Honzo is usually referenced as the side-project of D.Carbone - an Italian producer now residing in techno Mecca, Berlin. It might be tempting to argue the project is becoming a little less of a sideline affair for Mr. Carbone however. Early last year he released ‘Das Unheimliche’ via noise-punk-squatter outfit Haunter Records, and almost exactly a year later, has joined the ranks of Marco Berardi fronted Aboretum Records with the ‘Melancholia’ EP.
The differences between the tracks tagged as D. Carbone and those tagged under the Honzo alias are numerous, however the use of distortion doesn’t appear to be one. Take ‘Lovesickness’ or ‘Orientalism’ - both are caked in jagged layers of overdrive, stuttered rhythms jolting forward, leaving a trail of dust and grit in their wake. While the former sees harshly filtered pan-flutes and shuddering low-end working together in menacing formations, the latter throbs forward with grunting, amp-driven toms and quivering hi-end.
Organic, improvisational textures are maintained to the last, as if the whole EP had been written out in score and handed over to a doom-metal group to interpret. Take the crunching drones of ‘Moral Masochism’ for example, there is a distinctly human quality to them, difficult to replicate on software alone. As the track reaches its peak, we are barraged with twisted laser samples and off-beat snares, a feature capitalised on by Shadows in their remix of the track. The piece works steadily into a bedraggled climax before the achingly drawn out space-ambience of ‘Emptiness’, offering a rare moment of space and tranquility.
Alongside his assorted production projects, it’s easy to forgot Carbone is also involved in the running of several well-loved electronic labels, such as 3TH, Repitch and Cosmo Rhythmatic, presumably making his time all the more valuable. With ‘Melancholia’s release on Aboretum, it’s good to see he’s using those spare moments wisely.