Label: FatCat Release Date: 16/02/09 Link: www.myspace.com/hauschka I always found the idea of releasing an 'offcuts' album, alongside the double album, as the ultimate in musical risk taking. It's akin to the Hollywood remake machine in my eyes. However, occasionaly those big wigs in fake tan land get it right and that success is also mirrored in the sligtly less tanned world of music making (Paris Hilton aside of course). Last year the fantastic wizard of piano scrambling, Hauscka (Volker Bertelmann), released the mind bogglingly great 'Ferndorf'. Listening to it was like leaning over the edge of a very tall builidng even though  you hate heights. It's manic-head rush sort of music but undeniably beautiful and as you would imagine, 'Snowflakes & Carwrecks' is pretty much more of the same. WIth the piano as his main vehicle for exploration, Hauschka delivers us an 8 track EP full of experimental and virtuoso music. Bertelmann's ability to make music this unique, as well the sounds that emanate from his trusted instrument, comes from his experimentation into the inner workings of the piano. Much like John Cage's 'Prepared Piano' works, Bertelmann modifys the hell out of his piano by attatching all manner of objects to the strings, with the end result being nothing short of breathtaking. Even with his experimental bent, it never sounds pretentious or overdone and that for me is Bertelmann's greatest talent. You've got the most ridiculusly complex songs like 'Wonder', with its percussive and orchestral greatness, sat neatly beside the slighlty more held back songs like 'Kindelsberg', and it works so well. I can't wait to see what he does next. Rating: 7/10