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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"

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Rhythm & Sound - Rhythm & Sound
I love dub music, I love dub techno, I love techno. I think Rhythm And Sound is kind of cool because it's like this great connection point between Wackies, the label from New York, and Kraftwerk: the preciseness of this kind of German engineering mind - but also so celebrated by the original Jamaicans and opinion leaders in real dub music. So, I think they are as important… the whole thing around Hard Wax, Dubplates & Mastering… Hard Wax's store, Dubplates & Mastering and Rhythm And Sound are really important in Berlin as a cultural installation; it's as important as Kraftwerk or NEU! or Can and all that stuff. It was really internationally well received and just really good music.

I love the space they put in their mixes: this tiny hi-hat sound and tinny synthesiser delay - they leave tonnes of space between these elements and suggest that the frequency range is much larger than you thought. They find a frame of the image which is unusually big, and kind of never ends - it just goes forever. Only your speakers are the limit, really.

I guess I didn't put much rock in this list, but I really love punk rock as much as I love techno, as much as I love folklore and really odd stuff; I feel like I'm never satisfied. There's nothing more off-putting than a bad concept, and if something is really conceptualised well, and you expose yourself to that kind of art, you see it goes beyond and beyond and beyond and it doesn't really stop. It doesn't really matter what genre it is.

There's a lot of bad German techno and a lot of good German techno, but Rhythm And Sound would still be huge if they put it out now, which, in electronic music, which has a lot of oxidation, that's a pretty special thing.


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