Haaz-Benz’s rise will be gilded with praise, but it’s also a seriously studious and creative one. The experimental UK producer group have put in the time to refine and hone their craft. This industrious approach permeates every drone, acid-dusted beat and searing techno monster that resonates throughout the conceptual EP “This Is A Journey Into…” This almost peerless recording, is proof of time spent behind the boards and inside the club, with its direct-to-listeners intent and showcases Haaz-Benz’s impeccable ability to craft a set of tracks that offer coherent storytelling, and is musically challenging.
“This Is A Journey Into…” is a collection of icy white noise atmospheres, driving techno rhythms, otherworldly synths, realistic field samples, and blazing sirens, meant to soundtrack all the events and emotions, before, during, and after a night out to the club. It demonstrates Haaz-Benz’s understanding of tried-and-tested structures but also reinforces the idea that they know how to brazenly redefine those structures to make their music sound unlike anything, or anybody else, in electronic music.
The sound of sirens and alarms – subtle or loud – is an integral and repeated element in this recording, and is described as representing “insurgency, drawing focus to the broad reach of the sound, the vast use of sirens and alarms in modern life; and the differing reactions to each, depending on volume and situation.” Ultimately, Haaz-Benz gets the occurrences of the sirens and alarms just right, striking a mesmeric balance between reinforcement and repetition.
Quite early on, Haaz-Benz shows they mean business on this new record. The intent of the opening track “Gettin’ Ready (Original Mix)” is self-explanatory, as is the case with all the tracks. The titles provide the framework through which Haaz-Benz’s music and effects, deliver the familiar imagery associated with a club night. It’s an anxious offering, outlining “the hustle of home, the excitement, the details and preparation, the distance of impending music and immersion.”
The field samples pile into “On My Way (Original Mix)” to continue creating the visuals of traffic, police sirens, trains, and the transit towards the club, in the listener’s mind. “Meet You On The Dance Floor (Original Mix)”, is where the beat ignites and explodes into 6 minutes plus of four-to- the-floor euphoria. This is music you can get truly lost in. Proving that Haaz-Benz is truly a different kind of electronic collective.
Haaz-Benz can slap you right in the face with relentless drums and a frenetic pace, before suddenly dropping you right down into the dark eerie ambiance on “Same Time, Next Weekend? (Original Mix)”. It depicts the come-down feeling you get in the early hours of the morning, when reality hits after an excitable club night. It’s a track that completely summarizes those sensations with woozy, hazy synth pads, engulfing white-noise, and a dreamlike quality. It takes the listener even further away in a transcendent journey of emotions that has come full circle.
Not content with just making music, Haaz-Benz has created a concept EP, submerging their listeners in a familiar and realistic world that yields impressive results. “This Is A Journey Into…” releasing on the 30th of April 2021, is a recording that is painstakingly crafted with atmosphere, tone and mood, clearly at the forefront, and a purposeful tension created by the dueling themes of ambience and beat. Haaz-Benz are creating their own lane in the world of electronic music, both on the dance floor, and in the creative spaces in between.