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NILS FRAHM

F.S.Blumm & Nils Frahm

2X1=4

    The seven-track album finds the duo unexpectedly exploring a dub influenced universe, though in truth it’s one already familiar to both. F.S.Blumm, for instance, is co-founder of Quasi Dub Development, whose 2014 album, Little-Twister vs Stiff-Neck, featured Lady Ann and Lee Scratch Perry, while Frahm’s music – not least 2018’s All Melody – has occasionally betrayed a fondness for the form’s associated studio techniques, though he concedes wryly that his approach has always been “a little bit more German” than his influences.

    F.S.Blumm, a revered mainstay of the German underground for over two decades, and Nils Frahm, who’s enjoyed significant success in recent years with his ground-breaking compositions for piano and synths, first met in the early 2000s. Frahm was a big fan of Blumm’s 2001 album, Mondkuchen – he refers to his fellow Berlin resident admiringly these days as “a vital brick in the Berlin Wall” – while Blumm was soon dazzled by Frahm’s studio set up. “Compared to mine,” he says, “it was like a space ship!” Soon they were working together on a variety of projects – including theatre pieces and animated films – and by 2010 they’d released their first collaborative album, Music For Lovers Music Versus Time. A second, Music For Wobbling Music Versus Gravity, followed in 2013, and a third, Tag Eins Tag Zwei, in 2016.

    2X1=4 is very different to its predecessors, but its final track, ‘Neckrub’, first took shape as they wound up work on Tag Eins Tag Zwei. “We had a certain sound in the back of our heads,” Blumm recalls, “which was influenced by these 80s rhythm machines, and we suddenly discovered a common love for dub.” Most of the new album, therefore, was initially developed in 2016 during improvisation sessions recorded by Frahm to two-track cassette. “It was like we were running a combine harvester,” Blumm laughs, “so we could write our names on a single grain!”

    Afterwards, they worked on editing and overdubs in Frahm’s new studio at Berlin’s legendary Funkhaus. “We kept on making new songs out of these sessions and starting over and over again,” Frahm smiles. “It was a process that was time consuming but really fun.” Not that either of them is eager to claim a purist approach. “I love ending up somewhere where I’m surprised by myself or the machine or the person with whom I’m making music,” Blumm concludes, while Frahm emphasises that, “None of this is too serious. The record is only as much of a dub record as the ones before are jazz records…”


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Blumm & Frahm have worked together before a couple times resulting in a number of excellent outings for Sonic Pieces, but this time sees the talented duo explore more dubby landscapes, with deep basses and electronic blips, wonderfully inventive and brilliantly immersive.

    TRACK LISTING

    Desert Mule
    Presidential Tub
    Puddle Drop
    Buddy Hop
    Sarah & Eve
    Raw Chef
    Neckrub

    Piano Day 2021 sees Nils Frahm surprise the world with his Erased Tapes debut. Wait, what? How? Anyone who has seen the trail blazing sonic pioneer live will know Nils likes to deadpan a joke. Graz is in fact the first studio album he recorded for the label back in 2009, that somehow remained a secret… until now.

    Nils Frahm has quietly changed the musical landscape, reincarnating the centuries old figure of a pianist-composer for a new generation of music fans. As Nils’ word-of-mouth popularity grew and grew, so did the pop-culture profile of his instrument. He founded Piano Day with a team of like-minded friends in 2015 to help that process, some years releasing an album of piano recordings to celebrate one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Graz is one such record; an unheard snapshot of a young Nils recorded at Mumuth, the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, in 2009 as part of the thesis Conversations for Piano and Room produced by Thomas Geiger, which received an award in the Classical Surround Recording category at the 127th AES Convention in New York.

    Whilst at the time it was decided to keep the grand piano recordings from the Graz sessions locked away and instead focus on his close mic’ed, dampened piano explorations which would become his acclaimed studio album Felt in 2011, two of the pieces — most notably Hammers — lived on as part of his live set, and were expanded on and re-recorded as part of his breakthrough 2013 record Spaces (a collage of field recordings from concerts which broke the Fourth Wall and included audience coughs). Over his mercurial career, Nils has pushed and pulled at the boundaries and parameters of his prolific work like that. He’s physically changed his piano (the softened prepared strings of Felt) played with a modified body (Screws recorded with 9 fingers and a broken thumb) played with scale (Solo recorded on the 3.7 metre high Klavins M370) and with the different layers of formats (last year’s Tripping with Nils Frahm nested his studio setup inside a live performance, concert film and live album). Now with Graz he has found the final frontier for play: time itself and his own discography. Graz is a moment of time at the very beginning of Nils’ quiet revolution. The essential genius is already evident; the harmonic language of classical, and the immediacy of jazz. Nils seems to pull down each idea moment by moment, gently, to not scare away the muse.

    He describes: “sometimes when you hear a piano, you might think it’s a conversation between a woman and a man. At the same time, it can hint at shapes of the universe and describe how a black hole looks. You can make sounds that have no relation to anything we can measure.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: There have been a number of Frahm iterations. Personally (though I love them all), I think that the era that birthed both 'Felt' and 'The Bells' is probably my favourite. It's with considerable excitement I read that this 'latest' outing is in fact the least latest of all the outings. Gorgeous piano musings, tickling ivories and roomy 'verb, just like in the olden days (2009 - 2011). Astoundingly good.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Lighter
    2. O I End
    3. Because This Must Be
    4. Kurzum
    5. And Om
    6. Hammers
    7. Crossings
    8. About Coming And Leaving
    9. Went Missing

    Nils Frahm

    Tripping With Nils Frahm

      A legendary artist at a legendary location: Tripping with Nils Frahm captures one of the world’s most sought-after live acts performing at one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings.

      When Nils Frahm kicked off his world tour at Funkhaus Berlin in January 2018 to bring his highly acclaimed studio album All Melody to the stage, an ambitious journey was just to begin: Over the next two years, Frahm played more than 180 sold-out performances, including the Sydney Opera House, LA’s Disney Hall, the Barbican in London, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and several big festival stages around the globe. Yet the stunning setting of Funkhaus Berlin, renowned for its vintage grandeur and outstanding acoustics, and also home to Frahm’s magnificent studio where All Melody was recorded, had occupied a unique place in the artist's heart.

      In December 2018, Nils Frahm eventually returned to Funkhaus Berlin to host another set of four shows, tickets sold out within hours. Frahm’s friend and film director Benoit Toulemonde — a collaborator since 2011 — captured the concerts on film, only using handheld cameras, and employing techniques he had mastered for the famous concert series La Blogotèque, which featured some of the world’s most popular artists.

      Tripping with Nils Frahm is an illustration of Nils’s 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.

      "It was about time to document my concerts in picture and sound, trying to freeze a moment of this period where my team and I were nomads, using any method of travel to play yet another show the next day. Maybe tonight is the night where everything works out perfectly and things fall into place?

      Normally things go wrong with concerts, but by combining our favorite moments of four performances, we were able to achieve what I was trying to do in these two years of touring: getting it right!

      When you hear the applause on the end of the film you should know that I was smiling happily, being a tad proud and feeling blessed to share these moments with you.
      Much love, Nils"

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: The ever prolific Frahm brings his unbelievable live act to recorded media. Though 'Spaces' was very much an in-studio distillation of the timbres and feelings expressed on-stage, it could never have captured the live energy and spine-tingling sonic euphoria that 'Tripping With..' does. A superb and all-encompassing powerhouse of a live LP.

      TRACK LISTING

      01 Enters
      02 Sunson
      03 Fundamental Values
      04 My Friend The Forest
      05 The Dane
      06 All Melody
      07 #2
      08 Ode – Our Own Roof

      Nils Frahm

      Empty

        To mark this year’s Piano Day and as an acknowledgement to these unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, Nils Frahm surprised the world with a collection of eight solo piano pieces, titled Empty, made available digitally on March 28. The highly anticipated physical editions on vinyl and CD are set for release via Erased Tapes on October 23, 2020.

        Conceived of just before Nils broke his thumb and composed the similarly intimate solo piano album Screws, Empty is a soothing vessel of eight simple and serene pieces originally recorded as the music to a short art film he shot with his friend and film director Benoît Toulemonde. Drifting through emotions from the stark and sobering opener ‘First Defeat’, to the gently euphoric ‘No Step On Wing’ and the contemplative but hopeful closer ‘Black Notes’, with its poignant minute of silence, Empty is a comforting score for these turbulent times.

        “When I came back from the hospital with a broken thumb and listened to the recordings, I felt they were unfinished. I decided to put them aside and started to work on my small album, Screws.

        Many many other notes of the piano have been struck since these days, and before we all forget about this, I thought it would be a good moment to share these lullabies with you. I hope they help you stay all strong and calm in these days of solitude – despite the hardship, we can discover introspection and reflection unexpectedly. Who knows what it is good for.
        Much love, Nils”

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Frahm is back! Returning to his much sought after piano-forte after a fruitful foray into synthland. ‘Empty’ is a hushed affair, gorgeously plaintive and brimming with the sort of atmospheric recording and room sounds which made 'Felt' such a beautiful success. Gorgeous.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. First Defeat
        2. A Shine
        3. No Step On A Wing
        4. The Big O
        5. Second Defeat
        6. A Shimmer
        7. Sonar
        8. Black Notes

        Nils Frahm

        All Encores

          The three EPs will be available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music to follow his masterful 2018 album All Melody.

          Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

          “The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

          Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. The Roughest Trade
          2. Ringing
          3. To Thomas
          4. The Dane
          5. Harmonium In The Well
          6. Sweet Little Lies
          7. A Walking Embrace
          8. Talisman
          9. Spells
          10. Artificially Intelligent
          11. All Armed
          12. Amirador

          Vinyl Tracklist:
          A1 The Roughest Trade
          A2 Ringing
          A3 To Thomas
          A4 The Dane
          B1 Harmonium In The Well
          C1 Sweet Little Lie
          C2 A Walking Embrace
          C3 Talisman
          D1 Spells
          E1 Artificially Intelligent
          E2 All Armed
          F1 Amirador

          Nils Frahm announces the third and final instalment of his Encores series. 

          Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

          “The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

          Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: if you enjoyed Nils Frahm's collab with Olafur Arnalds a few years ago (was it really THAT long ago?!) then this is the Encores for you! Percussive, more 'dancefloor' focused (as much as can be), and absolutely hypnotic, this is probably my favourite of the lot, and I have excellent taste. Lovely stuff.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Artificially Intelligent
          2. All Armed
          3. Amirador

          Nils Frahm

          Encores 2

            Following the release of Encores 1 on June 1st, Nils Frahm releases of Encores 2, the second in a series of EPs following the release of the universally acclaimed album, All Melody, released in January of this year.

            While Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with just a solo piano and harmonium, Encores 2 explores a more ambient landscape from the All Melody sessions, the pinnacle of which is the astral 12 minute showpiece Spells. Recorded through an amplified stone well Frahm found on Mallorca, Encores 2 is at once unique but familiar; orbiting the universe of All Melody while inhabiting its own world.

            “The idea behind Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody”

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A beautiful counterfoil to last years' 'Encores 1', we get a wealth of beautifully textured field recordings, icy and crepuscular loops bolstered with beautifully weighted and perfectly paced piano, as is Frahm's style. Encompassing elements of dark ambient and minimalism, this is further evidence of Frahm's domination of the modern classical field, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Lovely stuff.

            TRACK LISTING

            Sweet Little Lie
            A Walking Embrace
            Talisman
            Spells

            System W/ Nils Frahm

            Plus

            New recordings by Danish electronic trio System (aka Future 3) in collaboration with Berlin based composer Nils Frahm. His purpose-built improvisations on synth, organ and piano served as source material for the members of System (Thomas Knak, Anders Remmer & Jesper Skaaning), who merged his warm acoustic tones with their minimalist digitalism and set out to translate their distinctive clicks 'n' cuts electronics into vivid soundscapes. The blending of piano and digital tones and noises into emotive pieces might instantly recall the work of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, though System and Frahm come to quite different results.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side 1
            1. Open (6:03)
            2. Drift (5:35)
            3. Gebiet (4:29)
            Side 2
            1. Piste (6:01)
            2. Stille (4:30)
            Side 3
            1. Minus (6:38)
            2. Add (5:59)
            Side 4
            1. Frem (4:45)
            2. Plus (9:40)

            Nils Frahm

            Encores 1

              Encores 1 is five track 12" vinyl EP previously only available as an exclusive, limited release via Rough Trade. It was recorded in Nils Frahm's studio at the Funkhaus in Berlin, as part of the same sessions for the recently released and universally acclaimed new album, All Melody (Official Album Charts #21), released earlier this year on Erased Tapes. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Darryl says: Suddenly arriving as a top secret release on Friday morning, Frahm delivers five accompanying session tracks to his rather wonderful 'All Melody' album. Top drawer stuff!!

              TRACK LISTING

              A1. The Roughest Trade
              A2. Ringing
              A3. To Thomas
              A4. The Dane
              B1. Harmonium In The Well

              Frahm returns to Erased Tapes for his most beguiling outing yet. Kicking things off with the choral solemnity of the brief 'The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched',  before 'Sunson' excellently displays the sort of percussive demi-trance that he and Olafur Arnalds excelled at in their collaborative output. 'My Friend The Forest' has perhaps the most semblance to Frahm's earlier work, with the gently hammered piano strings being subtly blunted with some sort of preparation. It doesn't sound quite as muted as his seminal work (perhaps the felt has worn out a little), and is unmistakeable in it's  rapid trills, separated by moments of acoustic ambience. 

              'Forever Changeless' is again littered with moments of progressive beauty, but eases off a little on the sustain to give way to a slightly terse atmosphere, beautifully accentuated by Frahm's deft hands before moving into 'All Melody' which couldn't be more reminiscent of the spine-tingling electronic crescendo of 'Says' from 2013's 'Spaces'. 

              With the percussive workout of '#2' and 'Momentum' taking a metaphorical breath from the more upbeat moments, it gives us time to relax and reflect before the mournful military requiem of 'Fundamental Values' gives way to it's own latter resolution and smooth segue into the tropical arps of 'Kaleidoscope' and the soul-soothing slow-mo beauty of 'Harm Hymn'. 

              Another beautiful outing for Frahm, and further evidence of his credentials as one of today's most talented composers. 


              TRACK LISTING

              1. The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched
              2. Sunson
              3. A Place
              4. My Friend The Forest
              5. Human Range
              6. Forever Changeless
              7. All Melody
              8. #2
              9. Momentum
              10. Fundamental Values
              11. Kaleidoscope
              12. Harm Hymn

              Woodkid & Nils Frahm

              OST: Ellis (Feat: Robert De Niro)

                For the first half of the twentieth century, Ellis Island stood as the gateway to America. For some twelve million people, it was their first encounter with the land they hoped to call home.

                Directed by acclaimed artist JR, ELLIS tells the story of one such migrant. Starring Robert De Niro, the film winds its way through the crumbling hallways of the abandoned Ellis Island hospital complex, now home to JR’s Unframed art installation. It’s a place that reverberates with the hopes and fears of those who passed through it, the echoes especially resonant today. Entwined with the narrative is a score composed by Woodkid, performed and co-written by Nils Frahm. The delicate piano motifs of Winter Morning I culminate in a crescendo of strings, while the harmonium swells on the B-side are the foundation for De Niro’s narration: an encomium for those who shaped modern America.

                There’s perhaps never been a more fitting time for this story, with all the proceeds going to the Sea Watch initiative, a non-profit charity dedicated to the protection and rescue of civilian refugees. 

                Nils Frahm: ‘The opportunity to work on JR´s fantastic short film ELLIS came through my good friend Yoann aka Woodkid. We agreed on recording the piano parts in my studio in Berlin and so it happened that JR and Woodkid were guests at Durton studio on a wonderful late summer day in 2015. We managed to record all the crucial elements that day. The music fell in our laps and melted with the images: a wonderful experience. The film has stuck in my head ever since; it moved my heart and changed my soul.

                A couple of weeks later I had to cancel a trip to Brussels because of a terror warning; all events got cancelled and I stayed home, having an unexpected day off. I felt rather depressed that day, thinking that the Europe I knew was already gone. I sat down at the harmonium, listened to Robert De Niro’s voice and played for the rest of the day. The result is ‘Winter Morning II,’ the B-side of the ELLIS soundtrack release.

                Robert says it all in 17 minutes. We are not facing a refugee crisis. We are facing a crisis because we do not embrace, we do not sympathise and we cannot give up fear. Art can encourage so I hope this project will help fight the fear in all of us.’

                Yoann Lemoine, aka Woodkid: ‘Ellis is my second collaboration with JR after the New York City Ballet piece for Les Bosquets. I initially wanted this piece to sound like it was recorded on an old piano that we found in the ruins of Ellis Island, in the restricted area that is not open to the public, where JR pasted the pictures on the walls for the film Ellis.

                I had worked with Nils before and I wanted him to create a sound for this piano part that I composed that was extremely gentle and organic. I wanted the listener to hear the mechanisms, the breathing of the instrument. I wanted it to be imperfect, to sound like a ruin, a trace, an echo, the way the pastings on the walls seem to be ghosts, almost imperceptible.

                After a few rehearsals, Nils stripped down my piano parts and we removed almost all orchestration around the piano. He then worked on the extended version that is his interpretation of my piece, with Robert de Niro’s vocals. Because this film and this recording is historically meaningful, it was important for us to create this piece as an echo to the immigration situation in Europe, and decided to release it in support of Sea Watch.’

                ABOUT JR: JR is the pseudonym of a French artist, director and photographer whose identity is still unknown, and who has been described as the 'French Banksy’. His large scale black-and-white portraits are among the most iconic in contemporary street art, drawing our attention to stories that might otherwise be forgotten. Unframed, which features prominently in both the film and the album booklet, does just this, memorialising through photographic prints those who came through Ellis Island. ‘Trying to see and understand our past better,’ he says, ‘is a good way to understand what’s going on right now and maybe face our future.’ May 29th will see JR and Nils Frahm collaborate again when Nils and Erased Tapes peer Ólafur Arnalds take part in his takeover of the world famous Louvre museum in Paris.

                Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

                Trance Frendz

                  Having been available exclusively as the second disc to 2015's 'Collaborative Works', Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm's improvised audio recordings 'Trance Frendz', taken from their 45-minute studio film of the same name, have been given their own vinyl release – out March 4th, 2016.

                  Prior to a string of collaborative Erased Tapes releases, which include 2012's 'Stare' 10” and last year’s 'Life Story Love and Glory' 7” and 'Loon' 12” – compiled on the 'Collaborative Works' 2-CD set, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm spent many hours together in their studios across Berlin and Reykjavik. Both have carved out genre-defying musical careers and formed unique live shows, creating a fan base loyal to their prolific output.

                  During a session at Durton Studio in Berlin last summer, Nils and Ólafur invited Alexander Schneider and his camera to document it. The recording continued long after the first take, stretching out into the next day until, eventually, several new improvisations had been recorded in 8 hours with no overdubs or edits. The unexpected nature in which these pieces had been created was reminiscent of their first on-stage improvisation many years ago. It became immediately clear how special these songs were.

                  "At the end of the night we had all this music that sounded unfamiliar even to us, loudly asking to be included in this collection.”

                  Originally made available as a 45-minute film on their joint website (www.arnaldsfrahm.com) last September, 'Trance Frendz' is now available on vinyl. Press for their 'Collaborative Works':

                  'A particularly joyous wash of slinky percussion and juddering layers' (8/10) – Clash

                  'An enchanting listen. The bar for a Lads' Night In has just been raised a few notches' (7/10) – Drowned In Sound. 

                  ‘This is music for slowing down the pace of modern life... An immersive listening experience is guaranteed, while we must hope Frahm and Arnalds go on ‘holiday’ together more in future, and don’t forget to take their musical instruments.’ ★★★★ – MusicOMH. 

                  'A collection of gorgeously intimate piano compositions and eye-opening synth pieces, each never aggressive but always powerfully poignant' (8/10) – Under The Radar.

                  'What Collaborative Works offers is something strange: a shared world created by two mad geniuses. Long may Arnalds and Frahm tinker' (8/10) – PopMatters.

                  'Collaborative Works further proves just how natural a fit Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm are together' – Resident Advisor. 

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. 20:17
                  A2. 21:05
                  A3. 23:17
                  B1. 23:52
                  B2. 00:26
                  B3. 01:41
                  B4. 03:06

                  A collection of nine reworks crafted by fans and selected by Nils himself form the ‘Screws Reworked’ re-issue, also featuring his original ‘Screws’

                  The 2012 album 'Screws' by Nils Frahm, was the result of inspiration from his fans and friends while he recovered from an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. These nine intimate recordings were offered to fans to download for free and in return fans thanked Nils by sending him their audio and visual reinterpretations.

                  Fascinated by the results, Nils then publicly asked his fans to submit their reworks or any form of art that was inspired by the release and all these submissions have been collected since on a dedicated website: screws.nilsfrahm.com. It gave birth to the 'Screws Reworked' project from which Nils selected nine reworks to feature on a special edition re-issue which also includes his original ‘Screws’.

                  Helios, Bug Lover and Plasma Rüby are amongst Nils’s final selection for ‘Screws Reworked’, housed in an inner sleeve a visual rework created by Adam Young aka Saturnine.

                  “Whenever you have to decide between two things, you end up favouring one over the other. In the case of this record, I had to choose nine out of hundreds of songs – but I didn’t want to follow this logic, I didn’t want the songs to compete against each other. I never liked music competitions, neither when I was a kid playing classical music contests nor today when the best album of 2015 is awarded. Having been in the situation to pick my own tracks for my own records, I knew that the only way to manage this tough job is to concentrate on the cohesiveness of listening to the songs all together. Screws Reworked should sound like a record, not like a random collection of tracks.

                  The motivation to make such a record came with the release of Screws in 2012 as a gift to my listeners. I thought about it as a starting point for people to make their own interpretations of the songs. The feedback was overwhelming. A couple of months later, we counted over 300 contributions. Without going through a selection process, they were all available only online until now. It seemed essential to make it a real record as I imagined how happy it must make those who would find their names – in most cases for the first time – on a real record.

                  Now is the time to thank you all for your numerous and beautiful contributions. In case you don’t find your track here, please don’t think it stands behind the others. This record means, in fact, that some of the most beautiful songs couldn’t be included as they simply weren’t ‘good neighbours’ and because there is only one rework for each of my original compositions. However all of you opened your hearts and minds and shared your uniqueness with us and I feel incredibly blessed by each and every single rework of Screws. Thank you!” – Nils Frahm.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Disc 1 Disc 2
                  1. You 1. You (Bug Lover Rework)
                  2. Do 2. Do (Databoy78 Rework)
                  3. Re 3. Re (Helios Rework)
                  4. Mi 4. Mi (Soul Channel Rework)
                  5. Fa 5. Fa (Fred Yaddaden Rework)
                  6. Sol 6. Sol (Ruhe Rework)
                  7. La 7. La (Sebastian Freij Rework)
                  8. Si 8. Si (Plasma R?by Rework)
                  9. Me 9. Me (Analogue Dear Rework)

                  Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

                  Collaborative Works

                  Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm announce Double-CD release ‘Collaborative Works’ – comprising all three vinyl EPs ‘Loon’, ‘Stare’ and ‘Life Story Love And Glory’ as well as 7 new songs from their ‘Trance Frendz’ studio film

                  ‘Stare’ (2012) was the very first collaborative recording made by Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm – a true family effort featuring long-time collaborator and cellist Anne Müller, which took place in 2011 between Reykjavík and Berlin. Originally released as a strictly limited 10-inch vinyl record exclusive on Record Store Day 2012, this long sold-out must-have was re-issued on July 17, 2015 – this time in 12-inch format. Óli and Nils recorded and mixed their first collaborative record between Reykjavík and Berlin as a surprise release for label founder Robert Raths.

                  ‘Loon’ (2015) is a synthesiser-led 5-track EP that was recorded in autumn 2014 across five days at Nils’s Durton Studio in Berlin, and continues with the ambient sounds of ‘Stare’ but with the addition of more percussive elements and dub influences. For ‘Loon’ they wired the Oberheim 4 Voice and a Korg PS3100 to the patch bay/mixing desk and performed live takes. With all four hands on its pots, all mixes were recorded straight onto 2-track ½-inch tape.

                  'Life Story Love And Glory' (2015) is a 2-track live improv affair on two pianos, also recorded at Nils’s place in October 2012, the day before the two went on the road for the Erased Tapes 5th Anniversary Tour. It was released on August 21, 2015 as a surprise 7” available through record stores only, two weeks ahead of its digital release, and entered the Official UK Vinyl Single Charts at #3, still remaining in the Top 10 after 3 weeks.

                  ‘Trance Frendz’ (2015) is the audio recording of their intimate 45-minute studio film. Originally planned as a short video session of previously released tracks, instead the two ended up recording seven brand new improvisations – showcasing the nature of their musical friendship. It was revealed on September 1, 2015 as part of their joint website www.arnaldsfrahm.com

                  "The music on this CD is a collection of our studio collaborations from recent years. We would meet in Reykjavik or Berlin with the intention to share some days off work, hiking, swimming or eating pizza. That is great for a couple days, but after a while we would always end up back in the studio, fiddling with synths or pianos. This collection of recordings cannot be an album. It will remain a collage of our studio experiments of the past. It simply is convenient to have them all together here, so you don’t need to look out for some limited 10” somewhere or deal with a nerdy record dealer in Japan to track down this one 7 ̋ which will turn out to sound pretty rough anyways... consider them as moments in space and time where we shared the same room for some days to come down and enjoy making music. After deciding to release the studio collaborations, we planned to do a video session of us performing an improvised duet to promote the release.

                  On the 28th of July 2015 we met up at Durton Studio in Berlin and invited Alexander Schneider and his camera to document it. But instead of ending the session after the first take we continued improvising throughout the night, ending up with several new pieces written and recorded in 8 hours with no overdubs and no edits. We felt there was something special in these songs as they arrived so quickly and unexpectedly, remembering that our friendship and collaboration originally started with live improvisation on stage. At the end of the night we had all this music that sounded unfamiliar even to us, loudly asking to be included in this collection.” (Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm)

                  TRACK LISTING

                  CD 1
                  1. Four
                  2. Three
                  3. Wide Open
                  4. W
                  5. M
                  6. A1
                  7. A2
                  8. B1
                  9. Life Story
                  10. Love And Glory

                  CD 2
                  1. 20:17
                  2. 21:05
                  3. 23:17
                  4. 23:52
                  5. 00:26
                  6. 01:41
                  7. 03:06

                  Ólafur Arnalds And Nils Frahm

                  Life Story / Love And Glory

                    TWO WEEK EXCLUSIVE RECORD STORE ONLY RELEASE!

                    Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm reveal a new 7” single titled ‘Life Story Love and Glory’ following on from their recently re-issued 2012 collaborative EP ‘Stare’.

                    Erased Tapes artists and friends Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm have separately carved out a musical career that defies genres both with their unique live shows and a loyal fan base that’s always eager to hear what their prolific output will bring.

                    Their latest collaborative 2-track release ‘Life Story Love and Glory’ is a live improv affair on two pianos, recorded in 2012 at Nils’s Durton Studio in Berlin. Fans may wonder why they have waited until 2015 to release these tracks, but having revealed a new website www.arnaldsfrahm.com you may think this may not be the end to their musical story this year.

                    “We would meet in Reykjavik or Berlin with the intention to share some days off work, hiking, swimming or eating pizza. That is great for a couple days, but after a while we would always end up back in the studio, fiddling with synths or pianos.” – Nils Frahm.

                    “You can hear in the beginning of ‘Life Story’ how I have already started playing the piano whilst Nils is still moving microphones around and preparing everything. It was all kept in!“ – Ólafur Arnalds.

                    ‘Life Story Love and Glory’ will be released as a 7” on Erased Tapes – exclusively through record stores only on August 21, 2015 ahead of its digital release later on – as an ode to this classic and beloved format.

                    Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

                    Stare

                      Originally released as a strictly limited 10-inch vinyl record exclusive on Record Store Day 2012, this long sold-out must-have for fans of these two artists will finally be re-issued – this time in 12-inch format!

                      Erased Tapes label mates Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm recorded and mixed their first collaborative record between Reyjkjavík and Berlin as a surprise release for label founder Robert Raths.

                      The ambient/electronic work ‘Stare’ is a true family effort with long-time collaborator Anne Müller joining in on cello and all graphics created by close label-friend and designer Torsten Posselt of FELD Studios.

                      Words by Nils Frahm:

                      “I heard ‘Eulogy For Evolution’ for the first time six years ago and I was totally captivated. Impossible to know back then that I was supposed to meet Ólafur many years later as my label mate. Later when he took me along a tour of his we also noted that we kind of like hanging out together, doing important things like cover versions of long forgotten songs or eating veggie pizza. Also he would join my live set for a jam and I would return the favour by playing along with his set.

                      All in all, I fell for Óli and after one memorable jam session we had in Berlin at Roter Salon in 2011, he finally proposed the idea to visit me in my studio in Berlin to work on 'some music'. I was happy and delighted about that idea, so we got together in April 2011 and after having a big pizza, I plugged in some old analogue synths and we played for four days until late in the night. Also queen Anne Müller stopped by after a show with Agnes Obel to record some cello at 5 am in the morning for ‘b1’. Making music together with people is lovely!

                      The time I spent with Óli in Berlin made me very happy and the music wasn't like anything I have heard before. It was all very reduced and minimal and I felt like I couldn't have done this alone. So we decided to do another 4-day jam at Óli´s E7 studio in Reykjavik. So I flew there in the end of October 2011 to repeat the trick and record some out of this world ambient music. It didn't take us too long to write ‘a1’ and ‘a2’. I can’t wait for the follow up!”

                      Nils Frahm has always said that he’s just waiting for something real special when being asked if he would ever score the music for a film. And that’s exactly what German director Sebastian Schipperpresented to him with his one-take feature ‘Victoria’. Filmed in Berlin, Victoria’s plot sees a runaway party girl, who's asked by three friendly men to join them as they hit the town, but their wild night of partying suddenly turns into a bank robbery as the music changes from techno to subdued piano sounds.

                      For the recording session at Studio P4 in Berlin, Frahm enlisted the help of long-time collaborator and cellist Anne Müller, violist Viktor Orri Árnason and ambient artist Erik K. Skodvin of Deaf Center on guitar.

                      The soundtrack opens with an edit of ‘Burn With Me’ by German producer DJ Koze.

                      Dear viewer and listener,

                      I’ve finally written music for a film. It took me some time to do so, as I was patiently waiting for a movie that would truly speak to me. When director Sebastian Schipper invited me to work on Victoria, I knew it was worth the long wait. Does such a strong film even need music? I realised it wouldn’t be easy to create a score that embraces these bold pictures.

                      Luckily we were given unusual creative freedom by approaching the movie together with Sebastian Schipper, who was keeping the production and direction to one single team. The score was recorded in a special location, the former GDR broadcasting production facilities that today host Studio P4. We simply put a big screen in the middle of the room, filled it with microphones and instruments, set the movie on loop and kept improvising on top of it together – my good friends and I.

                      The guest musicians started their recording session by playing a cohesive take over the course of the whole movie. This was the most interesting part of the day, since they hadn’t seen the film before. They became spectators and creators at once, intuitively recording hundreds of different cues that way. You are about to listen to some of its highlights. I hope they do Victoria and your ears justice.

                      With love, Nils Frahm.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      01 Burn With Me (Victoria Edit DJ Koze)
                      02 Our Own Roof
                      03 A Stolen Car
                      04 In The Parking Garage
                      05 Them
                      06 The Bank
                      07 The Shooting
                      08 Nobody Knows Who You Are
                      09 Pendulum

                      Nils Frahm reveals new ‘Solo’ album and the ‘Klavins 450’ piano project on the world’s first Piano Day!

                      Berlin-based composer Nils Frahm has fast become know as a prolific performer and recording artist with the piano at the core. Piano Day is an official body created by Nils and his closest friends, and will house various exciting, piano-related projects. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team is the building of what will be world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450.

                      As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it even exceeds the currently largest upright piano there is, the Klavins M370. Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high, its longest strings are about 10 feet in length. And it was on this piano that Nils recorded eight improvised piano motifs in one sitting, which form his new ‘Solo’ album – available for free download on the world’s first Piano Day on the 88th day (March 29, 2015) from www.pianoday.org. Once recorded, Nils began to think of ways to release the album as a gift to his fans, similarly to his 2012 release ‘Screws’, and that’s when Nils came up with the idea of Piano Day.

                      With a target of 100.000 euros to reach, Nils eases his fans into sharing their money for the project with this free release. All direct donations and a portion from any record sales will go to the Klavins 450 project until the target has been hit.

                      LINER NOTES:
                      Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high: the Klavins M370 is probably the largest upright piano there is. Its longest strings are about 10 feet in length.
                      This colossus was initially built to evaluate a useful maximum size of the piano. Driven by the assumption that pianos could sound better, David got to work in 1985 and finished his instrument 2 years later. Back then I was 5 years old, having no idea how much I would fall in love with it.
                      When I finally met David Klavins and his enormous piano 27 years later, in the very beginning of 2014, I arrived with empty hands. I didn't know what music, what songs I was about to record in the next 3 days.
                      Every piano has unique features and certain strengths. Some have more, some have less of them, but there is no bad piano out there, although I do moan about them almost all the time. Some simply hide their secrets better than others. These thoughts made me start to write music when I am with the particular instrument, the tape running.
                      The 8 pieces featured on this album were selected out of hours of improvising, happy hours as I recollect. The joy of playing and listening to the sound of the instrument made me play slower and slower, softer and softer, as almost every new note was destroying the immense beauty and sustain of the previous note. I was preparing the instrument with parts of my felt collection, carefully tuning mic positions with the help of my dear friend and recording gear wizard Matthias Hahn and simply playing whatever came to my mind. In conversations about this I am still struggling for words in order to praise David’s instrument. Words simply don’t do it justice, so listen for yourself. With lots of love, Nils Frahm.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      01. Ode
                      02. Some
                      03. Circling
                      04. Merry
                      05. Chant
                      06. Wall
                      07. Immerse!
                      08. Four Hands

                      Berlin-based contemporary composer Nils Frahm has built a steady reputation for his intimate, poignant piano recordings, yet they so far only showed a fragment of what to expect from a Nils Frahm concert. Frahm’s heart lies in improvisation, in the magic of a moment where, inspired by the space and the audience, his fingers can create new compositions loosely based around his familiar melodies.

                      Spaces is an ode to the joy of live performance. It expresses Frahm’s love for experimentation and answers the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they have witnessed during his concerts. Breaking the convention of a traditional live album, Spaces was recorded over the course of two years in different locations and on various mediums, including old portable reel-to-reel recorders and cassette tape decks. These moments were later pieced together in his Durton Studio and referred to by Frahm as a collage of field recordings rather than a live album. It Includes surprise moments such as the sound of him banging a toilet brush on the piano strings to create a dub-sounding track. The decision to select takes that have people coughing and cell phones ringing show that his audience is an integral part of every performance. In his own words:

                      "What I love most about playing in front of people has something to do with a certain kind of energy exchange. The attention and appreciation of my audience feeds back into my playing. It really seems as if there is a true and equal give and take between performer and listener, making me aware of how much I depend on my audience. And since the audience is different every night, the music being played will differ too. Every space I performed in has its own magic and spirit." – Nils Frahm.

                      Spaces was mastered by the gifted hands of Mandy Parnell.


                      Nils Frahm

                      Juno Reworked (Luke Abbott & Clark Remixes)

                        After releasing Nils Frahm’s two-track solo synthesiser EP ‘Juno’ in a highly sought after 7” edition, Erased Tapes now re-release the original Juno tracks with guest reworks by Border Community's modular synth wizard Luke Abbott and Warp veteran Clark. Both known for their like-minded use of analogue synthesisers in their music, it makes them the perfect artists to rework the originals. Similar to Frahm’s online project ‘Screws Reworked’, where he invited fans to download his solo piano songs to reinterpret them with their own medium of choice, it’s far from being the typical remix EP.

                        ‘Peter Broderick loved the sound of this synthesiser so much, he asked me to record some solo sketches with it. This is what I came up with. I didn't use any overdubs or punch-ins. See it as a synthesiser solo performance.’ – Nils Frahm

                        The cover photograph was taken by Peter Broderick and is a result of an unexpected double exposure between his image and the one taken by the camera’s previous owner. Dedicated to his dear friend, the Juno tracks carry the titles ‘For’ and ‘Peter’ and were recorded and mixed by Nils Frahm in his Durton Studio in Berlin.

                        Nils experienced an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. But through inspiration from his fans and despite the 4 screws that had just been surgically placed inside his thumb, he started recording with 9 fingers, which later resulted in 9 intimate piano recordings. Nils chose his 30th birthday to offer these recordings as a free download to his fans via screws. durtonstudio.com where they have been freely available since.

                        IN HIS OWN WORDS: “I am sitting in front of a sheet of paper. My right hand is bending over my left thumb. The first day I got out of my cast I could bend it by 15°. Now I am already at 50° and that makes me happy. Things are going uphill… As you can imagine, it is really bad news for a pianist when he gets diagnosed with a broken thumb. That day I was sitting in the emergency room, feeling rather dizzy while thinking of a zillion shows coming up and all the people involved around it. I realised in that moment how busy things have become. It is hard to turn down interesting projects and opportunities, since I surely love my work. It actually never felt like work. Playing piano and playing it for wonderful people is the greatest joy I can imagine. For a couple of days I felt like this could all be over. How pathetic, but hey – also feeling sorry for yourself has its place somewhere. All of a sudden I had so much time, an unexpected holiday. I cancelled most of my schedule and found myself being a little bored. Even though my doctor told me not to touch a piano for a while, I just couldn’t resist. I started playing a silent song with 5 fingers on my right and the remaining 4 on my left hand. I set up one microphone and recorded another tune every other night before falling asleep. The day I got rid of my cast I had recorded 9 little songs. They have helped me feel less annoyed about my accident and reminded me that I can only achieve something good, when I make the most of what I’ve got.” – NILS FRAHM.

                        Having recorded his last album live in a large, reverberant church, Nils Frahm now invites you to put on your headphones and dive into a world of microscopic and delicate sounds - so intimate that you could be sitting beside him. Recorded late at night in the reflective solitude and silence of his studio in Berlin, Frahm uncovers a new sound and source of inspiration within these peaceful moments: 'Originally I wanted to do my neighbours a favour by damping the sound of my piano. If I want to play piano during the quiet of the night, the only respectful way is by layering thick felt in front of the strings and using very gentle fingers. It was then that I discovered that my piano sounds beautiful with the damper.' Captivated by this sonic exposition, he placed the microphones so deep inside the piano that they were almost touching the strings. This brought a host of external sounds to the recordings which most producers would try their hardest to hide: 'I hear myself breathing and panting, the scraping sound of the piano's action and the creaking of my wooden floorboards - all equally as loud as the music. The music becomes a contingency, a chance, an accident within all this rustling. My heart opens and I wonder what exactly it is that makes me feel so happy.'

                        Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm is already a firebrand in the modern classical world, collaborating with contemporaries such as Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds and Anne Müller. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. As announced by Drowned In Sound, he finally returns on October 10th 2011 with the successor to his highly acclaimed solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells. Released on Erased Tapes Records and entitled 'Felt', the album will coincide with a European tour in November 2011 - a truly memorable and magical live experience.


                        Nils Frahm & Anne Muller

                        7 Fingers

                        Fans of the Berlin based Nils Frahm are by now familiar with his beguiling live shows where more often than not fellow touring artists are encouraged to join Frahm on stage – the likes of Rachel Grimes, Rob Lowe of Balmorhea as well as label colleagues Peter Broderick and Ólafur Arnalds have all obliged with fascinating results. It will come as no surprise then that Nils Frahm, an accomplished composer and producer who signed to Erased Tapes in 2009, has extended his collaborative live musings to encompass the recording studio, working for the first time with noted cellist and fellow Berliner Anne Müller to produce "7 Fingers".

                        With their first collective release Frahm and Müller have built a world where modern classical and electronica collide creating an ‘intoxicating and delicious’ collection of songs. Primarily a pianist Nils Frahm provides evidence with "7 Fingers" that he can effortlessly turn electric throwing in loops, samples and glitches to accompany and showcase Müller on cello. Anne Müller, a renowned musician noted for her work with the Wolf-Ferrari-Ensemble, Phillip Boa and recent tours with Agnes Obel, proves an amp musical partner for Frahm. As the recognition continues to grow for Nils Frahm’s previous solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells, 2011 sees a new side to this young talent as he embarks on a detour into strings, symphonies and glitch beats alongside the estimable Anne Müller.


                        Nils Frahm, born in 1982, had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski – a student of the last scholar of Tschaikowski. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers. Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer in Berlin. In early 2008 he founded Durton Studio, where he has worked with Peter Broderick and Dustin O’ Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. As the curator of the Swedish boutique label Kning Disk’s Piano Series, Peter Broderick invited Nils to record a new album of piano improvisations – the result is "The Bells", which will now be released on the London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes in the UK, Ireland and North America.

                        Perhaps the most stunning aspect of what on the surface appears to be an entirely pre-planned and composed body of work comes with the discovery that these pieces were in fact improvised. These two friends share a common affinity in that they now be released on the London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes in the UK, Ireland and North America. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of what on the surface appears to be an entirely pre-planned and composed body of work comes with the discovery that these pieces were in fact improvised. These two friends share a common affinity in that they both possess an absolute mastery of melody, composition and performance – able to deliver with devastating effect. The modest Mr. Broderick states ‘I remember thinking to myself as I lay there stunned, that I could spend ten years trying to write an amazing piece of piano music, and still it would never be half as good as these improvisations!’ Recorded in a rented, beautiful old church in the heart of Berlin over two nights, Nils ‘just played’ with the occasional instruction from Peter ‘I spouted “Make a song using only the notes C, E, and G”, or "Make a song that you could imagine me rapping over the top of" (Track 8 – ‘My Things’). At one point I was even inside the piano, laying on the strings, asking him to make a song called "Peter Is Dead In The Piano". The resultant work "The Bells" shares the same excitement and air of playfulness. In contrast, his debut release "Wintermusik" consists of three piano led pieces, coloured with occasional celesta and reed organ parts.

                        Most recently Frahm and Broderick re-interpreted Pink Floyd’s "Is There Anybody Out There?" for MOJO’s covermount CD "The Wall Rebuilt!". According to MOJO ‘Hamburg-born pianist Nils Frahm spent the last few years creating wondrous, haunting music. Together they accentuate the orchestral qualities of Pink's lament, the track's sense of paranoia amplified by the choral resolution of this version". For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Darryl says: More delicious ambience from pianist Nils Frahm, haunting and emotive!

                        Nils Frahm

                        Wintermusik

                        Nils Frahm, born in 1982, had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski – a student of the last scholar of Tschaikowski. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers. Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer in Berlin. In early 2008 he founded Durton Studio, where he has worked with Peter Broderick and Dustin O' Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. The three instrumentals, which make up his debut release "Wintermusik" are piano led pieces, coloured with occasional celeste and reed organ parts. The record’s equal measures of sorrowful refrains and uplifting passages, combined with a real intimacy that makes for an album you'll want to return to again and again. The songs were originally intended as a Christmas present for friends and family, hence its winter release via London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes.


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