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Lately everyone’s favourite contemporary ivory-tinkler Nils Frahm has been in the wars, suffering a broken thumb earlier in the year (hence the ‘Screws’ of the title) which rather swiftly put the brakes on his upwards momentum. Finding himself having to cancel his engagements and essentially take an unexpected holiday, he staved off the boredom by playing nine-fingered at home, ...

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Screws by Nils Frahm
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9/10 Mike Staff review, 27 November 2012

Lately everyone’s favourite contemporary ivory-tinkler Nils Frahm has been in the wars, suffering a broken thumb earlier in the year (hence the ‘Screws’ of the title) which rather swiftly put the brakes on his upwards momentum. Finding himself having to cancel his engagements and essentially take an unexpected holiday, he staved off the boredom by playing nine-fingered at home, and by the time his cast was removed he had created the nine wistful miniatures contained on this album.

In contrast to his most recent “proper” album ‘Felt’ this is very much stripped down to a neoclassical solo piano style, freed from the more modern experimentation of that record. There are simple, emotional melodies in spades, it’s kind of like the soundtrack to a film where someone looks sadly out of a window, cradling a glass of whiskey and a Hamlet cigar, waiting for the rain to end...and that could well be the essence of what Frahm was doing here, I suppose. Gorgeous, delicate stuff.




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