Forward thinking electronic producer Hanz returns with a work that expands his sonic boundaries, but without diving too deep into the core of his compositions.
19 Jan 2018
Crazed electronic producer Hanz has already displayed his frantic mix of elements from his early days and the self-released FireThief, up until his excellent Tri-Angle debut, Reducer. Forming a distinct collage from a wide range of influences, including the vintage hip-hop bounce, the industrial weight and even the aesthetics of post-punk, Hanz's works possesses an avant-garde perspective. Erratic rhythms and edits, coupled with very adventurous progressions became trademark characteristics of his production approach, and these are all more prominently featured in his new work, Plasty I.
Plasty I is the release where Hanz just lets loose, and it ends being one of his most creative offerings (that alone should tell you something). Frantic Spanish guitar samples are mutilated and reformed in "Advice Ad", constructing a very hazy and messy introduction to this work. Hanz's approach is similar when it comes to vocal samples, with the title track featuring some disfigured parts, used both as rhythmic interpretations and as background effects, for example, the ghosting delay used in "King Speed".
The structures still owe a lot towards hip-hop aesthetics, in the heavier low end of the record, and the more playful attitude when it comes to progression. That combines nicely with the post-techno arrangements, which constantly morph through the work, building an impressive array of elements. The constantly moving mind of Hanz does not allow for parts to stagnate. The irregular movement and the eccentric editing cause the record to move into a strange territory, where ideas disappear as quickly as they are presented.
The interesting twist with Plasty I is that despite its short duration, it still finds Hanz exploring different settings and arrangements. From the sample-driven introduction, the producer moves into a surprising cinematic realm. Where bombastic tempos and heavy rhythms appear to dominate the scenery, Hanz performs an impressive turn with the noir styled "King Speed", a track that could easily work as part of an alternate Blade Runner 2049 score. This exploratory, laid-back sense is further investigated with the alien-like "Your Local Shapeshifter". The track takes a few different twists and turns, appearing like a mesmerizing, extra-terrestrial message. At times familiar, the track becomes more and more elusive, taking a darker and more sinister presence through its labyrinthine structure.
The components of Plasty I work when considering that this is the record where Hanz is attempting to push the boundaries of his sound and style. In that manner, it is an uncompromising record, filled with a sense of investigation and exploration. At the same time, however, it is a record that does not stand still. Ideas are visited and are not allowed to evolve, something that provides an additional edge to this work. In that respect, while it is an interesting ride, it is not fulfilling. While Hanz's techniques are extravagant and different, they do not seem to be going somewhere, making Plasty I essentially a record that is structured around grace notes.