I recently read an interview where a cult noise/drone/electronic artist was spouting a lot of high and mighty ideals about how they're bringing a human, ritualistic physicality to their art. Upon subsequently listening to the release, I found myself trying to intellectualise it and add gravitas, when the honest reflection was that, aside from making a few 'cool' noises, it was somewhat forced and a bit boring; not even jarring. Without any of this theoretical fanfare, Hanetration succeeds where it fails, and basically pisses all over it from a great height without having to reside in a fantasy world where it's always 1981.
Though many have labelled this music as 'odd' and 'experimental', there is always a performative core, a sense that things are 'happening' at the artist's hand rather than crude collage or cold sequencing. This enigma of anagrams (Anita Thorne? Ian Atherton? Antoine Hart?) released the 'Tenth Oar' EP at the start of the year; a captivating snapshot of a creative mind where analogue and digital coalesce to a unified, organic entity.
'Torn Heat' has the same visual scheme: seemingly incidental cover art of zoomed-in pixels of various shades of grey, an undefinable fragment of some greater monochrome whole. 'Jurassic' acts as the opening titles, imposing swells of croaky synth spawning a fractious beat that seems to fart out of a speaker being pushed beyond its capabilities; the most disturbing science documentary ever. The backwards rhythms of 'Splinter' evoke objects being sucked into a vortex then thrown back out again. It's initially disorienting, and just when it all starts to make sense, as you catch up with the pattern, it starts to disintegrate and is pulled toward chaos once again. Behind all this clatter, the synths wheeze like an old church organ fooling around while the congregation sleeps.
The other two tracks are more sedate and drone-led . 'Sixth' is an interaction between layers of keys, their intersections constantly shifting the mood between inquisitive, unsettled, and melancholy, accidentally picking out the theme to 'Midnight Cowboy' on the way. 'Flicker' subtly introduces and removes drones of both harsh and soothing texture over an oscillation which acts as a holophonic hoover trundling over the top of your head. This is noise in playful mode, a field of wild animals you'd be comfortable falling asleep in.
The path ahead for Hanetration could lead just about anywhere, but the two releases to date have firmly established the artist in their own sonic world world that, for all its strangeness, is always welcoming. Both are available as free downloads.
Posted: Mon 22 October 2012