CD-R/free download, D-trash Records, 2008
I hate the fact that I’m about to use the following description for this CD, but it’s as good as I’ve got….”Reshaping Linear Formulai” is most definitely a game of two halves. Urgh! Wrong! Football reference in relation to a breakcore CD. It just doesn’t sit right does it? It is true though, unfortunately, as it all begins with so much promise, and then slides in to the slightly mediocre.
Hansel range from gloriously noisy breakcore, through to glitchy electronica, and back through to something that sounds like digital hardcore and a sound that comes close to the likes of Cyanotica and Left Spine Down. However, “Reshaping Linear Formulai” is a remix CD, so I’m not entirely certain what their original sound is like, but I’m sure it’s close to this.
Beginning with the fantastic “Hookworms (phallus uber alles remix)” is a stroke of genius – heavily distorted digital breakcore (it comes as no surprise that Hansel have covered a couple of Atari Teenage Riot tracks going from this one) complete with strange piano breaks, but then slipping into something a little more glitchy loses momentum a little bit. “Waking The Ghost (Renegade Android Mix)” is very good, but the placement of it is a little bit lacking, and so it goes throughout the album. It doesn’t quite find a natural pace. There is a moment of extremely ludicrous, yet amazing, genius on this release though. A cover of Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker” (Pat Benetar = 70′s/80′s american rock singer). It really, really shouldn’t work, but I think it’s amazing. Quietly whispered verses, goes to a full on shouty chorus. I’d love to see what Pat Benetar would think of that.
Hansel show some very real promise here, there are some fantastic tracks available here, but I’d like to see them focus on their more digital hardcore sound, rather than try and mix it up with their slightly more restrained fare. It’s enough of a taster to make me want to go check out their other stuff though, and that’s good enough for me.
– Kate Turgoose