Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Modern Art By Hanslik & Moniz Experiment


Modern Art


Hanslik & Moniz Experiment

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Alan Hanslik and Steve Moniz are two of the most creative experimental musicians around today in the field of electronic and guitar styled offerings, they have plied their trade as the Hanslik & Moniz Experiment for some 30 years now, and this ever green, and ever growing concept, may have well reached another peak with this their latest album entitled Modern Art.

For me this is like being a kid in a sweet factory, as I adore Modern Art with David Hockney and the late but great Howard Hodgkin being but two of an amazing multitude of true inspiring modern artists that I am very passionate about.

This brilliant new album is set to become a literal walking companion of music that can assist ones mulling over art works in any modern gallery, the opening foray of great music is the flight full tones of Eye of the Beholder, at times airy and uplifting, but the latter half of the composition manifests a darker half of the piece that is truly appealing.

Expressionist follows next with its lush brush strokes of deep tone and timbre and its ambient music dimensions, the Expressionist art movement flourished in Germany in the early 20th century with creators like Matisse and Fauves being two among the many geniuses. Here Hanslik & Moniz bring to our ears a fascinating arrangement, one that has great fluency, but also a deep seated desire for a minimalistic aspect within its halls of musical plenitude, both the guitar and synths parade a strong yet moving flow of a very skill filled canvas of electronic music to encapsulate the listener completely.

Deeper we go, the more each piece gains its own colour and texture, gentle shorter narratives like Tapestry reverberate with an almost progressive rock like nature, one could see this whole piece fit quite nicely into an opus like Suppers Ready (Genesis) for example, on its own this is one of the finest performances ever from Moinz on guitar, one that literally takes us by the hand and walks us into the arms of the following composition.

Impressionist is our next painting of quality and depth, and as it turns out would be one my personal favourites from the album, its dark and rangy corridors of character and ambience were simply stunning, this is a piece I could get lost within whilst gazing with admiration at a work from say Monet, perhaps the beauty of such work as the Japanese Bridge or his oil works like Poplars on the banks of the River Epte. For me this is a wonderfully creative offering, one that contains aspects of a neo classical nature, mixed with the ambience of someone like Eno, from his musical location of Lightness: Music for the Marble Palace album.

We are now rounding the corner of this musical modern art gallery and as we do so we come across the title track itself, and of course entitled Modern Art, this crisp yet effortless piece simply drifts between the then and now, manifesting a perfect balance and allowing us movement from one major musical painting to the next.

That splendid art form we now listen to intently is Starry Night and as well as being the longest track off the album at well over 12 minutes in duration, it is also the penultimate manifestation from the album. There is a deep well of sound here that is incredibly attractive, mixing elements of an almost space like synth with ethereal vocalisations, and an inventive and explorative guitar; tracks like this make albums not just good, but great, and I can say without a shadows of a doubt that Starry Night has to be one of the most compelling pieces I have ever heard from the duo, it is that good.

Our last art form to gaze upon is entitled Woodland Pixies, a piece that would at first seem somewhat chaotic, but given the subject matter the energy, movement and magic that evolves from this artistic arrangement, one can then witness a whole field of Pixies in a moonlit dance perhaps, concluding, that therefore this has to be one of the most original and imaginative pieces of all time to end this current project with.

Modern Art by Hanslik & Moniz Experiment is without doubt their best work by far; this resourceful and ingenious combination of musicians has lifted them into the realms of electronic mastery, perhaps one could be even so bold as to say visionary. The next time I find myself walking around a gallery in the future, I will most certainly use this album as my soundtrack for that very event. Modern Art by Hanslik & Moniz Experiment is brilliant, if you are a fan of artists like Tomita, Iasos or Brian Eno, then you are going to utterly revel of this glory of this fantastic new album. 

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