You might know Kristof Hahn for his lapsteel guitar work in SWANS, though like fellow SWANS alumni Norman Westberg before him, he’s releasing his more experimental solo work on Lawrence English’s Room40 label.
Six Pieces, sees Hahn using archival loops and live sounds created during his time touring with Swans that he has then expanded upon. It’s a fascinating recording, it’s a world away from the violence and swagger of SWANS, there’s a real beauty here, intimate washes of exploratory guitar that are nothing short of mesmirising. Perhaps because we anticipate the bluster of SWANS the pieces feel even more naked, these stark electric guitar pieces with drawn out drones, repetitive loops and even some reverbed strumming. His new album Six Pieces, is something of a masterclass in guitar with Hahn using 10-string lap-steel, 8-string lap-steel, 7-string hybrid lap-steel, electric guitar, eBow, a couple of loop pedals, a delay, tremolo and volume pedal as well as amplifiers. It was produced by Lawrence English.
This is what English has to say about it:
“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.”
Six Pieces is released via Room40 on the 5th of November. You can find it here.