Featuring collaborator and cellist Anne Müller, violinist Viktor Orri Árnason and ambient artist Erik K. Skodvin of Deaf Center on guitar, this is Nils Frahm’s first soundtrack score produced for German director Sebastian Schipper’s feature film ‘Victoria’. Filmed in one continuous take in Berlin, the film follows the story of a wayward party girl on a night out that quickly turns into a crime spree. The dramatic atmospheric changes in the film are perfectly complimented by the score as it changes from fully charged techno to remorseful, anxious piano compositions.
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Uh… Nils? Is that you? Making techno? Are you trying to get a coveted 3.5 out of 5 on Resident Advisor? Cut that out. You’re the piano man. In fact it's not Frahm it's DJ Koze doing an edit exclusively for this soundtrack. Relax...let's breathe easy. He's the piano man.
Seriously, though: a couple of months down the line from christening his inaugural Piano Day with ‘Solo’, a record of super minimal, barely played chords and songs, Frahm returns with ‘Music For The Motion Picture Victoria’, which was all shot in one continuous take. Frahm is in nauseating form, refusing to be quiet on set. Still this is Frahm we’re talking about, so even DJ Koze's hard edge electronic aggressions get smoothed out, the beats sounding like they’ve landed on nice, safe cushions.
‘Victoria’ may have been shot in one fluid take, but Frahm clearly cut out for lunch a few times during his score; the tone changes drastically throughout, with “Our Own Roof” returning to Frahm’s usual method of looking wistful and wise and hoping that such emotions can automatically be transposed onto piano, with some gorgeous, Godspeed-esque strings wilting beside him courtesy of Anne Müller and Viktor Orri Árnason. As usual, the piano sounds warmly thrummed, the instrument itself heard on top of its projected sounds. Watery field recordings patter in on “In The Parking Garage’, a drone with the foggy articulation of Loscil, while a rawer and more punctuated slice of ambient comes on the sharply intoned “The Bank”. Phew. Is Nils in a mood?
At times this is Frahm as usual -- soft, sweet and ever-so-wise -- but there are moments where he seems to use his compositions as a chance to aggress and overwhelm. For a dude stuck with a certain set of neo-classical tactics, it’s refreshing to hear him confusing me. Only 291 sleeps 'til the next piano day!
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