I’ve talked repeatedly about my love of Nils Frahm and seeing him towards the end of last year was a great experience. “All Armed” perfectly demonstrates what he does best. Namely stripping down music to its rawest form melodically and instrumentally. But then giving each of those instruments a rich sound and deep sound stage to shine in.
The bass line in “All Armed” is a perfect example. It’s comprised of only three different notes and looping every 8 bars for almost the entirety of this 11 and a half minute track. However it never gets stale, as filters slightly open and close, varying the synth between softer and a more aggressive edge as it oozes with the warmth that you can only achieve from analogue circuitry.
The bass may be the front and center of this track, providing the foundation and permanent drive of the piece. But other organic eastern instruments pepper their way throughout, creating a world that sounds brooding dark and exiting.
Some tracks just come along at the right times, I first heard “All Armed” when driving to a night shift in work and the atmosphere of the track perfectly suits this experience. So why don’t you do the same. Drop it into a driving playlist and see just how great Nils Frahm is at setting a scene and a mood: