By Laura Wiebe Taylor
It’s not often I get to watch a DVD recorded at a show I attended. Actually, until Hansel’s Lorentzian Lineshaper CD release DVD, I don’t think it had ever happened. When I first slid in the disc and hit play, the show was only a dim but pleasant memory in one of the industrio-tech corners of my mind. But as the introductory banter delved into Ontario traffic tickets and buried pot (with frontman Alan Fux modelling a prominent straw hat), it all started to come back to the surface. Like the album Lorentzian Lineshaper, this performance dates from 2006 – Hansel’s first live appearance on Canadian soil (or a Torontonian basement bar, if you want to be more precise). The set list delves further back, delivering a (then) eight-year-old acoustic ditty alongside tracks from 2003’s Respond_Violence and some newer material. Neither the DVD nor the show it documents are glossy high-production endeavours. But if you know either Hansel or D-Trash Records, you’ll appreciate that the (digital hardcore) rawness is part of the package. The recording captures glitches along with performance successes. An ambient conversational hum buzzes beneath the samples, live deejaying and vocals. The handheld video footage follows the musicians and also the small but interested crowd. As the lights quickly dim, the colour image shifts to surveillance grey-green. And the electric energy builds through eleven tracks to culminate in an abrupt termination that brings you back to the opening menu. It’s a DIY window into a rare and special event (and you can burn your own copy from the free downloads at d-trash.com).