Published Oct 17, 2019The idea for All Encores was born before German musician and composer Nils Frahm created the masterpiece All Melody, which arrived in early 2018. Conceptually, Frahm proposed to craft separate releases with distinct styles and themes, but was overwhelmed when All Melody blossomed into something "larger than itself." This new release, an archipelago comprised of three previously released EP-length suites, now serves as a complement to the stormy seas of its predecessor.
The three distinct movements on display lead into each other, as if in a singular narrative. Encores 1, which arrived not long after All Melody was released, begins with a skeletal piano laid bare. The movement of the keys is audible beneath the notes, creating an extremely intimate setting for the melodies to drift within. A melancholy harmonium piece leads into the ambient soundscapes of Encores 2. In this section, Frahm doses his piano with a barbiturate haze. Once "Talisman" arrives, the piano melts entirely into pure drone, before "Spells" turns the tables by adding an arpeggiated, almost percussive electronic rhythm.
The final segment of All Encores continues where "Spells" left off, highlighting the more percussive nature of Frahm's oeuvre. "Artificially Intelligent" chops up a voice that commingles uncomfortably with a blippy synth, while the lengthy and delightful "All Armed" is a nocturnal journey into the dank corners of an imaginary nightclub.
To close out the proceedings, Frahm ruminates on the drone with "Amirador." Lush, extended tones seem to coalesce in a sphere of hazy matter that contains elements of everything that preceded it. With this piece, Frahm comes full circle, both sonically and conceptually, capping off a spellbinding series of releases. (Erased Tapes)