Hailing from Iran, Porya Hatami is best known for his sepia-toned and wistful soundscapes. He describes his sound as “explor[ing] the balance between electronics and environmental sounds, utilizing processed acoustic and electronic sources and field recordings.” Following an e-mail exchange about his latest album, we caught up Hatami and he agreed to record a mix for us, which features as the 57th instalment of our podcast series. I first became aware of Hatami’s music through a personal recommendation from Martin J Thompson, label head of SM-LL and web designer of Stray Landings. “I became interested in [Thompson]’s music through his “sound a day” blog which he was doing back in 2012”, he explains. “I think it would be great if we can do something together someday, I really love his work, he is a super talented artist”. Thompson furthermore designed the artwork for an album that came out earlier in 2015, In-Between Spaces. Here, Hatami worked in collaboration with Darren McClure, who happens to live on the other side of the world in Matsumoto, Japan. This was a record of staggering subtlety. Harmonic loops ebb and flow around the mix, and slowly envelop the listener in its waves.
Collaboration seems crucial to Hatami. In 2015, we saw the second of Hatami’s remix albums, this time including contributions from Loscil and Segue. “I tried to slow things down a bit last year and focus more on collaborating with other artists and experimenting with new sounds,” he expands. This year too, we will be treated to several collaborative projects. “I have two albums ready at the moment, one is the three-way collaboration with Arovane and Darren McClure which will be released in a few months, the other one is the album with Slavek Kwi aka Artificial Memory Trace, and I’m also working on a collaboration with Tomotsugu Nakamura”, he continues. The mix Hatami has done showcases his ability to create and sustain atmosphere. There are drones, microtones and the sound of heavy wind. Highly recommended for solitary listening.