Boomkat Product Review:
These two Berliners will no doubt be very much familiar to regular readers of these pages.
S Blumm is one of the most prolific experimental instrumentalists/producers out there, racking up countless releases, both solo and collaborative, for labels like Morr Music and Staubgold, Nils Frahm must surely rank as a young upstart alongside this esteemed veteran, but with only a couple of releases under his belt, the acclaimed pianist and composer has soon ascended to the upper echelons of contemporary neo-classical performers.
The two musicians are on unbroken ground for this collaboration, combining forces for a sophisticated, yet meandering selection of pieces that takes in avant-garde sound design and new composites of archived instrumental recordings (pooling together cellos, trumpets, vibraphones and other such elements). 'Heber' showcases the album at its very best, with Frahm latching onto a pensive, jazzy sensibility that finds a willing foil in Blumm's angular acoustic guitar contributions. Here Frahm methodically seems to feel his way around the keys as if he were discovering them for the first time, stumbling across sweetly suspenseful harmonic sequences as he goes. 'Writing Letters To Myself' marks another high point: it's similar in tone, but calls upon a small ensemble's worth of instruments. Conversely, 'Onward Onward' feels like a very lonesome affair, being quickly stripped of its broader arrangement in favour of twinkling melodies plotted out on celeste as if they were on hiatus from The Nutcracker Suite.
Fans of either artist will find something to love here, whether it be in Frahm's relentlessly expressive keyboard performances or Blumm's searching electro-acoustic arrangements.