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Nils Frahm: All Encores

Read "All Encores" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

German composer and keyboardist Nils Frahm celebrated the completion of his Berlin studio with the release of All Melody (Erased Tapes, 2018), an expansive program which included acoustic piano, harmonium, and classic analog synthesizers, plus a cast of guest musicians. But Frahm began the recording process with a great deal of material that did not make the final cut; only 12 out of 60 sketches were used. When he launched a world tour, much of this music wound up being ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Penguin Cafe: Handfuls Of Night

Read "Handfuls Of Night" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Penguin Cafe continues in the tradition of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, producing individualistic minimalist music using acoustic instruments. Previous album The Inconstant Sea (Erased Tapes Records Ltd, 2017) dabbled in dance music, with versions of Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk tunes. This time the theme is the Antarctic: Greenpeace commissioned composer Arthur Jeffes to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguins, to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas. So Jeffes (who has visited the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nils Frahm: All Melody

Read "All Melody" reviewed by Phil Barnes

As we try and make sense of our world there is always a temptation to simplify the complex, to set parameters or limiting factors on a choice or decision to make it manageable. For many this translates into only feeling successful if particular pre-conditions are met--say if a particular person or clique acknowledges our worth, maybe it is by purchasing the latest shiny gadget or simply through winning some irrelevant competition with our peers. Hard won experience teaches us that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Penguin Cafe: The Imperfect Sea

Read "The Imperfect Sea" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Composer Arthur Jeffes started Penguin Cafe in 2009 to pay homage to his father Simon Jeffes' Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and to continue the concept. While the new band still plays some of the original repertoire, Arthur has composed new music all along. Like Simon Jeffes' music, Arthur's shows the influence of folk music and minimalism. There's less whimsy--a frequent element in Simon's work, and a difficult thing to pull off successfully unless you have the knack. The Imperfect ...


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