Hauschka - Room to Expand
Some might shy away from piano music, but this is a genuinely wonderful and refreshing listening experience.
Unanimously held as some kind of pinnacle of musical perfection, the piano has formed the basis for most music and song writing since its invention and development in the 18th century. Thankfully there are some people, such as Volker Bertelmann, who think it's a good idea to climb inside the piano and start moving things around, tying guitar strings around the piano's innards, gaffa-taping one bit to another or wrapping tin foil around the hammers. Under the pseudonym Haushka, Bertelmann plays such a piano, but the result is neither noisy and broken, nor abstract and overly high-brow, and has more of an affinity with modern electronica. Bertelman plays with rhythm and melody, layering sounds and tweaking them, and the end result is gorgeous. Some might shy away from piano music, but this is a genuinely wonderful and refreshing listening experience. [Ali Maloney]