- The piano is an instrument that currently fascinates electronic producers. In the past year, artists as disparate as Emika and Guti have released solo piano albums. Meanwhile, a growing number of pianists—most notably Hauschka and Francesco Tristano, who has just released a Body Language mix on Get Physical—are exploring the intersection of techno and modern classical composition.
Delia Gonzalez's contribution to this field, In Remembrance, dates to 2010. It was originally written for an art installation piece. She is not jumping on any bandwagon. But, like her peers, Gonzalez is clearly obsessed with both the tonal range of the piano and the way in which, like much electronic music, it encourages the player to toy with short, looped phrases over long periods. In Nils Frahm's work, that mechanical repetition is balanced with moments of quiet, tender beauty, whereas Gonzalez's music is harsher, more urgent, less technically accomplished, less emotionally raw. There is a plangent quality to "III," but despite its elegiac title, In Remembrance really hits home in its revved-up, declarative moments, on "IV" and particularly "II." On the latter, Gonzalez's playing recalls the spiralling modular synth-scapes that she used to create with Gavin Russom.
Completing that circle, the New York producer Bryce Hackford has remixed these four tracks in a playfully experimental way. Reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never, "Remix I" has a highly artificial, metallic sheen, but is no less poignant for that, while, across "Remix II" and "Remix III," Hackford toggles around a kick-drum with all the loose insouciance of Wolfgang Voigt. A delirious, languorous 13 minutes of rippling piano and surging, acid-tinged synths, "Remix III" is the kind of thing you could imagine Villalobos dropping, mid-set, to conjure a moment of transcendent reverie.
05. I (Bryce Hackford Remix)
06. II (Bryce Hackford Remix)
07. III (Bryce Hackford Remix)
08. IV (Bryce Hackford Remix)