Old friends and fellow neo-classical composer / performers Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds recently had a film made about them: the audio on this album, Trance Frendz, is taken from the same sessions documented in the film. First take improvisations that reach some delicate, sublime heights. LP on Erased Tapes.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 03 March 2016
Arnalds and Frahm, once billed as the Bonnie and Clyde of piano by Phil (or words to that ‘effect’), here continue their intimate tinklings while taking it to the next level by getting someone to film it. So, all these here improv sessions were born from this event, the camera amplifying their musical power in one vain swoop.
Yes, the majority of these are low key ivory jams, devoid of the electronic touches of Loon and most things resembling a beat. They’ve miked up most of the room around them, too, so you can here Nils’ legs wiggling in some piano-induced moment of clarity, entered by playing melodies that can break you down in a second if you let your emotional guard down. And we don’t like doing that, do we? Got to stay strong for the cameras. Or, make like these two and let everything out for the cameras, though without an instrument you may just have to gush about your feelings through voice. Where was I?
Ok there are actually some that play heavily on the synth vibe, and sure enough, at 23:52 before the clock strikes 12, they flick the power switch and conjure a wall of downcast chords through the lens of fiery, fizzing Juno. It’s almost like Interstellar all over again. They even use some basic rhythm at 00:26, feeding a synth with some steady stuttering.
Overall, a nice and balanced set of jams that showcase both sides of the duo - the Arnalds and the Frahm.
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- Trance Frendz by Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm
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