I was excited to receive the tracks for Hannya White’s debut tape, soon to be released by Staaltape in Berlin. Hannya the artist has intrigued me since I discovered her work on Radio-ON Berlin in 2019, and I have been keen to follow her progress since.
If you listen closely there are often field recordings layered into the substance of these tracks. The background (or indeed foreground) layer of noise often associated with living in a city like London is laid bare. Barely susceptible whispering, bird song… this is a very personal sound collage with common themes of love, destruction and daily occurrence. Emotions are often placed front and centre, such as in the track “No Preview”.
Percussion and rhythm are an important feature of the 8 songs / situations presented here, weaved together across a neatly defined sound palette. There is deep bass (or is it extremely pitched down vocals?), neon lasers, arpeggio synths, strings and manipulated noises. A blend of raw acoustic instrumentation (reminiscent of free jazz in places, drums and guitar), chopped and blended with queasy electronic processing. Whilst that sounds like a lot, it is all presented in a very minimalist sense in just 29 minutes. Elements are placed uneasily side by side as if sound-tracking a day in the life of a character from Twin Peaks. And that is damn fine by my ears.
For a debut release, this is a well defined creative art piece where the worlds of sound and vision merge. If you are listening to the tape or the digital copy then I also urge you to seek out the accompanying videos online that take this work to a whole new level. Thank you for the chaos, the whistling, the humming and telling your dog to wait.
Get the tape at the staaltape shop