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Kamran Sadeghi
Through Thickness (Dragon's Eye) CD

 Seattle sound artist Karmran Sadeghi’s latest CD on the Dragon’s Eye imprint is a bit of a square peg in that label’s recent back catalog. While label mates such as Yann Nowak explore the blurred-edge pleasures of lushly harmonic drones, Sadeghi favors razor sharp bursts of static, metallic hums and pulsing bass. Of course, this is not uncharted territory and Sadeghi borrows a page or two from the Raster-Noton manual of rhythmical micro-electronics. But he follows the basic formula laid down by artists like Alva Noto and Frank Bretschneider to first-rate effect. Like Bretschneider, whose Rhythm is the gold standard for this kind of thing, Sadeghi is highly economical in the sounds he uses, building intricate percussive patterns and surprisingly infectious grooves from a simple set of clicks, buzzes and hums. At times on Through Thickness Sadeghi is overwhelmed by influence. Some of the album’s most engaging tracks—“Pivot,” with its delicate multi-layered taps and pops, and the harsh, modem-blast funk of “Haptic”—could easily be mistaken for outtakes from recent releases by Bretschneider or Noto, which is no mean feat to be sure! But it’s when he emerges from his predecessors’ shadows towards the end of the album to create some rather abrasive, roiling drones that are almost Vainio-esque, that things might get quite interesting.

-Susanna Bolle


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