I was interviewed by Jæger recently, speaking about early influences and the making of “Primær” and “Elementær”.
Espen T. Hangård’s greying beard; the indented lines that cross his forehead; and his voice, spoken with the measured gravitas that only life-experience can bring, suggests he might be a veteran of his craft, but he’s not. Even though he’s been working in music for the best part of his life, he only made his debut as an electronic music artist in 2018. Releasing two LP’s in quick succession in Primær and Elementær, accompanied by a string of live performances around Norway, Espen went from relative obscurity to the darling of the DIY electronic music scene over the course of the last year. His razor-sharp productions, which lie somewhere between the electronic pop formations of Kraftwerk and the Braindance excursions of Aphex Twin, was an instant hit across the Electro community.
Read the full interview over at jaeger.no!
Dark Science Electro is a daily blog run by DJ, producer and electro enthusiast DVS NME out of Colorado. For the last six months he has done a “Premiere” series on Soundcloud, presenting new and upcoming electro tracks. So far 55 tracks have been featured, and I am very happy to see “Turbo” added to the list!
Primær has been named Album of the Week twice this last week! Way cool record store The Garden has the album prominently featured on the wall, see image above.
In the aptly titled “Primær” Espen Hangård makes his debut in electronic music, turning his resources from the world of Metal to the alien distant planet of electronica for a punchy and slinky Electro album. Trading in his guitar and microphone for synthesisers and drum machines, after a lifetime of colluding with the dark forces in doom and trash metal bands of nefarious sorts, he makes his debut as a producer with a brooding and mesmerising take on the DIY electronic music genres.
Although Espen T. Hangård is possibly best known for his work as the lead singer and vocalist for NoPlaceToHide, he has been known to dable with the dark arts of electronic music, like that of his atmospheric doom metal side- project like Altaar.
“Primær” is an entire world away from any of Hangård’s previous musical works however, as a beat-orientated Electro LP,that yields some interesting curiosities, undoubtedly informed by his own musical history and experiences. The extended repetitive loop of “Es ist” takes the listener on an evocative journey through a breakfast TV aerobics workout after the short opener “16” Jupiter” to stake its claim in a late eighties musical palette.
Incisive percussive rhythms deliver bruising body blows as they pummel their way through the centre of track with a 303 bass line warbling away in the foreground with dynamic flair. This opening track deceives however, because beyond “Es Ist” we find more fuller arrangements than the stark opener.
Brooding synthesisers romanticising about melodic synth wave hooks, prance above ferocious gnarling bass-lines and skipping break-beats. Somewhere between DMX Krew and Depeche Mode, Espen T Hangård’s music lives. Each track makes its own particular statement and besides “Es Ist” they only stay long enough to make their mark and then hand it over to the next. The soundscapes are lifted straight off the eighties program patch these synthesisers arrived with, while the beats run through systematic patterns like an old binary computer. It’s in the way Hangård combines them in which they find that ineffable charm.
“Turbo” and “Left Hand Pad” are some of the more memorable moments on the record and are very much composed like songs with melodies that require something a little more than one note. Arranged through distinct phases, Hangård applies some craft to the electronic domain on “Primær” and the result is an album that lasts beyond a functional design or the instant moment. These and the small imperfections Hangård allows to linger on from the recording process, gives “Primær” a particular hand-crafted sound that does away with any posturing. It’s laid bare for the listener to take from it what s/he will.
Primær doesn’t break any new ground nor does it try to assimilate genres in tactless promiscuous ways in order to consolidate the artists other musical projects. It’s just a good solid electro album from somebody that has been a long time fan of electronic music.
Tiger, a favourite record store here in Oslo, named Primær album of the week. Thank you Tiger!
“Espen T. Hangård har tidligere gitt oss blant annet episk dronemetall med ALTAAR, forvrengt death gjennom Diskord og episk hvakandukalledet med KILLL – blant masse annet – men den musikalske stien er mer krokete og mangslungen enn som så.
Mye mer, faktisk. På plata «Primær» disker Espen opp med et elektronisk lydbilde, med arsenal av synther og trommemaskiner i sentrum. Musikken seiler stø kurs framover mens den samtidig klarer å åpne dører til bittesmå nye universer rundt hver loop. Må høres og danses til!”
Check it out at tigernet.no!
The Primær LP is released in just two weeks! To help celebrate the the occasion I’ve recruited the solid crew of Spykidelic (Tony F. Wilson), Are Mokkelbost and RØH (Carsten Aniksdal) for two nights of music. You’re welcome to experience three fresh live sets and a brilliant DJ, hope to see you there!
In anticipation of the upcoming Primær LP, here is the music video for Left Hand Pad!
Directed and filmed by Ingrid Lønningdal.
Edited by Carsten Aniksdal.
Vinyl and digital release available for pre-order now on https://hangard.bandcamp.com/
My debut solo LP “Primær” is out on Galleberg Forlag on October 19th and will be available on vinyl, digital streaming and downloads. More details + news of launch gigs to come shortly.
Label: Galleberg Forlag
Distribution: Diger Distro
Formats: 12" vinyl LP, streaming and download
Launch date: October 19th 2018
On his debut LP “Primær”, Oslo based producer Espen T. Hangård presents nine tracks of dynamic electronica in the landscape between electro and braindance. The record is mainly recorded live in the studio on a selection of synchronized electronic instruments. A large archive of material recorded between 2009 and 2012 forms the basis of the release, and the tracks have been selected, completed and mixed in 2018. The music spans from the angular and insistent to the airy and abstract, taking inspiration from stringent electro/EBM as well as synth pop and the more playful releases on the Rephlex label.