German musician Volker Bertelmann's prepared-piano experiments have rarely been as captivating as on Salon des Amateurs, the composer's exhilarating ode to a vibrant bar in his native Dusseldorf. The record is led by searing grooves and nods to 90s Cologne electronic music that pitted against Bertelmann's piano motifs and orchestral instrumentation produce something unerring in intensity and compelling throughout.

Bertelmann, who operates under the pseudonym of Hauschka, earned rapturous reviews for his previous full-length Foreign Landscapes, which toyed with grand symphonic arrangements and traditional classical instrumentation amid the inventive rattle of his piano manipulation. Salon... sees the composer veer towards dance music in a bold and rewarding move indicative of the sort of audacity that marks out musicians; a quality known of John Cage, for instance, who Bertelmann's music is indebted to.

The songs follow the rise and fall dynamics of European techno music and share its unrelenting pace. 'Radar' borrows from the pizzicato beginnings of Battles' 'Race In' and quickly builds into a dazzling attack on the senses; lashings of brooding synth haunt the backdrop and syncopated brass stabs lend a seedy flavour to its pulsating vigour. Tanzbein injects a euphoria into proceedings with its uplifting chord patterns that both parodies and pays homage to the intoxicating power of club music, while Subconscious wraps an ascending cello motif around its brazen snare hits with echoes of Cinematic Orchestra.

The record begs to soundtrack late nights and early hours and makes an entrancing escape from the rigid formality of much contemporary classical music, though it might be argued Bertelmann's avant-garde inclinations place him elsewhere. Salon des Amateurs captures the mechanised rhythms of an imagined night-time metropolis and confirms the composer as one of the most versatile and engaging composers going.