Hatami: Monads (Line)
composer Porya Hatami joins the ranks of the Line roster for Monads.
The album collects a variety of sound experiments and excursions that
are largely devoid of melody or obvious rhythm. Instead, each track
is its own self-contained sonic world, all built from real-time
single track synth manipulations. As a result, Monads is best
considered as a universe of independently orbiting planets, each one
fairly different from the next while still feeling loosely unified by
Hatami’s approach. But gone completely are the more melodic or
environmental sounds of his past releases, replaced by often bone dry
acoustics and writhing signals. “1B (Fold)” is downright sublime,
though, probably my favorite of the series. Its undulating waveforms
and interval oscillations give it a woozy calm that recalls mid-90s
Oval. “3B” has a similar sort of calm undulation in its low end,
which gives it a downright physical quality on headphones, felt as
much as heard.
Elsewhere, “4 (Phonetic)” begins with a whisper
and gets only quieter from there, bringing to mind some of the more
minimal and severe moments of the early Line catalog, perfect for
quiet, still evenings. For each of its more gliding and serene
tracks, there is a complement like “3C,” which sounds like a
strange alien atmosphere, bristling with electricity. “6B (of
Presence)” is a flurry of signal while closing cut “8 (Kurdish
Folk Song)” is almost painfully gorgeous, its lonely synth
reverberating in a dry, cavernous space. While its lack of any
obvious melody might eke it further left of center, I find the
curiosity and ingenuity of Hatami’s excursions inspired and exciting.
Highly recommended for fans of experimental synth music in the vein
of Rashad Becker or Florian Hecker.
Buy it: Bandcamp