Reviewed by Conor Walker, Fri., Sept. 9, 2016
Across four sides of vinyl – double 45rpm 12-inches – Convextion maps the return of Gerard Hanson, one of techno's most fascinating figures. From the opening moments, alien insect disturbances and lake-thick pads of "New Horizon" lay out a suite of mirrored geographies, Earth overlapping with a similar yet minutely divergent celestial body. As four-on-the-floor beats swell, place sieves into time – back to the Nineties, albeit on course toward 2845. Such refractions are multifold throughout. The Dallas dweller's enigmatic control of bending convention into ambient atmospheres distills a telescopic clarity, an ability that transitions particles in and out of focus for absolute equilibrium. In titles alone, "Saline Moon" and "Tidal Friction" speak to the fluidity of the album's visual erosions and panning concentrations. Streams of gas obscure this landscape, which like the swaths of fumes, are smoothed over. Textures bifurcate from color, rivers part from a continental divide, foliage detaches from arid rock beds, and layers of sentiment from the underwater topography sift into focus. 2845 is as much about the malleability of time, as place. Two decades have passed since the release of Hanson's first pair of self-titled 12-inches on Matrix, and despite his relative isolation – Texas remains far removed from techno's Detroit HQ, not to mention its UK and Berlin underpinnings – that idiosyncratic sound influenced his home state's digital communities tremendously. From the electro focus of the Dallas sound, notably Hanson's other primary project, E.R.P., to contemporary Austin producers like Bill Converse and Submersible Machines, his fingerprints are all over the Lone Star State. The maturity of 2845 doesn't collapse the weight of his previous work, rather it elevates torrents of the music's continuous globalized entanglements. It maintains Convextion's idiosyncrasy with mesmeric presence. And unlike newer material from so many doyen producers, it shies away from the vulnerability of maintaining older styles while pandering to a new generation of listeners, producers, and technologies. 2845 is a force majeure. Nothing vacuums the glow from its mass.