Latest LP acquistions: part I

A week away from the office. Four cardboard mailers and a dozen or so LPs scattered across the desk…such a pleasant welcome-back.

No choice but to just dive in.

F.S.Blumm & Nils Frahm LP artworkF.S Blumm and Nils Frahm Music For Lovers Music Versus Time / Music For Wobbling Music Versus Gravity (Sonic Pieces Germany) 2xLP

On the first disc, Music For Lovers Music Versus Time, Nils noodles on the piano while Blumm drops in found sounds, a bit of trumpet, and acoustic guitar. When it works, it’s pleasantly disorienting. When it doesn’t, it’s still disorienting, but veers more towards the, um, challenging end of the listening spectrum. There are some glitchy moments, there are some musical moments, there are interludes that take you gently by the shoulders, lean forward, and stage-whisper “avant garde”  into your pink-shell ear. Sometimes it’s whimsical, sometimes a tad clinical or just downright difficult. Not so much difficult-for-the-sake-of-being-difficult difficult, but experimental -and-exploratory-difficult. You know the difference. Trust me.

The second LP, Music For Wobbling Music Versus Gravity, is a relatively straightforward affair: piano and guitar, for the most part, plus varied creakings, rustlings, blips, chirps, twangs, tape manipulation and whatnot from Blumm. There are some beautifully arpeggiated segments that have a shimmering, dreamlike vibe and there’s some Frahm-esque music-box loveliness (I could happily listen to one or two LPs worth of that shimmering/music-box-loveliness stuff. Hear me, Blumm/Frahm?). There are more melancholy pieces where the graceful use of pauses and silence reminds me of Steve Tibbetts…if he was collaborating with Oval. Or Ron Geesin.

The LP package is an exercise in tactile low-key excess. The grey textured stock comes across as flimsy as it is sober, but the die-cut square wraparound inset of blue cloth (with yellow printing) gives the LP a sturdy, bright, crafty feel. When I run my fingers across it, it occurs to me that the jacket’s differing textures and overall presentation sorta mirror the music within. Or maybe that’s just the vodka talking.

The LP is numbered (well, the download card is, anyway) of 350 copies. The downloads are nifty 320kbps MP3s hosted by A Number Of Small Things.

I will be keeping this LP. If you like your music a varied combo of fun, studied, minimal, acoustic, arty, melodic, gently noisy and thoughtful, you just might feel compelled to keep it, too.

I’m embedding some song samples via Boomkat below. You can buy the LP or FLAC/MP3s from them, or A Number Of Small Things. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a U.S. mailorder distributor for this release.

Read full review of Music For Lovers : Music Versus Time / Music For Wobbling : Music Versus Gravity – F.S. Blumm & Nils Frahm on Boomkat.com ©

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