Beaumont Hannant – Texturology – a review

Beaumont Hannant; strange name that. If I had to guess, based purely on the name, I’d say young Beaumont is the ultimate product of savage generational inbreeding amongst a shrinking pool of anglo-franco aristocracy, sharing not only the blue blood but also the rugged good looks of the horseshoe crab.
That would be all wrong though, and serves as a glaring reminder of why we should never judge a book by its cover, or a man by his name, or indeed anything at all by any set of standards whatsoever.
Beaumont Hannant, as his name in no way suggests, is a really, really good techno producer and I downloaded his 1994 album Texturology yesterday. It’s really, savagely, mightily(?) good. It sounds a lot more like The Higher Intelligence Agency album Freefloater than any other Hannant stuff that I’ve heard, but that’s probably because I don’t have much other Hannant music.
The fact that it’s a 1994 release is not insignificant, because that’s the core of my vice; early 1990’s techno/electronica. I’m totally addicted, the way smackheads love the heroin or the way fish are partial to water, that’s me with my auld techno. I don’t know how much of this is nostalgia, and there’s a human logic that dictates that nostalgia must be a big factor. But I think nostalgia can go and shite, this stuff is great. I’m hearing a lot of it now for the first time because its becoming a lot easier to find specialist music and rare records, and information about the artists and their discography’s, thanks to sites like discogs.com and the power of the omnipotent Google.
There was a great innocence an almost total lack of cynicism in the techno of the 1990s, which can translate as a cheesiness to jaded ears, but really that’s the sound of soul music, music made without an ear to the audience, music as expression without self-consciousness or self-censorship. That soul music, combined with wild innovation and the powerful optimism that can only come out of tough places in dark days, such as 80’s recession-era Detroit and Sheffield, made something unique and enduring.
Electronic soul music is still being produced, but its hard to find. There’s a  lot of housey stuff coming from Detroit that uses the word soul a lot, but is gone too far out to the self-aware cheesy route for my liking. Its close relative Detroit techno is good stuff for the most part, but a bit too minimalist and constrained to really get me excited, you need innovation and a drive to leave style constraints behind to make exciting music. The Black Dog, Bola, Biosphere and The Boards of Canada are all good examples of the “soul + innovation = deadly” equation, and there’s a lot more out there. I’ll put more effort into listening to new music when I have every single important techno record from 1991-1995 thoroughly played to death.
Back to Texturology; it has lots of spacey strings and broken beats, lovely acid synths and interesting rhythms with haunting lead melodies. But most of all it’s about textures, melodies and  effects layered over each other to create intricate soundscapes to draw in and mesmerise. I can easily imagine listening to this album for years and still hearing something new every time. There’s not much here for dancing to, but you could drive to hell and back, or possibly Cork, with this on repeat and love every minute of the journey.

Beaumont Hannant – Texturology – 9/10

This entry was posted in neonblog. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. a sometime raver says...

    Sculptered by Beaumont Hannant is the album I’m pleased I’m listening to just now after a lucky dip locate in my CD collection; He’s s brilliant musician who can paint with sound! People may also like Autechre’s Basscad ep from their earlier funnier period. More recently Mathew Jonson’s
    Agents of time album is worth checking.
    Nice one for the writing! (Music is my Life…)

    September 22, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>