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Hans Nieswandt

Hans Is Playing House

(Bureau B; US: 16 Aug 2011; UK: 8 Aug 2011)

The tracklist for Hans Is Playing House indicates Hans Nieswandt’s work is prolific; his reputation as a DJ has allowed him to amass more than a dozen different European artists to remix. The result is not terribly diverse. As the album’s title signals, he’s working with house music for the most part, though he has said that his aim was also to make “disco versions” of these songs. Over the course of 14 tracks, he sticks mostly to the fundamentals of both genres; the synthesizer in “Deine Geschichte” would sound very comfortable on a ‘70s disco LP, and the pounding bass synth and drum opening “Mama Baby Joe”—one of the album’s coolest tracks—recalls Daft Punk. Like most remix records, though, there are a few oddball tracks. Most notably, the vocals on “Ebay the Force” (no doubt the name of an indie band in the waiting) sound like an unused bit of a jingle for the auction website, which, unfortunately, is not a good thing. Stranger moments aside, the album’s strongest tracks include the remix of Festland’s “Sirenen”, featuring a very catchy minor-key melody along with the requisite four-on-the-floor beat and smooth bass line, that makes for an excellent conclusion to the record.

While well done, after about 30 minutes into the album’s hour-plus runtime, the record begins to lag. It doesn’t help that the record feels a little bit self-indulgent. Although Nieswandt’s skill as a DJ is never in question, only diehard fans are likely to sit through almost an hour and a half’s worth of one musician’s remixes.


Brice Ezell is the Assistant Editor of PopMatters, where he also reviews music, film, and books, which he has done since 2011. He also is the creator of PopMatters' Notes on Celluloid column, which covers the world of film music. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour", was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.

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