Cult Albums: #2 BEAUMONT HANNANT – Basic Data Manipulation: Tastes and Textures Vol. 2 (1993)

One for the “whatever happened to” file. Beaumont Hannant was a York-based electronic producer who was one of the most respected (and prolific) artists around the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ boom in the mid nineties (OK, IDM if you must). Recording for GPR, the Black Dog’s pre-Warp label, he released three full length albums and a whole bunch of EPs and singles between 1993 and 1996. Basic Data Manipulation was the first of these (also known as Tastes and Textures Vol. 2 – volume 1 being his first EP).

It’s an eclectic work, ranging from neo-acid stompers lie “Sc931” to symphonic synth-scapes (the aptly titled “Sym-phon5”), and pretty much all bases in between. It’s powerful stuff, sometimes hard and breakbeat-driven, sometimes cinematic and richly textured and sometimes dark and foreboding, and very much the equal of the works of his more celebrated contemporaries. Texturology and Sculptured are also both fine albums. In fact, there’s little choose between the three. Sculptured is more song based with Lida Husik (with whom he also made an album of straightforward songs called Evening At The Grange) providing vocals on four of the thirteen tracks.

In 1996, Hannant and his engineer Richard Brown formed Outcast, a fairly non-descript trip hop group who were signed to One Little Indian for one album. He did a few remixes for the likes of Björk and Autechre, and after that, there was very little more heard from him. He crammed a hell of a lot of good music into four years. It seems strange that he just stopped. I think all of his records are currently out of print, and not very easy to track down. Starting prices on Amazon, for example, range from £35 to £55 for the first two albums. If that proves anything, it’s that there is still interest in him out there.

Tracks
1 Basic Dialog 4:33
2 Sym-phon5 7:13
3 Sysex 4:36
4 T-gh6493 6:23
5 Sc931 6:30
6 Lude 2:41
7 Anokhi 6:15
8 The Hunted 5:29
9 Dei-form 7:07

Originally issued December 1993, GPR GPRCD02.

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3 responses to “Cult Albums: #2 BEAUMONT HANNANT – Basic Data Manipulation: Tastes and Textures Vol. 2 (1993)

    • OK, is there anyone out there in internet land who can put James and me out of our misery? It would be interesting to know what Mr Hannant is up to these days

  1. Sorry I can’t help. I have often wondered myself, not least of all as he is one of the most talented musicians I have ever known and he was a lovely chap to boot, he made great music and was a great bloke. As I used to live in York till the end of the 90’s I would often bump into him (it’s a very small place.)

    Speaking with him before I left I was under the impression that he was contractual tied to his previous label GPR. They had gone down the pan but he was unable to record with anyone else. Unfortunatly I have lost touch with my friends that knew him since I have left York, so I really do wonder what he’s up to.

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