Hausmeister - Water-Wasser
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Hausmeister is one Christian Przygodda, and Water-Wasser is his sixth full length release and his first in three years. Influenced by everything from classical to folk and jazz, his music is light and airy, created on a slew of instruments (including horns, piano, organs, synths, vibes, guitar, bass, and drums) played entirely by Przygodda himself. The result is nine tracks of warm, sunny music that basically sounds like the work of a well-honed group of musicians (even though it's only one person) weaving through forty minutes of charming and occasionally stunning music.

Having listened to the release a good amount of times, it's difficult to really pick out other artists that Hausmeister resembles. Mixing up influences and styles rather fluidly, a comparison might be a more European Sea And Cake co-mingling with the lighter moments of Fridge, but one can literally hear everything from bossa nova to spaghetti westerns seeping into songs as well. Album-opener "Ursula" is a perfect example, shuffling along with both live and programmed beats, a repeated piano phrase, wordless vocals, and playful little segues that feature everything from field recordings and nice guitar work to backwards swirls of electronics.

"Jeden Tag" follows, and is just as unique, mixing more piano with soft synths and a sly jazzy rhythm before slipping into a horn and flute section (with whistling) and a coda with field recordings and noodling guitars. "Grosse Reader" starts off deceptively as distorted guitar chords slowly play out in space, but before you know it, they fold back into something softer and are assimilated by a bunch of hand percussion and some subtle filtered chimes.

Despite my descriptions make Water-Wasser sound like somewhat of a hodge-podge, it really isn't. Tracks shift in very deceptive ways, and the whole album flows together with a united warmth that makes it all go down about as smooth as can be. In fact, the release goes down a bit too soft in places, and if I can level a criticism at it, it's that it plays things too safe a good portion of the time. Considering the album has a loose conceptual theme of being based around the movement of water itself, it seems that Przygodda has concerned himself with the peaceful movement of streams, brooks, and tide-pools rather than the more volatile side of the element, but if that's indeed the case then the forty minutes of music on this release more than capture the feel. This is the sort of release that sounds perfect late at night or early in the morning.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2007-05-31 21:10:00