Label: Palermo Records
Format: Vinyl, Double LP
A1. Midnight Encounter
A2. Second Thoughts (Feat. Martha Maieu)
A3. Exterior Night (Feat. Katrin Lohmann)
B1. Cult’s Reality Check (Feat. Cult Jones)
B2. Whoop Whoop (that funny feeling)
B3. One Eighty
B4. The Showdown
C3. One Time
C4. Pik Pok Tom
D1. Han Komt Zo
D2. Bikkie’s Dream
D3. Eye Contact (Feat. Sven Rayen)
Antwerp’s most unpredictable underground Composer and Performer Hantrax announces the release of his Double LP 'Paroxysm'.
Winding from new wave to rave with splashes of metal, Paroxysm is a fictive soundtrack of an imaginary cab ride taken on an odd night out.
Each side of the album portrays its own mood, its own ‘paroxysm’ of thoughts as the night darkens.
Following on his last 12 inch ‘Ticker Tape Parade’(2015), and his classical piano album Gazebo Compositions (2017 / Ekster label), Paroxysm is Hantrax’s most cohesively experimental album to date.
Between Midnight and Aurora
Fascinated by film soundtracks, Hantrax creates his own narrative inspired by the 1980’s movie Exterieur, Nuit directed by Jacques Bral. The movie takes place one night, when a jazz musician and his writer friend encounter a beautiful taxi driver who takes them on a whirlwind ride of love, mayhem, and heartbreak.
Paroxysm, set between midnight and aurora, follows the protagonist getting into a taxi to go to a club but as the night progresses ends up somewhere else, never quite satisfied but somehow it all turns out okay as dawn breaks. Hantrax employs cinematic techniques to create an Escher-like Labyrinth of melodic synths, screeching fake guitars, thought bubbles, a duet with a parrot, a broken lamp, and the roars of cheering crowds.
The album starts off with the desolate slow moving “Midnight Encounter” and continues with the poppy dark duet “Second Thoughts” with its driving bass line featuring Martha Maieu of Blackie & the Oohoos on vocals.
In “Cult's Reality Check”, Hantrax replicates the muffled sound of music heard outside a club while loitering in a parking lot. Inside, guest vocalist Cult Jones dives deeper into fantasy land. The intermittent gong of the tam tam is ominous; the drip drip of a leaky faucet is disturbing.
The eerie title track “Paroxysm” is stripped of beats or drums. A nervous DX-7 synth fluctuates over recognizable rave sounds to construct a crescendo of one frequency to another.
The cab ride ends at “Aurora”, a Slayer inspired electronic metal synth single punctuated with punk rhythms. Hantrax’s layering of computerized guitar riffs and drums mimics a metal band playing in an empty warehouse is effective.
Two singles will be simultaneously released. ‘Han Komt Zo” interlaces a collage of crowd noises in a melancholic melody. Yet the crowd is roaring into an empty void. It captures the anxiousness of agoraphobia. The track gives a nod to the Dutch West Coast Sound and the Belgian 90’s Club X sound.
“One Eighty” from the first LP is an unhurried dark track that stars a heavy Linn Drum; its video created by photographer Aleksei Kazantsev is a shot on location in an abandoned garage box at night.