Magazine article The Spectator

The Listener: Nils Frahn: All Melody

Magazine article The Spectator

The Listener: Nils Frahn: All Melody

Article excerpt

Grade: A

Here we are in that twilit zone where post-techno and post-ambient meets modern classical, a terrain that has its fair share of tuneless charlatans and chancers. Frahm is not one of those.

There are of course the repetitive synthesiser arpeggios familiar to anyone who has had the misfortune to sit in some achingly hip Dalston café: slightly too many for my liking on '#2', which Frahm may consider the centrepiece of this album. But the German is obsessively attuned to nuance. Beneath those Glass-like riffs there is plenty going on: descant melodies, counterpoints burbling up out of the ether. He stretches himself, too, using wordless vocals on 'The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched' (yes, the titles are almost all unforgivable) and elsewhere trumpets and marimba.

Fortunately for the listener, though, he is still in thrall to the acoustic piano, the instrument that brought him to prominence. …

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