Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Listen: Nils Frahm - "Says"

German pianist/producer Nils Frahm has made a career out of instrumental music of the genre-defying and intimate sort. Of that there is no question. But "Says", our first peek at Frahm's latest full length Spaces, seeks to take the introspective quality of Frahm's compositions and expand them ever outward - instead of quietly drawing in the listener, in a rare feat (for Frahm especially), it seeks to drag you into Frahm's headspace through a borderline aggressive act of percussive force.

On "Says", Frahm's use of minimalism results in perhaps the longest track in his entire catalog. A sprawling 8 minutes, it relies instead of on the artificial sound of a synth instead of Frahm's more natural piano to set its mood and for tonal coloring. His piano isn't gone, in fact it's still very much present but "Says" pairs the two very different textures into an ambient labyrinth of rising intensity.

The song's elasticity grants a newfound intimacy different than can be glimpses Frahm's shorter musical sketches. Because of the improvisatory nature of Frahm's performances, captured for Spaces, you're given a completely different perspective on Frahm's mental machinations. Listening to the track becomes like following a thought process, relying solely on communication of the nonverbal variety.

It's a stunning treat handled with excellent care from a talented well-rounded artist.

Nils Frahm's Spaces is out November 19th on Erased Tapes America.

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