This review is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Hania Rani: Live from Studio S2 – Video, EP + Album “Home”
Genre: Somewhere between neo-classical, jazz, ambient, electronic and extremely sophisticated songwriting.
Video “Hania Rani – Live from Studio S2”
On March 28, 2021, the video “Hania Rani – Live from Studio S2” was published on YouTube, recorded in the iconic Studio S2, one of the famous recording studios of Polish Radio in Warsaw.
The name Hania Rani frankly didn’t mean anything to me at first, but when I watched the recording from Warsaw, I sat mesmerized in front of the screen in my large listening room and was simply overwhelmed by Hania’s compositions, her charisma, her aura and her crystal clear voice.
In simple black and white and played on two pianos and two synths with sporadic use of vocals, Hania Rani presents in the live video “Live from Studio S2” (1080p) a sound that – like all her works – is difficult to classify. Hania is located somewhere in the wide field between neo-classic, electronic, ambient and here and there extremely sophisticated songwriting with expressive lyrics.
I have to think back in my musical history for a very long time to find any music that touches me like the one by Hania Rani, which permanently drives water into my eyes every time I watch or listen to the album “Home”.
Here’s the track listing:
0:00 Hawaii Oslo (from Esja)
6:33 Glass (from Esja)
13:39 Leaving (from Home)
20:29 Buka (from Home)
2 Track EP “Live from Studio S2
In addition to this live video, a small but overwhelmingly good 2 track EP “Live from Studio S2” has been released by Gondwana Records, which I can highly recommend to you.
The album “Home”
Hania Rani, born in Gdansk, Poland, has been signed for several years to Gondwana Records in Manchester, UK, the label of DJ, trumpeter, composer and bandleader Matthew Halsall, which in its own words is intended to be “A home for like-minded kindred souls,” a home for “jazz from the meditative-spiritual world, for contemporary modern jazz, neo-classical, ambient and electronic crossover”.And with that, Hania Rani is in perfect hands with Gondwana Records.
The latest album from Hania Rani titled “Home” was released on May 29, 2020. The album is opening very slowly for the listener, cautiously track by track, and requires an unreserved engagement with Hania’s music. And very gradually, very slowly, “Home” becomes one of the rare albums that will then accompany you for a lifetime.
The first two tracks “Leaving” and “Buka” are relatively easy to get into, as you already got to know and love these two tracks on the video “Live from Studio S2”.
“Home” is a metaphorical journey, presenting stories about a path to the places that become our home – sometimes by accident, sometimes by purposeful choice. “Home” is the story of leaving a familiar place and the journey that must inevitably follow as a result.
“You can lose your way a bit and still find a home within – which can mean many things – soul, imagination, intellect, intuition, passion. I firmly believe that in uncertain times and unstable lives, we can still find peace with ourselves and be able to find ‘home’ anywhere.” that’s how Hania Rani talks about her album “Home”,
And whoever opens up to Hania Rani and her music will perhaps find a new musical home in her works after a long period of intensive study, just as it happened to me.
“Home” is a multi-layered and yes, also a difficult album. Just recently, the track “Home” with Hania’s elfin voice and an extremely soulful arrangement touched us very deeply, so follows with “Zero Hour” another track that asks us once again to engage intensively with the music of Hania. At the beginning I already spoke about the incredibly strong charisma and aura that surrounds Hania Rani and her arrangements.
It’s almost as if Hania is always reaching out to us on all tracks to help us over the cliffs and the thunderously threatening surf in many of her exceptional arrangements – almost as if she’s always guiding us a bit as we explore the album.
And so it becomes possible that Hania on the one hand is accompanying us with incredibly strong musical expressiveness on our journey through the album – and will always accompany us on our very own journey through our lives, if we want to let that happen.
Some time ago I had a rather exciting conversation with Ela Minus about the fact that intensive involvement with the works of an artist can have a massive influence on individual listening habits, and can even change a person’s own life a lot. The album of Ela Minus “acts of rebellion” had led me to a break with supposedly cherished listening habits and pushed me in a different musical direction, Hania Rani has completed this in turn and finally prepared a new musical path for me with an extremely deeply touching musical earthquake.
The sound quality of the album “Home” as well as the EP “Live from Studio S2” is excellent and scores with an enormous variety of details, excellent spatial imaging without any sharpness in the high frequency range. The basses reach down to the cellar and are reproduced precisely.
Facts about Hania Rani – Home (Album)
Artist: Hania Rani
Release Date: 05/29/20
Label: Gondwana Records
Genre: Electronic Ambient
Available on Qobuz in
Hi-Res 24-Bit / 96.0 kHz – Stereo
Home>Equipment Studio 1 + 2
My Test Equiment
- 2 x System Audio SA Mantra 50 (front)
- 1x System Audio SA Mantra 10 AV (center)
- 2x System Audio SA Legend 5 (rear)
- 4 x Onkyo SKH-410 (B) (Dolby Atmos)
- Auralic Altair (Audio Streaming Client with 32 Bit / 384 kHz)
- NVIDIA Shield Pro with Plex, Kodi (192 kHz for video and audio), Tidal (MQA streaming client)
- Yamaha CX-A5100 (Preamp)
- Yamaha MX-A5000 (Power Amp)
- Speaker: 2 x KEF LS-50 Wireless II Active
- DAC: Cambridge DAC Magic Plus
- Headphone amplifier / preamplifier: Auralic Taurus
- In-ear headphones: Shure SE846 with ALO MMCX Audio Reference 8 cable
- OverEar headphones: Audeze EL-8
- OverEar headphones: BeyerDynamic DT 880 S (Studio)
- J River Media Center 27 with 24 bit / 192 kHz
- Audirvana Media Center with 32 bit / 192 kHz