Hantrax is the alias of Antwerp based composer, performer, and pianist Han Swolfs (1984). Renowned for his live electronic performances and imaginative piano stage productions, his shows are kinetic, atmospheric, hypnotic, and cinematic. A multi-faceted musician who is both enigmatic and kind, Hantrax traverses music categories with whimsical ease from classical to jazz to edgy electronic music.
As a composer, his music in spirit is experimental, taking seemly incompatible influences and mixing them into his self-invented musical language. He breaks the rules of genres, cross-pollinating styles at will into his oeuvre of dark ‘undanceable’ dance music. His ingeniously crafted compositions reimagine standard forms. Old and new technology is an integral part of his process, exploring the possibilities of analogue and digital systems, music machines and recording systems. Dubbed the illustrious prince of the Antwerp underground, Hantrax creates transformative music championed by connoisseurs and barbarians alike.
His collection, which includes his piano compositions and his edgy electronic tracks, is available on Palermo Records, Ekster label, Roulete Records, Jack playmobile, and Jheri tracks. In October 2019, Hantrax will release his new double LP ‘Paroxysm’ with Palermo records. Off stage, Hantrax can be found hosting a modernist music program called Klankmeanders with his father, Hendrik Van Geel, on Radio Central and can be heard on his radio show titled Headroom on the Word Radio, that exposes cool innovative music of all categories.
Working at the intersection of the arts, Hantrax has been involved in numerous creative collaborations and productions. Highlights include work with visual artists Anne-mie van Kerckhoven and Pieterjan Ginckels and choreographer Chantal Yzermans as well as performances for the theater company Abattoir Fermé and for the classical orchestra of Michiel De Malsche as a soloist.
Music for Hantrax is a solace, a way to engage with deep emotions, a way to comprehend the noise and chaos around him. Hantrax realized from a young age that he wanted to pursue a life of music above all else. He began his music journey, studying the cello at the age of 9, and then quickly gravitated towards the piano, beginning formal studies at the age of 12. He followed intensive classical piano training with Dorothea Haers and jazz piano with Christoph Erbstosser. Along with private instruction, he attended the prestigious Antwerp Jazz Studio. In parallel, during his volatile adolescent years, he was captivated by electronic synths, hip-hop, anarcho punk, new wave, fine-tuning his own style, figuring out how to command the stage, performing in bars, concert halls, and festivals. Light years since, he continues to build a music sphere of relentless experimentation that constantly defies boundaries and pushes the parameters of sound and performance.