With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Releases Spotify playlist, updated weekly.
Nils Frahm – All Melody
A sprawling beauty of an album from composer and musician Nils Frahm. All Melody was recorded in his studio in his custom-built studio in Funkhaus in Berlin which took advantage of reverb chambers and the space of the old place along with contributions from other musicians gives the album an endlessly exploratory feel and at 75 minutes that’s what it needs. It moves between ambient, classical and electronic, and the lines are increasingly smudged of those archetypes. It’s Frahm embracing possibilities in his compositions while still maintaining his owwn sonic imprint.
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
Texas psychedelic trio Khruangbin return with a second album of psychedelic laid-back band music. The band meld “60’s Thai funk, 70’s Persian rock music, and 80’s Algerian symphonia” with light funk and improvisational touches while the rhythm section keep things rolling nicely. More of a background groove than a marquee sound but it’s very effective. Live, I hear it comes into its own. They play Dublin on Sunday March 4th in Whelans.
Cadence Weapon – Cadence Weapon
The return of Rollie Pemberton to a full-length album after a number of years away finds the Montreal-based Edmonton artist in his best form since his breakthrough second album Afterparty Babies in 2007. That record explored family and community and there’s similar themes at play here – with Rollie reflecting on being an independent artist and making his way in the world as one, the community and parties around him and his place in it. Production is tight and airy with a beat by Kaytrananda on ‘My Crew’ and nods to the laconic production style of Future and Migos among beats built around jazz and funk chords. The presence of Blue Hawaii, Brendan Philip and Deradoorian add some vocal texture to a confident and unique artist. A welcome return.
Palmbomen II – Memories of Cindy
A compilation of four EPs from the LA-based Dutch artist Palmbomen II with a concept around a eulogy to a character called Cindy told through a “surreal, neo-noir lens.” and released over the last five years. Musically, that means lo-fi house, new age melodies, and soft-glow electronica with ambience and nods to AFX-style acid. Highlights include ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Love Story Fantasy’.
Robert John Ardiff – Between The Bed and Room
The ambience throughout the album is soothing and emotive, reflecting the honest sound that Ardiff set out to depict.
“I wanted to create something that sounded like it was made by a human sitting in a room playing songs. I limited the recording process to 12 tracks per song and used all analog gear like the synths, the acoustic instruments tascam 12 track onto which everything was recorded. The results are lo-fi but I feel I have achieved what I set out to do. The songs are ones that I have carried in my pocket for a long time. Some of them are about growing up in a small Irish village, while others explore themes of love, betrayal and understanding.”
The album also features collaborations with other artists such as Ken McCabe, Rob McComish, Niall Colreavy, Louisa Carroll, John Carney, Paul Kenny, Stuart McMahon.
Johnny Jewel – Digital Rain
A solo soundtrack-style LP from the Chromatics/Glass Candy/ Italians Do It Better composer/musician/producer explores the concept of precipitation in sound through evocative instrumental ambient synths. It’s the followup to last year’s Windswept which featured tracks Jewel made for the Twin Peaks revisited soundtrack. Still no sign of the Chromatics’ Dear Tommy however.