Hanetration – Acid Reflux EP (2015)


I’ve covered a couple of Hanetration’s EPs before and I’ve been a decent advocate of his carefully crafted, if somewhat dark, IDM and experimental Electroacoustic productions, so I was pretty interested in seeing what would come out of his latest effort Acid Reflux; sadly, with a stronger focus on more diffuse and structureless creations and dronescapes, this latest release seems to lack a lot of the stopping power and compelling dynamism of some of his other works.

The descent into the unsupported void begins with the bleak opening tracts of “Aswn” as it stretches out on flat and morose expanses of heartless and almost expressionless drones, clear and crisp in their presentation but utterly deadened and plain in their unfurling. Some of his little crooning synth lines, crossovers from some of his more idiosyncratic early works, do make a tiny appearance here to show that there’s still some sense of the original artist within beneath the irrepressible melancholia. It manages to sound moody despite being somewhat insubstantial, and its twinkly miscellaneous electronica nearer the end feels a little like the vague lights of a city lost in the fog. It ends somewhat abruptly and without the segue one would expect into “Lzuep”, a brief 90 second excursion into an oscillating mass of shimmery, blurry synth currents, some beached woodwind drone providing the backdrop as the electronic movements rise and fall in tempo, trying fruitlessly to escape.

“Phretasmeo” is perhaps the most ethereal and haunting production of the EP, but consisting of nothing more than a melting pot of morose dronings and mysterious, haunting electronic scrapings, turning fitfully in the dark as though trying to chase down some peculiar noise to appease our subconscious, although the question seems to remain unresolved as it fades to black whilst still revolving on worried and vaguely unsettling synths. After a brief and almost unnecessary interlude, perhaps the only vaguely upbeat and optimistic affair of the record “Tthwiel” makes its appearance shortly before the end; it’s got a sort of homely and familial feel to it in its distant café clankings and warped, crooning, processed harmonica rising out of its heart, yet the entire production feels janky and off-kilter, somewhat nostalgic but with a kind of dystopian filter to it, and as it’s the longest piece we’re forced to wallow in its decrepit and pained yearnings for seemingly an eternity.

The final track “Rtifd” rounds out this little 22 minute endeavour by stuttering briefly into life on collapsing and fragmented nothings, neuronal links decaying rapidly into the darkness before being consumed by the obliterating black hole of some deep, impenetrable drone line, this meandering foray into faded memory banks a fruitless exercise coming to rest in a full stop of weighty bass. It caps off what is largely an interesting experiment for Hanetration but one that really fails to materialise as a strong and meaningful body of work; an exploration into structureless music it may be but he sounded far more convincing and much less contrived on some of his earlier efforts.

You can listen to it yourself for free at his Bandcamp here.