Friday, 12 January 2018

Nils Frahm - Spaces (2013)

In anticipation of the new album he's releasing later this month, here's some more Nils Frahm - previously posted was his solo piano masterpiece The Bells.  Two tracks from that album get nicely fleshed out on this patchwork-style live release (one of them tripling in length), and there's lots more to be amazed by across the 76 minutes of Spaces.  This album was my introduction to Frahm at full tilt, blending synth sequences with lightning-fingered piano improvisations and further electronic manipulation on the fly.

Occasionally this seat-of-the-pants approach doesn't take off.  It's actually to Frahm's credit (and indicative of his self-deprecating sense of humour - the sleevenotes are essential reading!) that he not only leaves in one of these failed experiments, but opens the album with it, giving a nice little snapshot of his developing craft.  When he gets into the groove though, Frahm is utterly electrifying.  Nowhere is this better displayed than on the epic medley of For-Peter-Toilet Brushes-More, which takes the third part of its title from the household objects that Frahm beats the piano strings with.  And yes, as live footage I've seen can attest, they were fresh-out-of-the-wrapper brushes.

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3 comments:

  1. A superb performer. Saw him playing this material a few years back at Mutek, opening for Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory... a double bill made in heaven. Never understood with these two guys did not collaborate.

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    1. Yep, Frahm's proved himself a superb collaborator a few times already - hope he keeps branching out!

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  2. Absolutely engaging stuff - I loved the opening mistake!

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