends to convey with the tactile physicality to his new body of work. Working within finely attuned parameters optimised for expression, he enacts a spellbinding abstract narrative between the five parts with a hugely convincing confidence in his own compositional abilities. Holding back on the more typical IDM rushes and impulses, his pieces move with a classical symphonic mastery in a boldly modernist new way that allows for the damaged vulnerability of noise and expressively complex tunings that speak to the artist’s heavy sense of traditional roots and keening, visionary futurism.
We’d end up tying ourselves in knots trying to describe the thrillingly density of movement and emotive gradients to ‘Moscels’ controlled maelstroms, but its perhaps best summed in how much it reminds us of the inexplicable enigma and visual opulence of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle, or perhaps the melodrama of Arca with the theatrics toned down, firmed up and perhaps maturer in a classical, timeless sense. But that said it’s still daringly iconoclastic and ravishingly future-curious, recalling awe-inspiring works by Xenakis or Autechre, and more recently Cameron Shafii. It’s properly rewarding stuff, dive in with both feet.