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Beaumont Hannant and BOC


strawhattedman
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Beaumont Hannant's one of my biggest favourites from the early-to-mid-90s, everything he's released is essential in my book. It's amazing that his active period spans only about three years, 1993-1996, and in that time he released four full albums under his own name, one as YO3; two EP series (Tastes And Textures, Notions Of Tonality) and some one-offs, collaborated with Lida Husik (Husikesque) and Richard Brown (Outcast), and worked on a slew of remixes - out of which I still think Mark Franklin's Release To The System is the stand-out one.

One of the highlights of Hannant's oeuvre for me is the Tastes And Textures series, especially Sym-Phon5 and Anokhi off the Vol. 2 album.

Nevertheless, I heartily recommend everyone to get their ears on everything Hannant's released, although it's a bit difficult as there are lots of vinyl-only releases and no official digitals - and as far as I know the rights to Hannant's work are still with whoever keeps the GPR catalogue under lock and key and doesn't allow anything to be re-released. Based on this article, there's a trove of solo material produced after GPR's downfall, but none was ever released, and Hannant's last know public appearance is as the producer of Lida Husik's Faith In Space (1998). I count myself as lucky because I was able to pick up everything he released when they were released.

Edited by dcom
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That's interesting. No doubt those vinyls are worth a fair bit of money.

I almost see Beaumont as a sort of Syd Barrett-esque figure in the UK 90s electronic scene - someone who just went off the map. He's still around - or was the last I heard - but he's the great enigma of that whole period. The music was good, too - great in places. He clearly wasn't entirely happy, though. The sleevenotes of Sculptured make that very, very clear, as do some of the song titles near the end of his GPR period.

I remember that ambient guide piece and the alleged issues with GPR. There's a whole book to be written on that label alone. Some terrific music on there, but all sorts of alleged issues with contracts/money. The Black Dog / Plaid didn't have good things to say about them. But I think Beaumont was their Aphex - the mythic figure who gave the label profile / edge etc. Then it all went pear-shaped for the label and, it seems, for Hannant.

I'd like to think that Beaumont just went back to working in a record shop in York and still makes music for his own amusement. He certainly keeps an extremely low profile.

Maybe he's done a Salinger.

But if things had worked out differently with Bjork, he could have gone up to Iceland like Mark Bell did. There was no reason why he couldn't have been a major figure. Unless he simply didn't want that for himself.

I know people who will tell you that the Release to the System track on AI2 is not Beaumont's at all - just a slight tweaking of a track he and Franklin did together. We don't know what Beaumont's take on that is, though, but you can judge for yourself

Maybe he'll come out and talk one day.

But if he was going to do that, he'd probably have done it by now.

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11 hours ago, strawhattedman said:

I remember that ambient guide piece and the alleged issues with GPR. There's a whole book to be written on that label alone.

Wholeheartedly agree - I've got absolutely everything on the label, both on CD and vinyl - with the exceptions of mythical unreleased The 7th Plain album, Playing With Fools, Black Dog's original Vir²l (because the remix EP has all the tracks), and Vanttool (because the tracks are on Parallel and elsewhere) - although I'm still looking to get the latter two for a reasonable price (for completeness' sake - collecting is a form of insanity, so lob some burgers my way for that).

11 hours ago, strawhattedman said:

I know people who will tell you that the Release to the System track on AI2 is not Beaumont's at all - just a slight tweaking of a track he and Franklin did together. We don't know what Beaumont's take on that is, though, but you can judge for yourself

I've got both the original Shock To The System EP and the Shock To The System EP Remixes (whoa, the minimum asking price on Discogs is 70 €, I bought it for £3.50; I see no reason for the price hike, it's an OK set of remixes, but...), the difference between the original and Hannant's version is not negligible, but it isn't major, either - Hannant's isn't a straightforward 4/4 beat, the pads/strings are softer, and there are the added female speech samples.

BTW Mark Franklin is on Bandcamp and the original Release To The System and the Hannant remix are available from his page, so you can compare them yourself - and one reveal is that the original track's page mentions Hannant alongside Franklin, so Hannant's probably had a hand in, making it originally a collaborative track and not just Franklin solo.

I did reach out to Franklin a couple of years ago via Bandcamp to find out more about the track and his collaboration with Hannant, no reply.

Edited by dcom
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