Stark synth strings open ‘Wanna See’, the new single by Hannya White, and their bleak beauty sets the tone for a track that sits somewhere between the brutalism of musique concrete and the scratchy-dub of Mark Stewart & The Mafia. It’s Hannya’s first release since the No Preview EP and amongst many accolades she has been picked for the Bandcamp Day playlist, presented Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone playlist and played a blistering set at the Tomorrow Calling Festival in South London.
The spine of the track is a pulsing bass drum which keeps time like an arrhythmic heartbeat and it’s encased in fleshy growls of sawtooth synth. Soft glitches, crackles, breaths and half-heard words swirl around pizzicato strings and the whole feeling, like so much of Hannya White’s music, leaves you feeling like you are walking on uneven ground, or have entered a maze with labyrinthine twists and turns, false walls, and corridors that lead nowhere, or double back on you. The video matches the musical collage with grainy, shaky footage juxtaposed against close-up shots of flowers with blown out colours, visual distortion and pixilation.
Music doesn’t always have to volunteer its secrets so readily and it’s good for us to have to work a little harder to get under the skin of an artist’s work. Hannya White is such an artist; someone who approaches music and performance as art and, having seen her live a few times, I can attest to the fact that, live, her shows are beguiling and never the same twice.
Hannya White is playing on 4 November at the Vanishing Point night, AMP Studios, near New Cross Gate. Tickets available here