Hast | Hast
Hast is a project of French artist/designers Sébastien Hayez and Thierry Arnal. This half hour single track, with a running length of a half hour opens as an icy cold drone that begins burring away at itself. With the effect of a giant wind tunnel and a meandering pitch that ducks and rises they clear the air, filling the space with an expansive moving force field.
In a slow dive into the unknown the two slightly manipulate steely effects that make this somehow related to rail transport (ie. a crazy train, nonetheless), with the sort of random squeak you may hear when steel hits the groove (metal on metal). But it is all caught in this elusive and hypnotic noise/drone that whirls away at capacity. And the process of getting to the result is note-worthy: “In 2002, Hayez start experimenting with his abstract digital art converting graphics into graphic scores. The result was raw files of pure frequencies, cutted and pasted, like a collage, into a video software, producing 20 minutes and 7 tracks. In 2018, Arnal found that these tracks were a raw material for composing a new project.”
COSMIC FLARE: Of course as a visual artist myself, I am a bit bias towards work that blends audio/visual sensibilities and can do it without being too heavy-handed, with a voice unto itself. And this blends just enough abstract minimalism with the bloat of improvised industrial mechanics that it plays on the yin/yang of conceptual vs. narrative/tangible. It mesmerizing at times, practically one of those sleep-inducing passages, yet it has this raw, gutsy side to it that disallows an immediate sense of trust. Something lurks out there, even if the fear has yet to set in.
As the work levitates and pulses away I’m reminded of a very unexpected performance by Francisco López back in Barcelona circa 2003. It was one of those shows where you are asked to don a blindfold in a darkened gallery while lying on an ottoman, limited to only 75 guests as I remember – and it started in silence, built to an unnerving crescendo, and then faded away, leaving the audience on pins and needles. This has a similar effect, and while it is a regularly used trope in the field of drone/noise some attempts are awkward, and/or try and get to the “point” too quickly, losing the ear in the process. This takes its sweet time, and has just the right balance of tonal shading, fore/background distortion and so much restraint. This has a distinct glow at various intervals, like neon burning out. I hand it to these guys for offering a electrifying experience to deep listeners everywhere.