Label: Desert Trax
Released: 8th June
This is one of the first times I've come across New York based Icelandic cinematic sonic bass producer and violinist HÄANA and on by the strength of this release I'm glad I have had the opportunity to experience more. She's graced the stage with the Rolling Stones, Kanye West and Moby as well as appearing on releases with Irma Thomas, Beats Antique and An-Ten-Nae and performances at various music & yoga festivals around the world (Lightning in a Bottle, Envision, Wanderlust and more). Drawing inspiration from Massive Attack, Phaeleh, Trentemøller, & Ólafur Arnalds in her own productions.
This release begins with the original version soft synths and piano instantly bring the Massive Attack influence to mind and the ethereal voices and strings that follow only strengthens that feeling. I have to say I really love this piece of classical electronica.
First up on the re-mix duties is acid crunk pioneer An-Ten-Nae who drops the bass like a concrete slab but then lets the ethereal vocals do the work while the music winds like an old fashioned watch before the bass rejoins and the piece is allowed to flow with some excellent emphasis on the violin. It's a really cleverly constructed re-mix and the only fault I can find is like the original it's rather short.
Next up is Kaminanda, who utilises the ethereal voice and piano to the max with lots of little well placed glitches, bubbles before the violin takes precedent he's applied his psy-dub techniques to perfection with his take and is the first to push the piece over the 7 minute mark.
Haj I Ji who is a new name to me opts for the shorter length again and growls a slow paced deep bass and military like drum underneath the piano and strings like a dark brooding underworld looking up at heaven.
Twin Shape who is another unfamiliar name to me finish the release with an atmospheric intro, psychedelic synths and chugging bassline before the ethereal vocals lift it into an almost progressive style with the brakes on. As with all the previous takes it has it own appeal and does the original justice.
It seems to me that HÄANA has stepped out of the shadows to bask in the sunlight and I wish her all the best. Going by this release she has it all going for her … musical and vocal talent, a good ear for music with the ability to transpose it into her own productions and if that wasn't enough on top of that she appears to be photogenically easy on the eye.
Review by Woodzee.