Nils Frahm Société Des Arts Technologiques, Montreal QC, June 2

Nils FrahmSociété Des Arts Technologiques, Montreal QC, June 2
Photo: Caroline Hayeur
Frahm was the opening act for the MUTEK edition of the live-streamed Boiler Room party held in the Satosphére, a dome build atop Montreal's Société Des Arts Technologiques. Standing at a bank of four keyboards, including synths, a Rhodes and modular units, he began with a slow-building synth piece adapted from his piano set on Thursday night. It sounded even better in this context, and he gave the performance everything he had from the get-go. As the Satosphére filled up, a techno pulse permeated the dome and Frahm again began his trick of playing two keyboards simultaneously, the piece subtle, slow-moving and beautiful. At one point, Frahm controlled his laptop with his foot while playing as a grimy, analogue dance beat steadily built up. The third track began with loud, fuzzed-out chords reminiscent of the Twin Peaks theme, as Frahm danced to the beat, dripping sweat as a projection of pink cubes slowly rotated around the room. An ambient section with simple, repetitive riffs on the Rhodes almost sounded like an updated Tangerine Dream, leaving the crowd breathless with exhilaration before launching into another adapted piano piece with galloping arpeggios. It was an amazing set that showed the versatility of Frahm's playing and adaptability of his technique, whether it be playing prepared piano in a concert hall or a bank of synths at a Boiler Room party.