In the liner notes of this album, Tobias Ruderer cites Pierre Boulez whose preferred instrument was the piano because its sounds are mortal in opposition to strings that can potentially be played for an infinite time. That thought in mind, the 18 tracks on this compilation released by the German Pingipung label become even more interesting.
Only on a few tracks, the piano actually plays the main part. Adam Butler who has experimented with piano sounds before on albums such as ?Schmoozing With the Apr?s Garde? or his reworking of Keith Jarrett?s ?The K?ln Concert? continues on his contribution what he began on ?Schmoozing.? He alters the sound of the piano only slightly. His focus is on the sound of the instrument itself, which makes his track the most expressionist on the CD. It?s also the one track on the compilation that comes closest to the mortality described above. Butler lets almost every note die before he gives birth to the next one.
There are other highlights on the CD. Pingipung home artist Nils Dittbrenner uses a repetitive piano loop reminiscent of Philipp Glass on his track as Grabuk resulting in six minutes of delightful meditation. Florian Grote plays a nice short piece that is slowly, but steadily overrun by breezy background noises. Guido M?bius is the only one who dares to completely deconstruct the wooden box. About one minute into his track, the piano is replaced by pure noise. It makes a miraculous comeback later, but this time it sounds like a harpsichord.
Other artists use the piano only as one element of several. The results are mixed, but mostly very satisfying. I like the gentle electronica of Nils Frahm, Mister Tingle and the piano pop of Egobird. Thaddi (of the shoegazer duo Hermann & Kleine) has a great melody to offer, but his beats and vocal samples don?t fit in at all. Lawrence (who has two tracks on this CD) and the piano are a gifted combination. The instrument is just the right one for his autumnal, elegiac sound.
What I like about this collection is that despite its lucid theme it doesn?t attempt to offer an academic analysis of what a piano has to sound like. It becomes apparent that the artists had all the freedom they wanted. That?s probably what makes this CD such a pleasant listening experience. 7/10 -- Stephan Bauer (27 June, 2006)