Memories of lying on your floor come streaming back as han gaiden plays. Vague echoes of an old mixtape flood the auditory stream. We were Scandinavian dreaming... contemplating our next move, a club dance floor beckoning in the distance. The rush of a contemporary life dissipates in the resonant frequencies of abstract electronic artefacts.
These recollections are not my own. These are the words and sounds of han gaiden. Kristin Myhrvold, Ingrid Skåland Lia and Ragnhild Moan evoke a fabled present in a sonic palette that moves like a glacial wave through the audio spectrum. The trio’s vocal harmonies glide through protracted atmospheres like sticky morning dew. Synthesisers slow clattering drum machines to a enticing pulse. Voices moan with scepticism as the accompaniment shrugs in apathy to the world around it.
“you called me your erika” is immersive, wiling away in languid serenity. Building on a palette that falls between the cracks of familiar musical languages, han gaiden forge fleeting day-dreamscapes. Flickers of saxophone emerge on the slower numbers like “erika” and “here’s your lullaby” calling to mind the sweetest sonorities of eighties pop as they exchange phrases with modern machines in a glorious dichotomy.
There’s a melody you’ve heard before, a turn of phrase taken straight from the pop-song book, but there is nothing like the sound of “you called me your erika.” Lyrics from the perspective of youth in an insecure world are transposed from their own lives in a refreshingly honest and skewed delivery. By the time ”squad” arrives you are transported to a day in the life of a twenty-something strutting in confident strides to a reworked electro-clash beat.
That’s where we ended, on the dance floor. han gaiden takes us from the living room floor to the club through the course of the LP. We’re ejected on the other side; a past-life lived through sound completed, where we emerge fresh-faced and eager to take on the night.