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  • Low Hao Zhe

In 'Muhasabah', wanhanzan continues his penchant for audio textures

Release Date: 26th Mar 2019 Genre: Electronic/Ambient Label: Botanic Records After the Liminal Beings EP that left us intrigued late last year, wanhanzan has brought an interesting new track to his catalogue. In accordance to the International Piano Day, wanhanzan dropped Muhasabah, an electronica / ambient musical expansion of a piano motif. It’s a rather abstract piece coming out of wanhanzan, considering Liminal Beings had a more structured way of composing, and a more clear cut direction. It’s nice to see this abstract side of electronic music being explored, it’s rather freeing sometimes to just delve into a piece of art that has no strings attached to it whatsoever. Muhasabah is caught in this peculiar grey zone between heavy electronica and ambient music. While the complete lack of a clear rhythm section is a clear indication of ambient music; the dense mix, heavy and noisy textures, and the general pacing of the track points towards the electronica side of things. That being said, it’s by no means an awkward track in anyway. I really appreciate this sort of hybrid composition in this instance. Blending this two genres really did serve the motif well. It helped keeping the focus on the piano throughout the introductory section of the track, letting the composition of the motif shine; while the transitions into the heavy sections really showed us what wanhanzan is capable of when it comes to production.

Sample manipulation that is reminiscent of Robot Koch, while the rich low-end frequency treatment sounds like a call-back to Strobes by Deadmau5. The in your face approach to the mix of this whole section acted as a great contrast and counterweight towards the introductory section. Overall I do like the track quite a bit, I just wished that there were more things unfolding throughout the track. While by nature it is a slow moving track, I felt that in the densest parts of the track more waters could be tested, more boundaries could be pushed, and more ideas could be explored. And I also hoped that the outro would linger on a little longer for a more gradual ambient-esque conclusion; but I understand, the song is pushing to six minutes. But all in all, it’s an outstanding piece. It carries this cinematic sound really well, it’s elegant and aggressive at the same time, and the underflow of this cold energy is something I absolutely love. It’s definitely a nice soundscape to be in from time to time. Would love to see this sound be explored and expand in the future.

RATING: 3.3 / 5

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