Room to Expand

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German composer Volker Bertelmann--aka Hauschka--writes imaginative, pop-derived experimental pieces for piano that truly sound like nothing else out there. Compositionally, he works in a mode similar to that of Harold Budd, alternating between subtle melodic movement and rhythm-focused circularity, but his piano--which is often chopped and jerry-rigged and tampered with--possesses a unique timbre. Unlike many modern artists who use the recording studio to mess with sound, Bertelmann messes with sound and then records it in stunningly clear audio verite. The results are hypnotic.

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