No matter the genre, Hansen excels at articulating new dialects within well-established musical languages. Persuasion's deceptively minimal strains of ambient reverberations control the atmosphere of the spaces they're played in—simultaneously vast and delicate, building a trancelike momentum that unfurls to each listener in an intensely personal manner.
Hansen’s musical formation began in California with music production software lent by a friend's parent, which led to a hard drive full of trip hop productions in high school. Moving to Montréal for Concordia's Electroacoustic Studies program, Hansen honed an immaculate spacey sound design, resulting in early productions under the D. Hansen alias with an unearthly knack for melding natural reverberating textures with droney, artificial counterparts. Further aliases bloomed, fractured and overlap—Lotide’s blend of unsettling, beat-driven psychedelia eventually turns into Stefan Jos’ exploration of shimmering fundamental grooves, crafting dance music out of disparate, stripped down natural sounds. Hansen characterizes the progression as a slow move from double-digit tempos to dance music speeds, from lo-fi sampling-based workflows to hi-fi synthesis-based ones. Collaborations ensue en masse: Hansen serves as one third of the improvisational electroacoustic group Fousek/Hansen/Tellier-Craig trio, as well as part of Montreal's ACTE collective alongside Kara-Lis Coverdale. With co-conspirator Leticia Trandafir as Demora, sound design collides with the solid edges of beats sending listeneres down a wormhole of EBM-tinged industrial techno. Hansen's interest in collaboration is most evident in newly launched Montréal-based Idioms label, with the inaugural release showcasing a knack for lush soundscapes surging with a slow-building undercurrent of velocity.
No stranger to MUTEK after multiple appearances, this year's live set from Persuasion promises to meld immaculate sound-design focused ideas with a rhythmic restraint whose almost imperceptible shifts combine in a blanket of pulses, shivers and grooves, revealing deeper layers with every heart-palpitating loop.
Drawing on a number of influences in ambient, dub techno, and electroacoustic music, Montreal-based artist Devon Hansen has produced and performed under various styles and pseudonyms over the years, from spacious textural techno as Persuasion (and with softcoresoft as Demora), to experimental freeform work as D.Hansen (and as part of the improvisation trio Fousek/Hansen/Tellier-Craig). Hansen has released material with an international slew of labels, including Where to Now?, Black Opal, Phinery, and flau. Having performed at the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019 editions of MUTEK, Hansen is now focused on self-releasing through the Bandcamp-based label Idioms. Its first release, Winter Studies, is a distinctively dreamy collaboration between Hansen and Polish producer Fischerle.
Idioms, Where To Now?, Opal Tapes, Black Opal, flau
Winter Studies (2019), Quatermass (2018)
Hansen's first foray into production began by googling "how to make your own techno" at 11 years old