New year, new albums! The first weeks of the 2018 are over and brought us some very suspenseful new music. The aspiring Piano & Coffee Records introduced to the modern classical community the Catalan composer and pianist Marta Cascales Alimbau and released her EP and the first collaborative project by Fabian Rosenberg (Klangriket) and Sjors Mans on the 19th January.
One of the most anticipated releases of the last months was the phenomenal "All Melody" by the legendary Nils Frahm. His 7th studio album received universal acclaim and is a worldwide success like his tour with four! sold-out shows in Berlin (Funkhaus) and four! sold-out shows in London (Barbican Centre). So enjoy my little write-up about the talented, ambitious Marta, Fabian and Sjors, and the mastermind and inspirational Nils Frahm.
Marta Cascales Alimbau
"Light-House represents that energy that keeps you going and lets you know that with work and persistence you will find a worthy piece of light.“ - Marta Cascales Alimbau
After her first album „Pirouette“ in 2014 released the Catalan composer and pianist Marta Cascales Alimbau via the recently founded record label Piano & Coffee Records her EP „Light-House“, which was accompanied by a really successful campaign on Kickstarter.
The six gentle pieces for strings and piano are a bow to her favorite composers like Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Arvo Pärt. The idea for her latest EP "Light-House“ occurred to her while she was in Sausalito (California) where she used to live on an old houseboat called "Vallejo". Inspired by the picturesque ocean, tides, and a beautiful old lighthouse nearby her floating residence she wrote the piano piece "Tide-Lighthouse“.
This was the impulse for her EP and she decided to finish some of her older, unreleased compositions back at home in Barcelona together with Mireia Vila (violin) and Irene Labrador (cello). „Light-House“ begins with an evocative and bright string impromptu called „Pärt“ and leads to the calm impressionistic piano piece „House“ - a little homage to Debussy. Therefore are pieces like "Pleut“, "Tide“ and "Bachiana“ with an intense symbiosis between Marta’s virtuoso piano patches and impulsive violin interplays. The towing piano lines of the last piece "Arvo" are the calm contrast to those acute compositions.
Marta's first EP on Piano & Coffee Records is available on Spotify, Bandcamp & Apple Music. Moreover, you can also purchase limited vinyl-effect CDs with card vinyl-style sleeves and Cassette on the P&C Bandcamp page. So enjoy Marta's new EP!
Klangriket & Sjors Mans
In four intense days full of improvisations realized the multi-instrumentalists Fabian Rosenberg (Klangriket) and Sjors Mans their first collaborative mini album "The Amsterdam Sessions“. Both artists discovered each other few years ago via Soundcloud and „there was an instant click“ between the two artists.
After their first common piece called "Sarem“ in 2016 thought the two musicians about further collaborative projects. So Fabian decided to visit Sjors in spring 2017 and the „Amsterdam Sessions“ were born.
The opening soundscapes of this pensive EP are the floating and flickering piano lines of „Vondelpark“ that seamlessly woven into the minimalistic "Hamerstraat“. It is also a simplistic piano melody that is accompanied by a wonderful viola (Elias Sjöwall ) and cello (Frida Holmgren ) interplay.
„Prinsengracht“ begins with ascending electronic arpeggios and culminates into a large synth final. Surely the climax of this mini-album is the captivating "Leidseplein“ with its weightless piano lines that are accompanied by sound impressions of Amsterdam. The melancholic, contemplative ambient electronic "Zeedijk“ concludes the album with its interwoven synth patches.
This rich and multifarious musical experience is hopefully just the beginning of the collaboration between those two very talented artists. You can listen to "The Amsterdam Session" on Spotify and Apple Music. Moreover, the EP is also available as limited vinyl-effect CDs on the Bandcamp page of Piano & Coffee Records. So enjoy "The Amsterdam Sessions"!
Nils has a new album and it is groundbreaking! The master himself brought the world an unbelievable masterpiece called „All Melody“, which saw the light of day on the last Friday via the London-based label Erased Tapes.
In the last two years were the sacred halls of the legendary and historical Funkhaus in Berlin his center of life and the genesis of his 7th full-length studio album. Over this long period of time fulfilled the bustling and lately bald musician his dream and constructed an overwhelming studio from scratch in this old GDR broadcast building. His new playground features a self-built pipe organ, a reverb chamber for the perfect sound, an old, restored harmonium, a whole army of synths and pianos and of course a massive mixing desk. The 35-year old Berliner-by-choice pushed the limits out of every single millimeter of the vintage Saal 3 in the Funkhaus to realize "All Melody“ and created a timeless piece of art.
"All Melody was imagined to be so many things over time and it has been a whole lot, but never exactly what I planned it to be,“ said Nils in October 2017 about his new album and perhaps he has outreached his own imagination. For me, it is his temporary peak of his musical work and by-far his most diverse and multifarious album. Unlike his previous albums, he welcomed many guest musicians in his studio and experimented for instance with a choir on the opening piece „The Whole Universe Wants to be Touched“ and „A Place“ or improvised with a bluesy trumpet interplay on „Human Range“.
The jazzy, smooth piano compositions "My Friend the Forest“ and "Forever Changeless“ are little, but brilliant reminiscences to his other, more piano-inflected works, while synth-driven ambient-electronic pieces like the majestic „Sunson“ and the captivating „Kaleidoscope“ (my favorite tracks) unfurl new symphonically facets and strive into an exciting new musical direction.
Nils' new masterpiece is everywhere digitally available (Spotify, Apple Music) and you buy it also as a 12'' vinyl on Bandcamp, Amazon and the Erased Tapes shop. So enjoy "All Melody"!