Black Hat, the pseudonym of San Francisco-based Nelson Bean, might be one of the most exciting new faces in the West Coast electronic scene. His warped, dark take on slow-build techno stands out due to expert pacing and intelligently danceable performances. Thought of Two came out in March on the wonderful Hausu Mountain and is still gnawing at our brittle little bones.
All three of the album’s lengthy tracks are seemingly built atop sonic mazes. Each time my mind locks onto a beat, the comfort of repetition is upended by Bean’s sly hand, and I fall in again. Opener “Imaginary Friends” is the best example of this: labyrinthine in construction, devastating in delivery. Sequenced perfectly after is “Portrait in Fluorescent Light”, a kosmische meditation on appropriate filter sweeping and synth pad selection.
“Memory Triptych” closes the record. At nearly 18 minutes, “Triptych” takes the listener through immense canyons and valleys, unfolding and revealing more depth almost every second. Bean is definitely worth the price of admission, and Black Hat is one to keep an eye out for – hit up Hausu for some tracks right here.