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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/13/2013

Nils Frahm Juno Reworked

Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm's move into electronic music has been so seamless that one almost can't tell when he's switched genres. Although his work is now as likely to contain synthesisers, Rhodes, and tape delays as it is a piano, that same haunting, highly evocative, and beautiful aesthetic that colors his classical compositions is still present throughout his electronic material, including his most recent offering, Juno Reworked.

It was Frahm's good friend Peter Broderick that first convinced him to record some solo synth sketches, and the resulting 7", Juno, became rarer than gold dust almost instantaneously upon its release in 2011. Now, Erased Tapes returns to Juno, not only to re-release the original two tracks, but also to add guest reworks from two acclaimed analog synthesizer enthusiasts, Border Community's Luke Abbott and Warp's Clark.

Luke Abbott's adaptation of "For" puts a blissed-out, Balearic spin on the track, building a subtle groove around the distinctive synth line of Frahm's original. It has a peaceful, almost cinematic feel that matches much of Frahm's usual palette, but the composition has been beefed up with an aptly muted techno thud.

Clark's reinterpretation of "Peter" is densely layered and complex. The veteran producer builds from a cold drone to a spirited soundscape that indulges his love of kinetic, skipping drum rhythms. Both Abbott's and Clark's remixes retain the essence of Frahm's source material, but lead the proceedings down slightly different paths full of their own idiosyncrasies.

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