German composer Nils Frahm shares new track on SPIN, the mesmerizing new LP Spaces out today on Erased Tapes

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, November 25, 2013

German composer Nils Frahm released his new album Spaces last week on Erased Tapes. Frahm has roots in both electronic and classical music and takes a more experimental approach to his compositions. Check out a live video as well as the song “Says” from Spaces below, as well as additional details about the album.

LISTEN: Hammers
WATCH: Toilet Brushes – More


“He is a restless but utterly persuasive improviser, with roots both in electronic and classical music; dubby percussive cuts and sumptuously layered synths share space with minimalist piano compositions” – The Guardian

“Frahm is an unusual breed of engineer—he takes pleasure in using the ‘wrong’ recording equipment and enjoys capturing the ambient sounds most would strive to eradicate.” – XLR8R

“9/10” – Line of Best Fit

“Spaces is in turn haunting, energizing and overwhelmingly emotive, and a must-have for fans of the young German pianist, whether or not they’ve caught him live yet.” – Exclaim!


11.25.2013 at Le Poisson Rouge w/ Patricia Kopatchinskaja


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 (Bjork) and will be released in the form of a CD, 2xLP and Download on November 19th, 2013 via Erased Tapes.

Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm has become known for his unconventional approach to an age-old instrument as well as his collaborations and production work for contemporaries such as Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick and most recently Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire. After his first solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells, Frahm released Felt to much critical acclaim in 2011. The album was followed by Screws, a free birthday gift to his fans he recorded while recovering from a thumb injury. Frahm has quickly become known for his live performances that showcase a unique combination of piano motifs on the upright, grand piano and Rhodes with heavy synthesiser sounds. Being called to perform at electronic events like Mutek, Boiler Room, Primavera and Decibel, as much as traditional concert spaces like Hackney Empire and the Royal Opera House, Frahm continues to cross musical barriers.


Nils Frahm
out November 19th, 2013


TRACK LISTING: 1. An Aborted Beginning 2. Says 3. Said And Done 4. Went Missing 5. Familiar 6. Improvisation For Coughs And A Cell Phone 7. Hammers 8. For – Peter – Toilet Brushes – More 9. Over There, It’s Raining 10. Unter – Tristana – Ambre 11. Ross’s Harmonium


Nils Frahm website

Erased Tapes website

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