Late Night Tales: Nils Frahm
Late Night Tales
The Late Night Tales series, when it works properly (and it usually does) gives some insight into the artist’s influences, more than that though it’s a mixtape of hopes and dreams. And also it’s designed – the very concept of it is – to suggest you’ve been invited back in the wee hours with just enough time to check out a snapshot of the artist’s crucial record collection.
This latest edition, put together by Nils Frahm ticks all of those boxes. Frahm is prolific, as multi-skilled composer and producer and in the last few years he’s produced jazz and electronica for others, performed classical and experimental pieces, composed scores for dance and movie soundtracks and released albums that take from all areas, using tape-hiss and surface noise within the composition, playing classical music for an electronica crowd, taking electronica to classical purists.
So his Late Night Tales compilation begins with his version for John Cage’s notorious 4.33 – we then take a tour through smoky clubs and down winding stairs to speakeasy jazz (Miles Davis, Nina Simone) and late-night bedsit beatmaking (Four Tet, Boards of Canada, Bibio) via some old country and classical 78s from Frahm’s personal collection. So we hear how The Flight of The Bumblebee influenced both Frahm’s dextrous piano techniques and how the scratchy-warmth of this particular version informed some of his production ideals and the way in which he chooses to place sounds and shape and hear music.
It’s like an audio tour or a companion piece to a revealing interview with the musician.
It’s a must for fans of Frahm – and a fine addition to a usually wonderful series. Music for music fans. So simple of course, but only after it’s done right.