Nils Frahm is a German composer and musician whose work combines acoustic and electronic instruments with a primary focus on pianos and synthesizers. His recordings range from solo and prepared piano compositions to melodic synthesizer pieces, as well as soundtrack work. Frahm's debut LP, Streichelfisch, combining heavy electronic glitch with acoustic instruments, was released in 2005 on his AtelierMusik label. My First EP followed in 2006, and Electric Piano, marking Frahm's shift to piano-based works, arrived in 2008. Two more solo piano works, Wintermusik (on Sonic Pieces) and The Bells (on Kning Disc), were well-received. Frahm began collaborating with many electronic and modern classical artists, including F.S. Blumm, Machinefabriek, Peter Broderick, and Anne Müller. The 2011 solo album Felt, featuring heavily atmospheric prepared piano compositions, arrived on Erased Tapes (home to most of Frahm's subsequent releases), along with the synthesizer-based single "Juno." Minimalist piano album Screws followed in 2012, and Frahm collaborated with Ólafur Arnalds on the Stare EP the same year. Juno Reworked, a 12" EP featuring both tracks from the "Juno" single as well as remixes by Luke Abbott and Clark, appeared in 2013. Spaces, a live album consisting of field recordings of Frahm's performances over the course of two years, appeared toward the end of 2013, and was his most acclaimed recording to date, receiving high praise from numerous publications. His 2015 album, Solo, was initially released for free on March 29, a day Frahm declared to be "World Piano Day." He composed his first film score for the German single-take film Victoria in 2015. Later that year, Frahm produced an eclectic mix as part of the Late Night Tales mix CD series. In early 2016, he revisited his Screws album with Screws Reworked, a selection of remixes from fans and fellow musicians, handpicked by Frahm himself. ~ Paul Simpson
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Ambient - Released January 26, 2018 | Erased Tapes
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While a whole generation of musicians seems to have adapted to nomadic composition, often between two dates in a plane or in a tour bus, there still are some that like the quality of studio production. Whatever the most-seasoned chamber producers may say, the surroundings are a major factor in the success of a recording (ask Ben Frost or Midori Takada). When other people release maxi CDs every two months, Nils Frahm, German virtuoso of the electric (or sometimes not) piano, took two years to imagine and build his “dream studio”. He put it in a place steeped in history, the Funkhaus Berlin, former headquarters of the East German public broadcasting that was transformed into a studio and concert hall facility. Nils Frahm has thus taken residence in Saal 3 to patiently build a pipe organ that you’ll hear emerging from the first tracks of the disc, like this profession of faith The Whole Universe Wants to Be Touched. With this seventh album which, track after track, makes us dive once again with delight into his oneiric—and almost subaquatic—world, the German pursues his quest for perfection, which he knows to be unreachable. “The music I hear inside me will never end up on a record, as it seems I can only play it for myself. This record includes what I think sticks out and describes my recent musical discoveries in the best possible way I could imagine.” We certainly want him to keep trying…© Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
Film Soundtracks - Released June 12, 2015 | Erased Tapes
Appearing on the heels of his spring 2015 release, Solo, which was improvised in a single sitting on the world's (then) largest upright piano, Victoria is German composer Nils Frahm's film scoring debut. His stark, atmospheric, largely improvised score features his own keyboard work, as well as accompaniment by Anne Müller on cello, Viktor Orri Árnason on violin, and Erik K. Skodvin (Deaf Center) on guitar. The soundtrack was released on Erased Tape Records in June 2015, coinciding with the German theatrical release of the movie, a single-take German caper film directed by Sebastian Schipper. ~ Marcy Donelson
Electro - Released September 11, 2015 | Late Night Tales
As with the majority of the Late Night Tales mix CDs, German composer/pianist Nils Frahm's volume isn't a beatmatched DJ mix attempting to emulate a night out at a dance club, but rather a dreamlike sound collage highlighting inspirations and favorite items in the artist's record collection. Frahm takes a more surrealist bent than other contributors to the series, throwing in selections from his 78-rpm recording collection, layering in spoken word and classical pieces, and slowing down Boards of Canada by accident, but leaving it in because it sounds even more mysterious. Frahm starts the collection by jokingly covering John Cage's eternal think piece "4'33"," but instead of four-and-a-half minutes of silence, he constructs a gentle, slowly paced piano melody, adding some delicate feedback toward the end. Dubby electronic tracks from System and Rhythm & Sound sit alongside jazz masterpieces by Miles Davis and Nina Simone, and a 1932 recording of "Flight of the Bumble Bee" (as well as a field recording of a friend's cat purring) lighten up the mood. The album ends with a chilling short story told by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, who concludes it by stating "You have been listening to Late Night Tales, music and stories worth staying up for," providing a fitting end to this immersive hour-long dream sequence. ~ Paul Simpson
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