Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm - Collaborative Works - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm - Collaborative Works

by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2015-10-05

Two of the most talented minds have come together to form a superstar duo, who have aptly called themselves Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, from Iceland and Germany respectively. Is there anything these countries can’t do?

If you were lucky enough to hear the debut of Arnalds’ Klasmos project, then you will know that you’re in for a supersonic journey through the ambient wormholes of Elysium. Collaborative Works consists of three vinyl EPs worked on by the pair over the years; Loon, Stare, and Life Story Love and Glory, as well as seven new songs from their Trance Frendz studio film.

Initially, Arnalds and Frahm only intended to get together on their days off to go for a hike or a swim, with a few slices of pizza.  But they couldn’t keep themselves away from the studio, and ended up playing with their musical toys, synths and pianos.  They have been rather explicit about this not being an album.  It doesn’t work as an album and should instead stand alone for exactly         what it is: collaborative works that have spanned over several EPs.  “…consider them as moments in space and time where we shared the same room for some days to come down and enjoy making music.”

Listening to this collection of ‘leisurely time off’ you would think that they had both spent months in the studio collaborating over an incredibly intricate project of beautiful music that seems to blend minimalisitic piano with waves of synth in seamless and harmonious unity.  At times it feels like Autechre, other times it feels like

This is like finding a rare treasure.  Finding Michelangelo’s sketchbooks before he painted the Sistine Chapel.  An extra room in King Tutankhamen’s tomb.  Receiving a response to the golden record that NASA sent through space in 1977.  It’s raw data, an amalgamation of beautiful work created by two talented individuals that was never meant to be experienced by anyone other than themselves.  But now we have some of this wonderful treasure.. and it’s magic. 

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