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CD Feature/ Hans Fjellestad: "Snails R Sexy"

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Are snails sexy? Is Hans Fjellestad the 'Ozzy Osbourne' of experimental music? “Yes” on the latter, “maybe” on the first question. No doubt about it, Hans has grown to an internationally renowned figure of experimental music, experimental film and many other endeavors in those exciting fields in between these two so ambitious trades. His profile reflects the total dedication to art in general and he is one of those rare masters, whose enormous powerful work will maybe be recognized only generations later. But, I'm quite sure, he could care less. Since his life seems to me to be art, as well as art is his life.

Well, are snails sexy? Let me get to the point on this CD, that came out a few months ago. Responsible for this publication is once again the famous 'accretions' label, whose head Marcos Fernandes also signs as executive producer for this work. Marcos and Hans do have an extensive history, since they created some impressive musical work together, recording and being on stage together many a times. This coherent relation translates directly to 'snails r sexy'. 

Hans masters all aspects of experimental music. An accomplished pianist he also is an electronic music wizard. That does not only reflect superbly on this CD, but also in a movie called 'Moog', a reflection in pictures of the famous instrument, the moog synthesizer and its inventor. As an expert on this field, Hans Fjellestad has translated his knowledge and experience into 'snails r sexy', where he shows a wide variety of possibilities, that run up and down your spine when you listen to them and which really show you the endless ways music can follow. Often those are not the well traveled highways, but rather the dirt roads who lead into lands still undiscovered and uninhabited. And these places are the ones, where human life is put to the test: Can I or can't I survive in a place isolated from civilization? Can I or can't I find a way to my deepest, purest point of sensation, not by any means forged by those similar and repeated and a thousand and more times consumed sounds the civilized world showers us with? Please understand: this is what experimental music does for us, and this is, what Hans Fjellestad achieves on this very work of art: Music, that leads straight into the soul of human beings, without taking any detours.

But let's go back from the general to the particular: This CD is well structured as far as its experimental nature is concerned, which means, it isn't structured at all. Don't get me wrong, after listening I sure had an idea what might have been meant, but that is only true for my personal impression. And that makes this work so very exciting: It leaves all kinds of ways open for interpretation and personal reflections. My view of this music culminated in the piece 'love dart'. What had been going on before I would categorize as some kind of introduction, introduction into the world of love, meeting each other, slowly crawling to a point of togetherness, and then finally hit it off in 'love dart'. A steady heartbeat carries that piece, its speed translating into various degrees of excitement. Maybe that's only true for snails, but I am no so sure about it after reflecting on this work. It sure could be true for the relationships of human beings and all other love dependant beings as well. 

But before I reveal too much about my own fantasies I will say only this: As much as I can fantasize about this work, as much can you. So be open and let these sounds wash you away from the shores of reality. Dare the dive into these waters and find out, whether snails are sexy or not. And find out, whether Hans Fjellestad is the 'Ozzy Osbourne' of experimental music. I sure think he is, and my recommendation is to buy this CD and drift away to places unknown. Great music!!!

By Fred M. Wheeler

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