HomeMusicReview: Nils Frahm, 'Encores 2'

Review: Nils Frahm, ‘Encores 2’

The latest work from German composer Nils Frahm is a cinematic masterpiece; at times dreary and sparse, others fuzzy and warm, it is true to his declared mission of finding out “…what music does to people’s emotions.” Thoughtful and expansive, this is an exploratory journey through different spheres of human feelings, from eerie and austere to awestruck and silent.

As the second EP following his universally acclaimed album All Melody, it turns in a different direction from its mostly acoustic predecessor: the music here is heavily ambient, haunting and melancholy, bleak yet vibrant, dismal yet humming with life. It builds on itself, particularly the 12-minute-plus closing track “Spells,” which is very reminiscent of Rubycon-era Tangerine Dream. Frahm’s known penchant for using vintage equipment helps lend the sounds an otherworldly feeling.

At just four songs long, this is an impressive work of incredible depth and vision. It meanders through minimalist ambient noise up to a full-blown symphony of discord and everywhere in between, a vivid musical picture evoking forests, mountains, the ineffable limitlessness of space, and the existential inadequacy one feels when contemplating the sheer vastness of the universe.

This is an amazing record no matter how you slice it, but the fact that it is only a fraction of what became All Melody leaves the listener salivating for more. Nils Frahm has made a name for himself already, and this author for one looks forward to hearing future encores and experiencing the same sonically guided trip through the human psyche.

Click here to listen Nils Frahm’s Encores 2.

Andrew Howie
Andrew Howie
Andrew Howie is a Midwestern treasure who isn't exactly sure how to talk about himself without being sarcastic and self-deprecating. His music taste is pretentious and he wants to tell you all about it.

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