Nils Frahm – Tripping with Nils Frahm
Swiftly following up a perfect run of minimal and melancholic works, German composer Nils Frahm returns with the subtly uplifting Tripping With Nils Frahm. Ostensibly a riff on classic jazz album formats — think Miles Davis’ Cookin’ With… series of albums — there’s something purely elemental about Tripping With Nils Frahm that speaks to the composer’s deep-seated good humour and open-armed approach to his meditative drones and texturally dense electronics. What’s more, as the live audience present at this recording can attest to, Frahm delivers a polyphony of musical shapes with little more than his hands and a plethora of machines.
As it happens, the jazz connection isn’t an accidental one. You can hear shades of free-wheeling keys loping their joyous way across the granular electronic pulses of ‘Fundamental Values’, before a viciously resplendent, sputtering beat hurls the piece near breaking point. Meanwhile, the solo piano frolics of ‘My Friend The Forest’ and ‘The Dane’ possess an alluring and lyrical melodic core that might’ve pleased both Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk.
These two solo pieces bridge the gap between the two sides of the album, allowing Frahm to delve headfirst into some of his most astounding longform works to date on its second side. ‘All Melody’ and ‘#2’ constitute a grand symphony of interstellar kosmische atmospheres and ever-progressing rhythmic momentum, proving that the line between inner-journey sofanautics and an uncanny sense of minimal groove is especially fine for Frahm.
Tripping With Nils Frahm is a live LP showcasing astounding depth and poise from a modern legend of contemporary classical and electronic music.