The material collected for Snowflakes and Carwrecks was recorded during the same sessions that produced last year’s Ferndorf album, Volker Bertelmann’s impressive second LP for Fat Cat’s 130701 offshoot. Although billed as an EP, the CD’s seven tracks clock up a forty-minute playtime (NB: the vinyl edition is restricted to five) and the track sequence makes for a rather wonderful album in its own right.
As was the case with Ferndorf, the music here extends far beyond the solo prepared piano excursions of Hauschka’s older material, embracing broader arrangements augmented by light electronics and a string duo. These additional musicians play a big part in establishing the understated wintry romance of ‘Eisblume’ and bringing to life a piece like ‘Tanz’, which is driven by choppy, Philip Glass-like interlocking cello and violin, making panicked exchanges with Bertelmann’s very physical and staccato piano performance. The longest composition on Snowflakes and Carwrecks, ‘Hauberg’, finds the Hauschka sound taking on yet grander proportions, beginning with fluid minor key broodings and slowly accumulating an air of tension as it traverses an involving nine-minute span. Another step up on Hauschka’s evolutionary ladder, this release is a must for anyone who got to know and love Ferndorf, and it’s sure to find favour with followers of Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and the like. Highly recommended.
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