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Kristof Hahn

Six Pieces

Label: Room40

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

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* Matte laminate and embossed sleeve, printed in monochrome with a full colour artist edition fold out poster featuring the photographic work of Joel Westendorf * ctive action has incorporated itself into an imagining of how we might reshape our understanding of community.”  Kristof Hahn is perhaps best know for his role in Swans, where his work on lapsteel guitar has provided a critical and unsteady sense of tonal variation and glissandi. On Six Pieces, Hahn draws upon the legacy of his time touring with Swans, using archival loops and singular elements created in the moment as a jumping off point for a series of deep and evolving investigations into his instrument. The results are spiralling cascades of shimmering guitar cut against thick brooding washes of timbral intensity. Six Pieces is a work is restless intent, a collection of instrumental interrogations that test for the boundaries of harmony, texture and emergent variation 

From Lawrence English In 2012, I had the good fortune to be in Sydney when Swans toured on the back of their most recent master work The Seer. The show was, as one would expect, an all out consumption of body and ears. Before Swans took the stage however, Kristof Hahn performed a solo set. It was in many respects a stark contrast to what would come from Swans, but it also laid bare the role Kristof plays in the group. As Kristof moved through the phases of his performance, he staked out a territory of tonal and timbral activi- ty that was deeply revealing, not just of the very personal language he had developed for his instrument of choice, but moreover for how he created unexpected pairings between harmony, texture and even melody. Six Pieces, a record that is essentially born from the ashes of the final Swans reformation line-up tour, uses various found elements, stored loops, thematic notes and other acoustic debris as a means for launching off a series of interrogation into solo guitar composition. The pieces bare the marks of touring life, sometimes intensely claustrophobic, other moments languid and at times euphoric, each pieces creates a vista of sound that describes a kind of fluid landscape without relying on the perceptual landmarks we might fall back on. Hahn’s music is one of repetition and unfolding variation, it is unsettled, but never rushed or careless. He knows that music is an art form of time and is not afraid to allow his compositions to build, evolve and finally arrive with a casual sense of hushed determination. 

Christoph (Kristof) Hahn (born 6 February 1959) is a German guitarist, composer and translator. Hahn is best known for his lap-steel guitar playing in the New York experimental rock band Swans. He joined the band in 1989 for the Burning World tour and played on the subsequent album “White Light from the Mouth of Infinity” (1990). He left the band in 1992, joined Swans’ bandleader Michael Gira’s follow-up project Angels of Light in 1998 and became a constant member of the SWANS relaunch from 2010 until 2017. His approach to the lap-steel guitar is less rooted in traditions but more drone- oriented, creating vast soundscapes that at times erupt into sonic thunderstorms and at other times resolve into ethereal melodies.

Details
Cat. number: RM4120
Year: 2021

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