Y.G. Hanedan – The Voyage

The Voyage is a self-released album by Turkish composer Y.G. Hanedan. Although Hanedan has been working with synthesizers and electronic music for twenty-plus years, this is his first release with widespread distribution.

In the liner notes, Hanedan mentions being inspired by various writers, filmmakers, and serious avant-garde composers. These points of reference fit well with the dark, dense music contained in the album.

Most of the tracks here are built on a thick bed of oscillating, skittering rhythms that are packed full of distortion, glitches, and semi-percussive pin-pricks. Hanedan then builds synth atmospheres and loosely structured “songs” over the top. The approach is effective but a bit jarring for those accustomed to smooth, gliding soundscapes or the beat-less atmospherics of traditional ambient music. At times, I’m reminded of the glitch scene just before the turn of the millennium, but the Voyage has a syrupy, warm quality to it that stands out on its own.

When Hanedan does bring more obvious melodies to the fore, the effect is very welcome and helps to draw me into the album. The dreamy synth melody in Part 3 and the gentle, pretty guitar lines in Part 7 are standouts for me. I should mention that there are short gaps in between each track. I assume this was intentional to separate each piece, and although I’m not usually a fan of this technique it doesn’t impede the flow of the album too much.

Going back to the liner notes, Hanedan goes out of the way to state “No commercially available musical sample motif libraries, arpeggios or patterns were used in this recording”. With the ever-increasing proliferation of sound libraries and canned software sounds in electronic music that is very refreshing to read.

Overall, the Voyage is a strong album that is easy to recommend to fans of challenging soundscapes that still retain bits melody of melody and structure.

The album is available through CDBaby.

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