The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Music Is Not Sport: Nils Frahm's Favourite Albums
Karl Smith , September 10th, 2015 14:05

Before he releases his Late Night Tales compilation, the pianist, composer and new classical ("I never liked it, but I'm stuck with it now; give me something cool like 'neo jazz'") pioneer gives Karl Smith a tour of his favourite overlooked records, by musicians "that deserve a little afterglow"

Penguin_cafe_orchestra_1441893493_resize_460x400

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Oskar Und Leni
As someone always being considered as a "new classical" artist, I always want to praise them for really being the first ones who used classical instruments in a band context. Brian Eno really had a good call on producing them. I think that a lot of people also refer to Rachel's as being the first sign of new classical music but these guys were much earlier and I feel like they really achieved a lot by treating it like a band. It's not about having this instrument and this instrument but they wrote the music for the collective.

There are other classical musicians who are the same as [Tia] Fuller's quartet, who are a really strong band in a way, but then they don't write so much original music. Penguin Orchestra always played their own music - so they were really clearly a band, but they used very classical and uncommon instruments. So they were doing what we're doing… but a long, long time before we did.

A lot of people don't know that new classical music was first [performed] by Stravinsky; Stravinsky was the new classical. But new classical is the wrong term - I never liked it, but I'm stuck with it now; give me something cool like "neo jazz".


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.