Master of the aching, delicate phrase, and enrapturing melodious pulse, Nils Frahm is back with an album of wide instrumental scope. Born out of his newly constructed studio, this work represents a fresh approach, a glorious attempt to depict the mysterious and inherently beautiful music one hears from within.
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Referred to affectionately as “the Frahmster” by my bothersome boss, Nils Frahm is the holy ghost in Erased Tapes. He’s done a whole lot more for neo-classical than you have, so pay some damn respect. Max Richter don’t read this. His new record is called ‘All Melody’ but there’s some bluster, too: having made a gorgeously minute record in ‘Solo’, he now offers his next version of electro-classical melodrama, echoing moments of Rival Consoles, himself and a medieval fantasy via blasts of pipe organ.
As ever, Frahm’s first artistic decision is to make it ornate: his pindrop production is perhaps his finest asset, and the hiss that blisses out the rhythmic air percussion of “Sunson” recalls Tim Hecker’s ‘Love Streams’, making you notice colour and shade in invisible properties. It’s a lovely track that more than passes the benchmark of his most grandiose tunes. For this listener, though, it’s almost a matter of getting these trophy moments out of the way: he moves into “My Friend The Forest” and offers us that wonderful, lilting piano meditation he does so well, twinkling the keys with a brush of his fingers before bringing it deep into chordal gloom.
Listen to him lounge, is what I’m saying. How’s a musician gonna bring us into such immense territory as “Sunson” and then just play smooth, wind-down jazz? “Forever Changeless” is a quiet and twinkling tune that Phil demands a cigar and a cosier chair for. He won’t get it, though; all accolades instead go to Frahm, whose surely made his strangest record in ‘All Melody’ -- never stagnating, it slinks from downbeat dub into ear-shredding out into that ol’ piano kindness. ‘All Melody’? More like ‘Bunch of Stuff’.
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- All Melody by Nils Frahm
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