Nils Frahm’s new LP ‘All Encores’ is a refreshing piece of musical tapestry

Nils Frahm’s new LP ‘All Encores’ is a refreshing piece of musical tapestry

Photo: Alexander Schneider
Words by Bronius Zumeris

A product of three EPs from his Encores series.

Nils Frahm has built a solid reputation as being at the forefront of the musical genre which combines the sound of a bygone era with contemporary practices and cutting-edge technology.

All Encores is a collection of three EPs titled the Encores series. In a moment of excess, it was even envisioned to be released as a triple album; a monolith concept album for the new age. This is the more sensible result.

It is also timely, given Frahm is due to return to Australian shores shortly. This venture combines some extended pieces such as ‘Harmonium In The Well’, ‘Spells’ and ‘All Armed’ along with bite size compositions.

Starting with the bleak ‘The Roughest Trade’, the record reveals a magical musical tapestry. Though it is unlikely that the opener is an ode to Rough Trade, Frahm positions himself at the vanguard of musicians stylising a modern sound.

The minimalism encourages the listener to delve into the musical template, taking them in unexpected directions. The sound is refreshing and vibrant. Much like those cheery German progenitors like Neu!, Cluster and Kraftwerk, Frahm could make unexpected castration sound quite acceptable. No surprise that he hails from the German metropolis of Hamburg.

Sometimes maudlin and sentimental melodies become drifting experiments into ambience and at other times, enter a robust rhythmic grid; ‘Sweet Little Lie’, for instance. Despite the austere façade, the music pulsates in an erstwhile manner. Acceptable to civil servants and those at the outer reaches of art.