It’s been a few years since electro/techno producer Gerard Hanson last surfaced, but Ancient Light makes it clear that despite the passage of time, nothing has changed in his world. Irrespective of trends or hype, the Dallas producer just keeps doing his thing regardless, and Ancient Light is the latest articulation of his position. The release is part of Solar One’s Hubble Telescope Series, kick started by Luxus Varta and which will also feature Gerald Donald.
However, Hanson’s involvement feels almost academic, like a foot note, because it has no material impact on the type of music he makes. This is especially audible on the title track; brittle 808 drums, light but crisp percussion and a ponderous but powerful bass provide the backing for synths that shimmer and shine before exploding into blinding light. It’s one of E.R.P.’s dreamiest electro tracks, which is really saying something.
“Gleaning Creation” presents a more-earthy sound, if such a term can ever be applied to Hanson’s music. With the support of staccato drums, he puts the focus on a purring, growling bass, to such extent that the high-pitched outer space blips and bleeps that also populate the arrangement go over the listener’s head. On “Eagle Nebula” both of these approaches come together to devastating effect; Hanson again deploys a menacing bass and the drums are spiky without sounding too aggressive, while overhead a cacophony of electronic melancholy flits and ebbs, vying for the listener’s attention.
The only track that upsets this outer space interplay is label owner The Exaltics’ remix of the title track. While Hanson’s ghostly synths remain, they are relegated to supporting act status as an urgent ebm-bass and acid-soaked rhythm send the Texan’s ethereal sensibility careering into a peak time theatre. It’s the only real surprise in the latest rare sighting of electro’s most iconic artist.
A1. Ancient Light
A2. Gleaning Creation
B1. Eagle Nebula
B2. Ancient Light (The Exaltics Remix)