Hauschka - A NDO C Y - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Hauschka - A NDO C Y

by Alexis Somerville Rating:8 Release Date:2015-08-02

German composer Hauschka’s most recent album, Abandoned City, was inspired by abandoned places around the world, evoking their emptiness alongside the excited movement of detritus. A NDO C Y is an EP which manifests as a reclamation of tracks abandoned from its predecessor; a poetic action which pays off. Even the peculiar title is a reworking of Abandoned City with letters missing.

While mostly a neoclassical composer, Hauschka (AKA Volker Bertelman) hails from a techno background, a fact which is evident in the rhythmic and electronic aspects of his music. Always one to experiment with the possibilities of the piano, percussive noises complement the melody and create mesmerising rhythms.

Opener ‘Hashima Island’ is characterised by what sounds like a ping pong ball being bounced off the floor of an empty hall, an image which ties in with the project’s theme. And while it most likely isn’t, part of the enjoyment of a Hauschka track is in not knowing how he did it all, just as part of the enjoyment of seeing him in concert is in witnessing the process by which he adds objects to the inside of the piano to create percussion.

The very names of these deserted places sound magical, none more so than ‘Palace in the Sky’, whose moniker, tempo and atmosphere all bring to mind a Studio Ghibli-style journey into the clouds. ‘Varosha’ is a highlight, making exceptional use of percussion while the cinematic piano ebbs and flows.

The EP ends with a couple of remixes of tracks from Abandoned City. The first is by Devendra Banhart, operating in a world away from his usual folk style as he remixes ‘Agdam’, slowing it down and adding layers which evoke uneasy exploration of a new (or perhaps abandoned) planet before returning to the more upbeat ambience of the original. The Eluvium remix of ‘Stromness’ is a mesmerising 8-minute opus.

A NDO C Y is the perfect accompaniment to Abandoned City, completing Hauschka's process with original material as well as that reworked by friends who clearly understand the project. Best listened to at high volume and preferably not on tinny laptop speakers.

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