Check Out Our Turntable Store
Need a new record player? Check out our turntable store for a great selection of turntables, needles, accessories, and more.
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
Since 2004, Volker Bertelmann - aka Hauschka - has, steadily earned a remarkable reputation as a purveyor of imaginative, distinctive, prepared piano music. On What If - which finds him adding player pianos (also known as pianolas) to his arsenal - Bertelmann expands his range even further, defying expectations and delivering what is without a doubt his most ingenious album yet. While engaging with his trademark technique of utilizing unusual objects - art erasers, for example - to treat (or 'prepare') the piano, Hauschka also programmed parts for player pianos, exploiting the speed at which they could play, manipulating the resulting sounds, and building layers to emphasize a composition's meter. What If aims to provoke reflection beyond the musical sphere with the titles of the both the album and its individual tracks. Overflowing with haunting melodies, mysterious sounds, and complex patterns, What If crowns an extraordinary couple of years for Hauschka. Likely to prove one of 2017's most original albums, What If redefines the very notion of piano music in dramatic and exceptional fashion. It stands as a rebuttal to those who lazily shoehorn Hauschka's work into the so-called, uncomfortably broad 'new classical' category, and instead underlines his status as a unique and invaluable artist.
Top customer reviews
“What If” (9 tracks; 43 min. ) opens with the nervous “I Can’t Find Water”, in which we immediately get soaked with a bunch of sounds, including a distorted/prepared piano. Things grow even more frenzied on “Constant Growth Fails”. From the outside, “My Kids Live on Mars” may be more relaxed, until you listen carefully to the background noises/scratches/tinkering. I love it. “I Can’t Express My Deep Love” is in fact a more introverted composition, with abstract traces for good measure. But THE key track on this album comes towards the very end, where we get “Trees Only Exist in Books”, a 7+ min. epic blowout in which Hauschka throws “everything and the kitchen sink” at us, in the best possible way. The album concludes with a hard-charging “We Live a Thousand Years”, yet another intriguing piece. “What If” is yet another intriguing and satisfying album from the German pianist. (Please note that the digital version of this album comes with 2 bonus tracks: the excellent “Egos Are Detached”, and the non-essential “Knowledge Is Passed On”. Given a CD's max capacity of 80 min. of music, why these 2 songs weren’t added to the CD is beyond me.)
I saw Hauschka in concert a few years ago here in Cincinnati, where he brought a fantastic set in an intimate setting (around 250 people in attendance) at a sold-out Contemporary Arts Center. He was then touring behind his “Abandoned City” album. His set focused on longer pieces, including several tunes from “Abandoned City”. It is impossible to overstate what the concert experience is like with Hauschka. Truly a memorable evening, so if you have a chance to see him live, do not miss him! I can only hope he will return to Cincinnati in support of “What If”. Meanwhile, "What If" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!