Nils Frahm Screws

Composed and recorded after suffering a broken thumb, Screws features nine piano tracks "recorded with nine fingers." Working with limitations isn't new territory for the Berlin-based artist, whose 2011 release, Felt, was inspired by strategies for very quiet rehearsals in a residential space. Unlike Felt, where the quiet pieces were ultimately arranged and electronically enhanced, in places, Screws allows access to very intimate, in-the-moment play, with all of the room sound and piano mechanics preserved in the recording. Most of the instrumentals have a late night/early morning feel, like the weight of a day being dragged along and then cast off. If there's a weakness to the loveliness of the album, it's the slightly repetitive nature of the compositions, and that evidence of the offending injury is all but absent to untrained ears. However, that's a silly quibble. (Erased Tapes)