Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anders Hana - Dead Clubbing (review)

I’m on a train a foggy winter afternoon, beats rocking me away into an unfamiliar yet known landscape. The steady beat accompanied by bass-noisy distorted guitar rhythms feeds to the familiarity of the sounds. Suddenly strange background screeching brakes hits, but without any effect on the speed, like the change of mood when entering a tunnel, but still continues when coming out of it, swirling through the narrow valley of winterly mountainous landscape. The feelings created by the first tracks on Dead Clubbing matches perfectly the dual sides of the experience of listening to the music, combined with the train ride I am on writing this. Almost like they were made for each other.

Anders Hana has made some hard impressions on the Norwegian scene of avant-rock, by his involvement with the heavy sides of Noxagt, or the free-rock combo Mo-Ha! and others. With his uncompromising attitude to his guitar, he makes for a challenging listen for the faint-hearted, or a welcoming experience for the open-minded in the mood for a path of what? This would be very much the same with this one-sided vinyl LP, although here he does all the instruments himself on this album. The six tracks are all on the one side, and a screen print directly on side 2 of the record. I can’t say anything at all about the appearance, as my cd-promo with accompanying words give no credit to it, but it seems like a nice gem for us vinyl enthusiasts anyway. The beats continue to rock’n’roll me into a rhythm that possibly could make me want to dance, but as it is here and now; music perfect for travelling or driving, or sitting in a cart behind an old diesel engine on rails, looking out the window at the wintery snow-filled murky forest of pines, expecting trolls to appear any minute. Soundscapes filled with mysteries, moving left and right in my ears, back and forth of my head, but still with that hectic rhythmic beat.

The music is sparsely, almost minimal with little focus on the melodies. Experimenting with a few layers of sounds and distorted or string-like soundscapes seems more important, held all together by repetitive heavy rhythms by drums. It still makes for creating interesting catchy tunes and moods, all in a strange way somewhere between rock’n’roll and dreamy hypnotic meditative eastern feelings. Rooted in a combination of ancient prog of early King Crimson and some of the sounds and feelings of Grinderman, it is strikingly structured and free at the same time. All that said, it has something of its own, first of all it is also a very heavy album. Heavy on the drums, riff-based tracks, all instrumental. It’s a slightly uneven album, the first three tracks definitely being the strongest and fit right in my mind immediately. The three last seem less heavy on the beats, probably needing more time to get them under my skin, although the ending of the last track makes my head spin perfectly. All of them, however, still adds to the impression of a well-made album that will continue to run on my stereo. Only downside: it ends all too quickly, so repeat again!

This review is also available in Freq Music Magazine