Hana: Hana
Granny Records

Hana's self-titled debut album arrives saddled with a (literally) cheeky front cover one would more associate with a ‘70s band like Wild Cherry than a Greece-based techno outfit formed in Thessaloniki last summer. Recorded in fall 2010 at Facta non Verba, the five-cut release finds Good Luck Mr Gorsky members Thanasis Papadopoulos and Thanos Bantis hunkered down in their chemical lab concocting formulae to go along with their material's stripped-down techno beats. Using analogue synths, samplers, and sequencers, the duo brings a decidely experimental edge to their productions, sprinkling as they do liberal doses of burble and flutter over bass-heavy techno rhythms.

The opening track, “Sm,” sets the scene with a heavy low-end pulse thudding alongside a steady kick drum and joined by acidy synths and percussive effects that suggest a lighter being repeatedly flicked open. On a slightly more aggressive tip, the B-side's “Cr80” adds truncated vocal yelps to its bleepy, elephantine throb. A dubby dimension emerges in the track, too, when echoing waves drift repeatedly across the huge bass that slithers across the track's underbelly. The album's most elaborate track comes last. “Liv” opens beatlessly with flickering shudders and what could pass for the amplified workings of an ant community but then progressively fills in the dots with an insistent beat pattern, voice fragments, and even the demented meander of accordion playing. Though Hana hardly rewrites the techno guidebook on the release, it's nevertheless a pleasurable listen, in part due to the multi-dimensional experience provided by the vinyl format and the always superb mastering work done by Rashad Becker at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering.

May 2011