O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Nils Point

Nils Frahm is All Melody and More

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: February, 2018
Before a note of music has been played the scene been set, the listener has been given their first impression of Frahm at work...
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: February, 2018
Before a note of music has been played the scene been set, the listener has been given their first impression of Frahm at work...

Nils Frahm
All Melody
(Erased Tapes)

All Melody opens with the sound of someone walking, probably even running and tripping, across a studio floor.  Before a note of music has been played the scene been set, the listener has been given their first impression of Frahm at work in his new studio and something very beautiful is about to happen. 

What happens next is a surprise. For an artist known almost exclusively for his work with pianos, pipe organs, synths, processors and drum machines, the wordless singing of London based choir Shards feels a little incongruous. 

The choir, like many of the elements of All Melody, make repeated appearances throughout the album, their voices weave in an out of the proceedings, like characters in a novel. Their reintroduction on the gentle 'A Place' provides an affecting juxtaposition of divine voices with Frahm's dark electronic textures. But it's the mixture of the choir with the lonely cry of Richard Koch's trumpet on Human Range that is the most poignant and moving. 

Frahm's decision to move his studio from his apartment into Saal 3, a former East Berlin broadcast facility that was built in the 1950s, is a key factor in the development of his sound. It's not simply that he now has the physical space to invite other musicians to perform with him, as much as the new environment has brought a new depth and warmth to his sound.  

Whereas previously, Frahm's albums of minimalist piano pieces (Screws, Felt, Solo etc.) were so intimate that the listener could almost sense the confined conditions that they were recorded in, All Melody flows freely,  the instruments blending seamlessly together in their new surroundings. 

The title track is a perfect example of the new freedom that Frahm has. It's hypnotic melody rises, falls and rises again, quietly disappears and then builds to an intoxicating conclusion. It's breathtaking. 

All Melody is a remarkable and immersive experience. It is a journey through a series of spellbinding atmospheres, there may be elements of jazz, classical and electronic music here, but it's the graceful way that it all flows together to create something new.  It is Nils Frahm's finest album to date.


See an Introduction to Nils Frahm on our YouTube page
 

 

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

OUTSIDELEFT Night Out 2
 
best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Jazz Vs. The Chicago Underground Trio
The intrepid Chicago Underground Trio stretch jazz out of shape and then let it straighten them out.
Top 5 big records of 2013 that I never got around to
I trust these are great because all the quality people like them.
She's Not Like the Other Girls, Dammit
Wilco: For Your Love
Wilco feels about as dangerous as cozy suburban library branch anymore, but like that library, within its walls lay a comprehensive and powerful energy.
Queens of the Underground - The Rolling Stones
joe ambrose/marsha hunt rolling stones appreciation society.
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bent Plywood
Some of our favorite things...