An evening with Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm
Filmed and directed by Astronaut Magazine, Alexander Schneider and Mickael Brock. Special thanks to Sven Hasenjäger, Felix Grimm, Robert Raths, Sofia Ilyas, Asterix Westphal and FELD.
After deciding to release the other studio collaborations, we planned to do a video session of us performing an improvised duo to promote the release. On the 28th of July 2015 we met up at Durton Studio in Berlin, and invited Alexander Schneider and his camera to document it. But instead of ending the session after the first take we continued to improvise throughout the night, ending up with several new pieces written and recorded in 8 hours with no overdubs and no edits.
We felt there was something special in these songs. They arrived so quickly and so unexpectedly, and at the end of the night we had all this music that sounded unfamiliar even to us — loudly asking to be included in this collection, especially because our friendship and collaboration originally started with live improvisation on stage.
Having been available exclusively as the second disc to 2015’s ‘Collaborative Works’, Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm's improvised audio recordings ‘Trance Frendz’, taken from their 45-minute studio film of the same name, have been given their own vinyl release.
The music on this 2-CD set is a collection of our studio collaborations from recent years. We would meet in Reykjavik or Berlin with the intention to share some days off work, hiking, swimming or eating pizza. That is great for a couple days, but after a while we would always end up back in the studio, fiddling with synths or pianos. This collection of recordings cannot be an album. It will remain a collage of our studio experiments of the past. It simply is convenient to have them all together here, so you don’t need to look out for some limited 10" somewhere or deal with a nerdy record dealer in Japan to track down this one 7" which will turn out to sound pretty rough anyways… consider them as moments in space and time where we shared the same room for some days to come down and enjoy making music.
‘Loon’ is a 5-track EP that was recorded in autumn 2014 across five days at Nils’s Durton Studio in Berlin, and continues with the ambient sounds of ‘Stare’ but with the addition of more percussive elements and dub influences. For ‘Loon’ they wired the Oberheim 4 Voice and a Korg PS3100 to the patch bay/mixing desk and performed live takes. With all four hands on its pots, all mixes were recorded straight onto 2-track ½ inch tape.
This collaborative 2-track release is a live improv affair on two pianos, recorded at Nils’s Durton Studio in October 2012, the day before the two went on the road for the Erased Tapes 5th Anniversary Tour. It’s released on August 21, 2015 as a surprise available through record stores only, two weeks ahead of its digital release.
Originally released as a strictly limited 10-inch vinyl record exclusive on Record Store Day 2012, this long sold-out must-have was re-issued on July 17, 2015 — this time in 12-inch format. Óli and Nils recorded and mixed their first collaborative record between Reykjavík and Berlin as a surprise release for label founder Robert Raths. ‘Stare’ is a true family effort featuring long-time collaborator and cellist Anne Müller.