Hauschka – What If – Album Review by Killian Laher
German composer Hauschka is nothing if not prolific, with the intervening 18 months or so since his last full release punctuated by collaborations and soundtracks. This is not a release that jumps out and grabs the listener from the get go, more one that creeps in under the skin. The bleeps and glitches of opener I Can’t Find Water resolve themselves into a kind of laidback jazz piano piece. The busy Constant Growth Fails evokes some of John Cale’s work, behind all the surfacing twitching and jittering of this and My Kids Live On Mars are fairly relaxed, breezy melodies. The soaring, propulsive I Need Exile has more of a classic, ambient feel. This and I Can’t Express My Deep Love are probably the tracks here that bear the most influence from his soundtrack work. The slow burning Familiar Things Disappear is reminiscent of Mogwai at their most electronic and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed last year’s Atomic soundtrack.
Fairly unique on the album, upbeat dance track Nature Fights Back represents a total change of tack, it’s likely to get even the most stubborn up for a jig. On the other hand, the long-drawn out Trees Only Exist In Books is the album’s most esoteric moment, a slow-building track with classical overtones. For the most part this is strong, instrumental work which will appeal to anyone who enjoys the more challenging side of ambient music.
1. I Can’t Find Water
2. Constant Growth Fails
3. My Kids Live On Mars
4. I Need Exile
5. I Can’t Express My Deep Love
6. Nature Fights Back
7. Familiar Things Disappear
8. Trees Only Exist In Books
9. We Live A Thousand Years
Familiar Things Disappear:
Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music
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