i bought this tape from Digitalis two years ago. since then it was always laying on my tape desk, because every time i listened to it i had the wish to listen to it again very soon. it stood the proof of time and i’m was really happy to read, that there is a limited vinyl version coming out. The vinyl will come in three different versions.
All are on black vinyl with different artwork. One is silkscreened limited to 65, one etched limited to 60 copies. Both available now. there will be a special version¬†etched on acrylic/anodized aluminum limited to only 25 copies in the next months. But the most important part is the music and it is really beautiful. “Sonic Within” fits perfect in the so-called genre “neoclassical” with artists like Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm, Johann Johannsson and alike. It’s mostly based on electronics with beautiful piano melodies and some cello parts. i can’t recommend this enough. get it directly from discogs, as the Label 333 Recordings not even has a homepage.

“Originally released as a super limited tape on Digitalis back in 2010, Sonic Within, from Iranian sound artist and electronic composer Ata Ebtekar (aka Sote) finally gets a proper reissue on vinyl, via local label 333 Recordings, and it’s a beautiful collection of modern electronic flecked chamber music, Ebtekar teamed up with pianist Mazdak Khamda and cellist Betty Wu, the core of the sound, Khamda’s delicate, crystalline piano, plaintive and haunting, the piano ties every track here together, with Ebtekar working around the soft clusters of chordal thrum, and darkly pointillist melodies, conjuring up deep swells of metallic buzz, adding a subtly ominous vibe, weaving in Wu’s moaning cello creating gauzy clouds of sonic shimmer. Some track are warbly and woozy, as if someone had their finger on the record, manually changing the pitch and tempo, like chamber music via Philip Jeck, lilting and lovely, but just slightly twisted. The piano drifts resolutely through fields of crystalline glimmer, and is draped over distantly churning backdrops of low end swirl and blurred abstract FX, all applied with a deft hand, so often, sans headphones, it sounds like solo piano, but deep listening here is definitely rewarded.
The flipside however is definitely more traditionally classical, at least on the surface, with the production tricks and studio affectations dialed back, once again letting Khamda’s lyrical playing take center stage, but Ebtekar is still there, lurking in the background, subtly tweaking the sound, swaddling Khamda’s piano in soft cottony clouds of ambient thrum, the B side building to an almost Hermann Nitsch style cacophony, before setting back down for a brief, playful and melodic outro. So nice.” aquarius records

The Details

Acoustic music composition and piano: Mazdak Khamda

Electronic music composition and sound design: Ata Ebtekar

Cello: Betty Wu

Piano recording: George Sakellariou

Engineered and produced by Ata Ebtekar

Originally released on cassette by Digitalis Limited, Tulsa, OK

Mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA

Limited to 150 copies:

60 numbered copies with individually etched paper sleeves.

65 numbered copies with silkscreened paper sleeves.

Special edition of 25 with cover etching on other materials.

Price $24



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