On March 31, Volker Bertelmann aka Hauschka will release his new album ‘What If’ on City Slang. Creating ‘What If’ Bertelmann used an old Roland Jupiter 4 synthesiser and an Eventide H3000 Harmonizer, as well as engaging with his trademark technique of utilising unusual objects to treat (or ‘prepare’) the piano. But most notably – in a break from his traditional methodology – he also programmed parts for self-playing ‘player pianos’ (also known as pianolas), exploiting the speed at which they could play, manipulating the resulting sounds, and building layers to emphasise a composition’s metre. Yet again, Hauschka has proven uncommonly inventive, expanding his range even further by defying expectations and coaxing ever more unprecedented, euphonic sounds from his instrument.
Encompassing haunting melodies, mysterious sounds, pristine ambience, minimalism, frenetic buzz, vintage sci-fi echo, complex patterns and at times powerful propulsive rhythms ‘What If’ crowns an extraordinary couple of years for Bertelmann. In fact, it represents the culmination of everything he’s worked towards these past dozen or so years. “I was always attracted by hip hop, deep rhythms and weird sci-fi electronica. ‘What If’ is a result of both that and the hundreds of concerts I’ve played, where I developed a way of mixing all these elements together”, he explains.
You can watch the video for ‘Constant Growth Fails’ below;