Review: Hanchi – The Fabulous Pain

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Thoughtful. It is not easy to describe, but each passage is haunting, looming experimental techno left to its own device – creating with “Scottish Fiancée” – a powerful and haunting experience. There is something intimate about it, but also something that rejects – in other words a paradoxical experience, to say the least. Venturing from the bleakest experiences imaginable in sound, to the more humble and concentrated atmospheres that can be heard throughout. As it slowly builds up and creates a rhythm, you’re invited into a determined soundscape that goes through the frost outside, inviting the cold into your living-space. There’s still, however, that distance between you and what you’re currently consuming, sound-wise. Nothing beats the steady rhythm and a time to dream up picturesque, yet horrific scenes in your own mind. It is a great, ever unfolding, mysterious track. 

Unicorn” is where it gets slightly more aggressive in terms of sound. It feels as if you’re locked away in a dungeon, left with little to no hope. Consumed by feelings of despair, chained and imprisoned. As the weather intensifies and the rain comes pouring down, I must say that Aubry Schaefer’s skills in sound development is becoming slightly more frightening by the minute, especially when listening to this song. It is nowhere near what you would imagine from the title of the song itself. Somewhere near the middle of the song it feels like hope can be found, there’s an escape from all this misery, hopefully it doesn’t end in tragedy – as the sounds intensify, with white noise coming closer and it slowly fading out as the atmosphere is flattened out.

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I don’t know what to make of the title “Christian Kaboom“, but it has a medieval style to it and a harsh electronic sound laid upon a steady rhythm. It is probably the most rhythmical song on this release and it takes oneself into a whole other place and time. The atmosphere keeps getting more and more intense – and I admire the sounds that are creatively strewn across the whole sound-scape. The rhythm itself creates a marching sound which is increasingly becoming louder and louder, more and more steadfast – until a horn sounds off and the atmosphere calmens, as if covered by sand or in deep snow. There are resounding pieces of instruments which makes it, for twenty to thirty seconds, into a serene melody. When it fades, the rhythm is bombastically recanted and heavily fortified with bassier sounds. Like the other tracks, it too fades out into nothingness, albeit it being as if it goes away in one or two seconds, faster.

Missing Black Seagull” is not that interesting of a track even though a lot of the atmosphere is shrouded in mysterious sounds, it doesn’t manage to have the same impact on oneself as the other ones had. This feels more like “more of the same“, unfortunately. Though it had some potential towards the end, it is uninspiring to say the least but it is fittingly the last song of this release so it doesn’t matter as much. All in all it’s a good release with interesting takes on techno. It feels different and Aubry Schaefer is great at modeling the different sounds one hears when listening through the release. The mastering is also on point, as it makes the different elements and sounds noticeable and part of the whole atmosphere.

It was mastered and cut to vinyl by Lewis Hopkins at Stardelta Mastering. The suggestive artwork was created by Marie De Cuir. You can stream the release in its entirety via Bandcamp and you can also buy the vinyl via the Algebra of Need bandcamp.