Pulsating, fleshy rhythms that translate the catastrophic events of everyday life into sonic reverberations are just one of the trademarks of Sutekh, whose searing minimal techno experiments helped shape the Bay Area scene of the late 90's. Drawing listener's attention to the liminal space between the notes played, Seth Horvitz's tracks build densely interlocking patterns, where subtle manipulations create space for a deeper resonance.
The first rave to leave an impression on young Horvitz was a run-down Oakland brothel turned after-hours venue adorned with hanging slabs of raw meat—an introduction to what he calls the “what the fuck’s going on” kind of rave. Merging punk and industrial roots from high school with early Detroit techno and UK acid house, he began creating his own version of that feeling, becoming one of the first DJs at UC Berkeley’s radio station, teaching himself to mix on-air while pursuing a degree in cognitive science by day. The degree connected to his desire to tap into the hallucinatory elements of sound, and Horvitz went on to explore temporal arrangements in academic and club settings. Eight Studies for the Automatic Piano was both a master's thesis and an album, and his recent collaborations with Charlemagne Palestine (whose two-handed ‘strumming’ performances would result in the performer bleeding all over the piano during hours-long performances) further drew out Horvitz's interest in the liminal space between notes. The same ideas are put to searing functional use under the genderfluid Rrose alias, whose electrified club excursions use overlapping tones as the means to summon ominous, writhing sounds that rhythmically rise and fall across his wide-screen vision of techno.
After Friday night’s big-room venture as half of Lotus Eater, Horvitz visits the outdoor stage in his Sutekh DJ guise—to deliver a set that provides an opportunity to revisit the forgotten classics of the early MUTEK era, fused together by a hypnotic aesthetic vision that's sure to animate the flesh.
context, Force Inc, Mille Plateaux, Orthlorng Musork
On Bach (2010)
Horvitz's return to dance music after several years away was partially due to a provocation by experimental musician Bob Ostertag that the genre lacks humanity