Skip to product information
1 of 1

Nils Frahm ‎
Tripping With Nils Frahm

Erased Tapes Records

Regular price
$55.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$55.00 SGD


Tripping with Nils Frahm is an illustration of Nils’ lauded ability as a composer and passionate live artist as well as the enchanting atmosphere of his captivating, and already legendary Funkhaus shows: An extraordinary musical trip – rare and exclusive, close and intimate, bringing a unique concert experience to the screen. Recorded at Berlin’s historic Funkhaus in 2018, this live album sounds uniformly gorgeous and features the composer and his passel of gear working dutifully as a well-oiled machine.

Nils Frahm’s dominant mode is the eyes-closed fantasia: immersive, rapturous, sentimental. That goes for his post-classical solo-piano work, which is indebted to both Keith Jarrett and George Winston, as well as his surging electronic pieces, which translate the grammar of classical minimalism into the language of techno. His music favors fluid lines and wistful melodies; even when it throbs, it prizes beauty, lyricism, and elegance.

Frahm’s showmanship was on full display in December 2018, when he set up at Berlin’s historic Funkhaus—a former East German radio headquarters, where he keeps his own recording studio—for four consecutive nights of performances. He played in the round, a castaway on a small island of gear, by turns manic, melancholy, and mild. Tripping With Nils Frahm, which boils down choice moments from those four nights into a 76-minute album, is more polished than his 2013 live album, Spaces, a compendium of two years of live performances. That collection acknowledged both spontaneity (“Improvisation for Coughs and a Cell Phone”) and the constant possibility of failure (“An Aborted Beginning,” an ambient dub sketch that peters out after 94 seconds), but on the new one, he and his passel of gear are a well-oiled machine.

The album, split between delicate solo piano pieces and billowing, groove-driven electronic improvisations, is largely drawn from his 2018 album All Melody and its outtakes collection, All Encores. What might be most surprising is how faithful his live renditions are to the original studio recordings. Without seeing it—something possible in an accompanying concert film, which includes 11 minutes’ worth of extra music—it can be hard to imagine how Frahm manages to do so much with just two hands. In “Sunson,” he juggles slow-motion techno with Mellotron counterpoints, cascading pipe organs, and the occasional Rhodes melody; “Fundamental Values” makes room for ambient pulses, Windham Hill-like piano solo, operatic vocal samples, and a heart-in-mouth climax whose double-time percussion is reminiscent of Autechre’s “Lost.” The crowd-pleasing “All Melody” stretches the original’s nine and a half minutes to more than 14, drawing out the tension inherent in his tumbling arpeggios. Sprawl is par for the course. Five of the album’s eight songs are more than 10 minutes long; “Fundamental Values” takes a four-minute album cut and blows it up to more than 14.

The sound throughout is gorgeous. Frahm is serious about his gear—he owns 11 Roland RE-501 Chorus Echoes, and uses five of them on stage—and that obsessiveness translates into truly incredible sound: sumptuous, nuanced, enveloping. He favors instruments with striking visceral sonorities, and he knows how to get the most out of the contrast between them. Some of the album’s most electrifying moments happen when he turns the sampled sounds of a pipe organ into an icy cascade of staccato tone bursts. But a nagging sense of sameness nevertheless settles in over the course of the record. “All Melody” and “#2” amount to a 25-minute set of theme and variations; the arpeggios and steady pulse of “Sunson” feel cut from the same cloth, and “Fundamental Values” reprises ideas from all three. The album’s most rewarding stretch is “My Friend the Forest” and “The Dane,” a pair of related solo piano pieces where he strips away the bells and whistles and lets his harmonic sensibilities shine. — (via Erased Tapes)

Label: Erased Tapes Records ‎– ERATP136LP

Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album

Released: 2021

Genre: Electronic, Classical

Style: Modern Classical, Minimal, Ambient, Live