Album Review: Hans Ottsen

Music for Mind Movies
By Pam Baumgardner

Hans OttsenI woke up pleasantly surprised on New Year’s Day to find that Hans Ottsen had just released a brand new EP called “Music for Mind Movies.” While getting to know Hans and his live jazz performances at one of my favorite venues, Squashed Grapes, I learned that he also teaches guitar lessons, and is a well-sought after session musician.  He co-produced and engineered at Filzar Studios for the past year or so, and recently worked on Phil Salazar’s new release, “Life on the Edge,”  In exchange he earned some prime studio time.

So how did Hans use that time?  He told me, “I got Tico Trio (Randy Tico, Adam Clark n’ me) in there a couple months ago and we’re planning to release that one early 2014. These tracks were really just me experimenting in the studio. I never really planned to release them as I was creating them.  Then I thought it’d be fun to release an EP without any jazz on it.”

Han’s EP titled Music for Mind Movies is seven eclectic beautifully written and performed songs, that if you allow, will take you to another place. Hans explained, “As for the name, the tunes don’t adhere to any one genre. There’s some ambient electronic, instrumental pop, demented circus music, but I can’t really describe it all easily. I’ve been told that it all kinda sounds like ‘music from a movie.’ Those movies have yet to be made. They exist in the mind.  Music For Mind Movies.”

The first track, “111113 DMS,” remains my favorite, it starts so simply and builds to a beautiful crescendo. You can’t help but imagine how perfectly this would fit in any number of blockbuster movies on the big screen.  “Zoey’s Lullably” is just flat out too cool for school and “Circus Animal Lullaby” just takes you subtly to another place.  They’re all incredible tracks.

You could listen to Music for Mind Movies in the car driving up the coast, listen while working, listen with your headphones on (eyes closed), but just make the time and listen.

The EP was produced by Phil Salazar & Hans Ottsen.  All All tunes were written by Hans Ottsen except Kornflakes (Hans Ottsen & Phil Salazar) and Ayefbe (Phil Salazar).

For now, “Music for Mind Movies” is only available on Bandcamp, where you can give it a test drive, but you’ll want to actually purchase it for a couple of reasons:
1. Have it at the ready for your listening pleasure
2. Support your local artist
3. It’s not okay to steal music
4. It’s only $7.

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