c o n v e x t i o n

Gerard Hanson was born in 1972. He hails from of Dallas, Texas USA. Little is known about this producer who seems to have Scandinavian roots. His productions have reflections with Basic Channel/Chain Reaction sound. His main inspirations are Juan Atkins and Derrick May. His music also has influences from Stefan Robbers, Red Planet and Carl Craig. He found a way where everything came together: Deepness, Minimalism and Soul, the Detroit-Berlin connection. In 1994 Gerard Hanson and Dan Kurzius started ‘Hardsync’, a Magazine dedicated to electronic music reviews and artist interviews. It has been defunct since 1996 as a result of a computer crash. Hard Sync was an outlet for several Texas-based electronic music enthusiasts to reach out to others around the world that shared similar musical interests. He released his first 12″ on Matrix in 1995. From 1995-1997, he released five ep’s, and then only two more in the next six years until 2005. After that some other labels approached him but just wanted more of the same and didn’t really seem to understand his sound. After that he stopped releasing music and produced only for his personal usage. After a couple of years the label Down Low convinced him to pick up his producing again. He is very careful about sharing his music with the rest of the world. In the last decade he only used the aliases Convextion and E.R.P. (Event Related Potential). E.R.P is an electro-edged moniker. Gerard has remained willingly anonymous since his debut in 1995, but he came out of obscurity for a debut European Live performance in London in April 2006.

vantage isle [reshaped by convextion, cv313 + echospace]


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Deepchord have emerged from the shadows of their Motor City lair in a big way this year, unleashing their dubby techno constructs upon the public at a feverish pace. Previously appearing earlier this year on a hyper-limited triple-pack, their landmark ‘Vantage Isle’ album has been re-released on CD in an expanded fashion.

Awash in effervescent

Deepchord have emerged from the shadows of their Motor City lair in a big way this year, unleashing their dubby techno constructs upon the public at a feverish pace. Previously appearing earlier this year on a hyper-limited triple-pack, their landmark ‘Vantage Isle’ album has been re-released on CD in an expanded fashion.

Awash in effervescent sheets of reverb and echo that evoke images of Detroit’s decaying urban landscapes as they dissolve into the ether, there’s a certain physicality to the album’s sonic vistas that is lacking from the output of other producers mining similar territory. Where contemporaries such as Deadbeat and Mikkel Metal gloss over the dub with a digital sheen, DeepChord wring their sounds from tangles of live wires and sputtering banks of effects, molding and shaping them by hand until they coalesce into living organisms. It’s a sonic space with one foot in the past and the other firmly planted in the not-so-distant future.

Often resembling a cross between Berlin’s Basic Channel collective and Detroit’s techno lineage, ‘Vantage Isle’ is less an album of individual tracks than a compilation of remixes. Working from a limited sonic palette rooted in the signature warmth of the analog technologies of yore, the collection plays out in true dub fashion as each of the artists involved offers their own versions of the same rudimentary riddim. The effect is similar in fashion to Rhythm & Sound’s classic ‘See Mi Yah’ series, with the basic template examined and reexamined from different angles.

Despite being cut from the same aural cloth, each of the tracks occupies its own niche, with the artist’s stamp firmly imprinted on the final product. The three DeepChord mixes feature lumbering rhythms underpinned by devastatingly deep bass pulses set adrift amid a sea of tumbling chords and skittering delay. Echospace – the collaborative project between Soultek and DeepChord’s own Rod Modell – is well represented with five reshapes showcasing their signature style, which is simultaneously both more ambient and more techno-oriented than anything DeepChord has committed to tape. Labelmate CV313 also impresses, turning in a complimentary pair of tracks that demonstrate the mysterious producer’s aptitude for producing storming waves of driving beats over a milky smooth ambience.

But it’s the contribution from Convextion that really stands out. Paring the beat down to a pulsing mass of kick drums and ruptured bursts of static, the Texas-based producer weaves writhing clusters of chords into the mix as yawning pads bathe everything in a warm, static-fried glow. It’s creepy stuff, but it’s also the visionary highlight of an album that stands tall not just among the glut of contemporary dub techno releases, but among the classics of the genre as well. All in all, ‘Vantage Isle’ is a tremendous achievement that will most likely be held up as a high water mark of the genre for years to come. -Resident Advisor

Michigan’s Rod Modell makes immersive techno. It doesn’t quite fit into any specific genre mold, so his subtle, nearly anonymous tracks can slip by unnoticed. It’s easy to get lost in the microbial hiss, goopy dub timbres and rumbling muffle to miss the bass writhing in the fuzz or percussive tics cracking the drone.

On Vantage Isle Sessions, he again partners with Soultek’s Steven Hitchell as DeepChord. This new disc comprises 12 remixes by the duo of the elusive "Vantage Isle,” a track so impermanent it appears there was never a proper, original version. The 13th remix, smack in the middle of the disc’s sequencing, comes from the sole outsider: Gerard Hanson (Convextion). It may also be the best thing here. His version is by far the most submerged; strands of shuffling dust pile up on a cyborg samba, immersed in a hail of cut-ups, stray clicks and extended chords. Modell and Hitchell’s "Echospace Spatial Dub" is far more immediate. The closest thing to a straight dance cut, its bass is crisp and dry, looped in a slinky cycle that rattles along a taut trot, leaving the dub FX to plop and squish on the periphery.

The "Echospace Reshape" could pass as early-’90s ambient rockers Seefeel remixed by a Warp glitch-termite of comparable vintage. It’s a radian eight-minute sprawl that, thankfully, can’t decide whether it struts or churns, jets spurting and bass paddling in mutual confusion. The "Echospace Glacial" mix is practically a symphony of aquatic audio, complete with cascading water. The "cv313" reductions are the most surprising. The first applies a more variegated rhythm, its spatter and chipped blips a relief from the disc’s constant numbing throb. The second, the album’s closer, is all crackling froth and organ spume, blissfully coursing through the stereo field.

Modell is in solo mode on the weirder Incense and Black Light. From its title on down, this album has an after-hours feel. There’s more water, but now it sounds like it’s pebbling apartment windows instead of draining along sewer canals. A recurring bongo-like smatter, muted and almost incongruous, adds to the bedroom vibe. It’s as if some vintage space-age bachelor pad LP is spinning absent-mindedly with the volume turned way down. Only the tinniest percussion pops through the silence. Chimes shimmer, hi-hats lisp, steam crackles. Modell’s music always seems to be in this suspended animation, adrift and afloat in a majestic emptiness. -Dusted Magazine

You might say that the sound of Deepchord results from one of techno's rock-hardest truths: Jack into the primordial 4/4 throb, the universal language of kick-drum, and the rest of your track's sonic spectrum is fair game for experiments of the maddest science. Deepchord's lab book in this case is a dark-art manual for contacting the Jamaican-dub spirit world, a volume its Detroit-based progenitor Rod Modell was most likely handed by someone from Berlin's Basic Channel label. In its heyday, Basic Channel's style was often tagged "heroin house," a term coined ostensibly to account for the fleeting subgenre's pulsing silvery narcosis. If an opiate reference leaves you cold, however, you can think of it as "scuba house": dance jams for the diving bell. Let's face it, though. All along calling the sport scuba "diving" has been a way of covering up what it really is, and the properties it shares with Deepchord: the sensation of sitting at the bottom of the ocean for a long time and savoring the healing properties of otherworldly ambience. Along those lines, "Deepchord" and "Echospace" would be great brand names for long-range Navy Seal audio espionage gear, the kind you could use to make spine-tingling underwater field recordings of the sort of drifty, murmuring echoes and chthonic subbass tremors, that permeate Vantage Isle. And while the Deepchord/Echospace universe promotes a carefully vintage style, purist should note that it's not wholly analog. Mitchell professes his love for early digital synths, like the landmark Yamaha DX7. As he says in an interview with Resident Advisor, it's a hardware sound, one that distinctly separates it from the kind of computer-software plug-in steez that's the current benchmark for convenient techno production. Released on triple-pack last year as the latest and most epic of Echospace's near-cultishly coveted vinyl productions, it takes material played live at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2001, and in the great spirit of electronic musical anonymity, allows it to be devoured by a wolf-pack of various pseudonyms and collaborations. If you simply heard the album and didn't read about it, you wouldn't know it was the same dubby minimal techno track thirteen times.

That's a testament to the unexpected broadness of palette that is left after it's been decided that you're amputating music down to its barest filtered flicker. The original dubby excursion gets eaten up, obliterated, leaving behind a beatless void on the fourth track, gets resurrected via hardcore throb on the standout seventh track, morphs into a refined and alluring nightclub pulse on the eleventh. Despite all the diversity, Vantage Isle does not, however, span the full geographical expanse of Deepchord's The Coldest Season, which went from tundra to valley to desert plain. Instead its sequence of inspired variations creates a pulsing, silvery rainforest of microcosmic depth. The listener ends up in a position kind of like the protagonist in Kafka's "A Country Doctor," who on first inspecting his young patient finds no physical incursion, only upon a second closer glance to discover a grotesque wound in the same place where there was just bare skin. Such is the effect of this strand of minimal electronics: With its enshrouded maternal heartbeats and diaphonous synths burbles it can lurk in the background of your aural space interminably, only to reach out and smack you without warning. Great for drug addicts, OCD-sufferers, and anyone else with over-acute hearing and/or insomnia. -Prefix Magazine

written + produced by rod modell + mike schommer & steven hitchell. mastered by ron murphy (r.i.p.) @ nsc, detroit. engineered and mixed in echospace 2007.

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starlight [remixes]

model 500

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This is the remastered original "Starlight" from the Godfather of Techno, Juan Atkins aka Model 500, originally released on 12" by Metroplex in 1995. Includes 9 new remixes specially commissioned by Echospace. This classic masterpiece was originally engineered by Basic Channel's Moritz von Oswald and recorded at the Basic Channel studio in Berlin

This is the remastered original "Starlight" from the Godfather of Techno, Juan Atkins aka Model 500, originally released on 12" by Metroplex in 1995. Includes 9 new remixes specially commissioned by Echospace. This classic masterpiece was originally engineered by Basic Channel's Moritz von Oswald and recorded at the Basic Channel studio in Berlin sometime in 1993-1994. Upon release, this track quickly became a cult favorite from Derrick May to Derrick Carter, and infected house, techno, ambient and even dub DJs alike. A song so powerful, it led to a change in techno music forever and was a shining example of what Detroit was all about: innovation. Juan Atkins was the first person to apply the word "techno" to music. He found new ways of making sound, and in so doing, he influenced nearly every genre of music in the 1980s and beyond. Yet his name is not well- known beyond the world of electronic dance music. He might, in fact, be one of the most obscure of modern music's true pioneers. This CD has been mixed together seamlessly for an uninterrupted listening excursion through the many shapes and forms of this song's incarnations. First, we offer the remastered original from Ron "Motown" Murphy, who spent countless hours restoring this treasure from 1/4" tapes. Then we find ourselves captivated in the pure, refined deepness of Deepchord's towering menace of space and bass. Echospace manage to give Juan's original just enough percussion flare, with wave frequencies rushing through a field of delay which spin around your head. This leads into a widescreen electro rendition from Soultek, and Convextion serves up some Kompakt-ish schaffel grooves, but with a hypnotic Detroit effect. Mike Huckaby makes good use of the Waldorf Wave before we enter ambient territory from Echospace who combine daring production techniques with vibrant forms of texture and color. Sean Deason presents a stomping killer with devastatingly beautiful synthesized notes and a sweet 909, and Phase90 presents breathtaking pads and a slow motion effect so powerful, it could only be compared to the works of Thomas Köner or Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project -- this is love in lo-fi. Finally, Intrusion takes it out with a dubbed-out, dreamy ambient voyage.

written + produced by juan atkins, engineered by moritz von oswald @ love park studio, berlin. published by deep space music, bmi. licensed from metroplex, detroit. remix and additional production by gerard hanson [convextion], stephen hitchell [echospace, intrusion, phase90 + soultek], mike huckaby, rod modell [deepchord,echospace] and sean deason. mastered in echospace.

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