Nils Frahm - Felt

28 December, 2011

By C. Mike


"Originally I wanted to do my neighbours a favour by damping the sound... If I want to play piano during the quiet of the night, the only respectful way is by layering thick felt in front of the strings and using very gentle fingers"


That was the moment Nils decided he would make an entire album, dedicated to his neighbours. His new born technique combined with delicate finger movements upon the piano, made this album a gem!


As anyone who's been to Berlin must know, the city is an artistic paradise, booming in young artists creative dreams. Peter Broderick, Nil's best friend, has moved there, Hauschka and Gonzalez , fellow modern classical instrumentalists also inhabit the area. Everyone who wants to be someone has passed from the eastern side of this extraordinary city and, currently, another new wave is arising. 


The music is intimate. It crushes through your sensors and delivers waves of mutilation down your spine. It really is that good. 


"Keep" is the first song of the album and certainly the best. It's a major tune, like listening to 5 pianos at the same time , a glockenspiel interrupting the flow and an amazing synth melody that comes in late, but elevates the song to proper heights. 


From then on, it's a journey to the fairyland. Less is soft, totally acoustic and meditative, you can even hear Nil's wooden floor breaking up. Old thought uses a melodica next to the piano/glockenspiel motive, while in Familiar you can almost hear in the background, a certain Arvo Part screaming in delight. 


Snippet, Kind and Pause build up the melodies and transportation to another level, when More comes up to finish the album in a Steve Reich manner, all looping glockenspiel,melodica hums and a repetitive theme that reaches the sky, then falls down, then reaches the sky again. It's like you are standing on a hammer, crushed to the ground, elevated to great heights the next moment. 


It's a new kind of music. Elevating, yet melancholic, cold yet warmer than fire. 


You can't put it in the pantheon now, but, wait a few years, and you will. 


As Nils writes on the vinyl's notes, "It is recommended that you enjoy this album on big headphones, because that is how it was made" . And, if you do that, prepare yourself for a special treat, cause the power of this music is mesmerizing. 





Primary Genre: Electronic

Subgenre: Avant-Garde

Release Date: 11 October 2011 

Label: Erased Tapes Records

Influences:  Chopin, Valentin Syvestrov, John Surman

Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Jacaszek, Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Oneohtrix Point Never

Album Highlights: Keep, Snippet



 nils frahm






"Some of the material on Felt is truly captivating, and I too would recommend large (fluffy) headphones when listening to this. I can't wait to hear more from Nils, I'd give this a light 7/10"




Contributor mini-profile

C. Mike

C. Mike

12 Fluffy Reviews
"It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens"
Mini bio
Member of the White Room film production team where he works as a director, editor and head chef. His team's clients include the famous and very talented musicians of the Greek music industry. He was also an amazing basketball player, but, nowadays, something's wrong with his shot balance , resulting in very poor performances. Nevertheless, he still believes in a resurection. 
Mike is a vinyl collector, with a pretty pretty good stock. He thinks music is his passion. But is he music's passion???

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