Review: Hauschka-WHAT IF


German neo-classical composer Volker Bertelmann who records under the name Hauschka has crafted an incredible album here- enough to give Mary Anne Hobbs a lady boner. Minimal, as unsettling as it is beautiful, it’s a work of art. Using prepared piano and glitches, Bertelmann is forward-thinking, much in the way of Nils Frahm and Max Richter, with whom he shares modernist sensibilities.

Industrial clicks and clacks mesh with pretty lounge piano on I Can’t Find Water. The echoey hostile environment and ticking mechanics of My Kids Live On Mars runs counter to a more doleful spirit on I Can’t Express My Deep Love- it’s like Satie on downers… this is by no means a bad thing.

Nature Fights Back meanwhile runs across a more playful, upbeat Latin path, carnival grooves and bare bones. If the ghosts of minimal composers permeate throughout, so too do bands like Aphex Twin and Orbital in the post-rave textures. It sounds like a world reforming- at once tentative but ever optimistic. Rebuilding, remodelling, and tentatively stockpiling for the future.

(Lorna Irvine)

Out on March 31st via Temporary Residence/City Slang


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