German pianist Nils Frahm has almost single-handedly made the piano cool again in recent years.
Working with the Erased Tapes label, the prolific player turns out a steady stream of albums and soundtracks where his unconventional style is front and centre: rather than being a classical traditionalist, he tweaks his piano—and various other instruments—to his own ends, and always plays with a sense of real emotion, placing feeling over form.
‘All Melody’ is his latest full length and it finds him working in vocals for the first time, as well as playing a pipe organ he built himself, and having friends play the trumpets. It makes the album his broadest yet, but one that still offers up moments of pained and plaintive intimacy next to more sweeping, synth-based pieces. Always thoughtful and evocative, there is subtle optimism in tracks like ‘Fundamental Values’, a wave of euphoria in ‘Kaleidiscope’ that sounds like the arrival of a new life, and a new age air to ‘Human Range’ that will swell your heart.
Ibiza Voice Score :: 8/10
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