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Net Feature/ Hans Carstens: "Aeroplane EP"

img  Tobias
You can not dispute it: There is a difference between musicians with a theoretical background and those who work on a completely intuitive level. Hans Carstens has performed in the fields of Jazz, Bossanova and Rock prior to moving on to electronic means of expression, integrating the most diverse experiences gathered over the years into the „Aeroplane EP“. It has resulted in a unique symbiosis, which has its blueprints in experimental composition and nonetheless infuses them with a spirit of completely weightless musical freedom.

The only thing preventing this short effort from sounding like a veritable sensation is the fact that it's so incredibly relaxed. Even when Carstens pitchbends his harmonies through corridors of endless modal variations and the depth of the polyrythmic accompaniment takes on mathematically insoluable density, the pulse rate never exceeds that of a hypnagogic calmness. The metaphors of aeronautics used in the track titles may not be the most refreshing in the genre, but they surely make sense with regards to an album which comes as close to flying as Daedalus, without floating too close to the sun to get burned.

All three originals contained on „Aeroplane EP“ develop along the contours of discreet pads, which only just shimmer through the quiet oscillations and crackles of microtonal beat brushworks. Sometimes, a radiating quasi-melody will rise up like a dilusional phata morgana or like hot air wafting on top of asphalt streets in the relentless sun. But mostly, the emphasis is on texture, with all elements trying hard to cancel each other out and leave the listener in a secluded place of absolute rest. From clicks and cuts, house and ambient, Hans Carstens builds a dreamy electronic derrivative of Jazz, which glides by as effortlessly as a yacht on an endless ocean.

Every piece is reworked by one of the acts from the extensive artist roster of the Tropic Netlabel and each one takes the material into even more mysterious waters. Carlo's treatment of „Airport“ adds more concrete beats, but mixes them way back behind thick cotton-clusterclouds, increasing the surreal feel. The ten-minute D-Soul remix is a massively cavernous vision of music moving in all directions without advancing a single step. Only Dat Sun dares to really push the fast forward button, but even his physical six-minute version of „Flying“ still carries plenty of secrets in its opaque embrace.

The remixes prove that Hans Carstens has created a style of great inspirational value, a music which has just enough obvious potency to draw one in and never too much determinacy to restrict its audience's fantasy. The great thing about his „theoretical“ background is that he never uses it to show off – but to add a musicality to each and every atom of his tracks, humming softly in tactile pictures of threedimensional plasticity.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Hans Carstens
Homepage: Tropic Netlabel

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