On the 21st of April this year it was Record Store Day and amongst the many great releases was Nils Frahm’s collaboration with Olafur Arnalds titled Stare. It proved the versatility of the two as they seamlessly blended huge electronic soundscapes and beats with their usual minimal, classical style. With this on top of his two solo records prior, Frahm is shaping up to be one of the greatest in his current field.
Just over a month ago, Nils broke his left thumb and it was by no glamorous or triumphant manor, he fell out of the bed one morning! As an artist I understand all the dreadful thoughts that were running through his head, like a footballer breaking his foot or a painter breaking his wrist, for Nils his thumb was his livelihood and of a indescribable importance to him. Ignoring advice given from his doctors to stay away from the piano, Nils started to slowly tap away at the keys and to regain confidence. In the evenings as the day winds down, he got into a habit of setting up his microphone beside the piano and recording compositions, thumbless. By the time the cast was off, Screws was completed.
Similar to his last solo record, Nils adopts a sincerely intimate recording style that brings his quiet, delicate playing style to the foreground and the scrapes, tapping and static to the background. This time round Nils is stripped down completely. Void of any layering, Screws is as bare-boned as you get and it’s just wonderful. A listen on headphones is recommended as his life and essence is translated fluently through every speck of sound that will enter your consciousness. Screws is inspiring and best of all you can download the whole thing, 320kbps, for exactly nothing. Go for it!