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Nils Frahm has confirmed details of a new double album, Old Friends New Friends, which will be released on December 3, 2021, by LEITER, the label he set up with his manager, Felix Grimm. The collection gathers together 23 solo piano tracks recorded between 2009 and 2021, almost all hitherto unreleased but, for one reason or another, omitted from previous albums and projects. Neither quite a new LP nor exactly a compilation, it offers “an anatomy of all my ways of thinking musically and playing,” Frahm says, adding with a smile, “Maybe I could say it’s an album I worked on for twelve years, and finally I have enough material?”


Frahm has other reasons to release this record, too, among them a craving to protect his legacy in an era where ‘bonus material’ is in constant demand. “The nature of the mind – and a hard drive – is that you forget a lot of stuff,” he says, “and I hate the idea that somebody might browse through my things trying to find something I’d forgotten. I’ll probably burn everything before I go, but these are pieces I wanted to put out. So this is an original ‘Nils Frahm’, so to speak, not somebody curating a leftover meal.”

Furthermore, Frahm felt an urge to clean the slate before making his next move. His debut, Streichelfisch, was released 16 years ago, and not only has his solo output since then been prolific but he’s also engaged in large amounts of collaborative work with friends like Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick, F.S. Blumm, Library Tapes and Anne Müller. “My intuition,” he says, “is that it’s easier for me to start over if the body of work from the last ten years or so is organised enough that I never need worry about it again. It’s time to forget about the past, but in order to never think about it again I have to address it first.”


Whether or not it’s prudent to add to the significant amount of music he’s released in recent years, Frahm’s unconcerned. “History tells us people sometimes pick up on records years later and still like them, so hopefully my music isn’t bound to any specific date. If people hear this for the first time in, say, 20 years, they won’t worry about when it came out, or whether something else also came out the same year. And anyway: who knows? Maybe at some point down the line I won’t release any albums for five years!”

As for how he feels letting the music loose into the world, Frahm simply chuckles. “It’s like if your kids finally move out when they’re 23, and you realise, ‘Shit, this could have happened years ago!’”

Nils Frahm - Old Friends, New Friends

SKU: 4050538759686
  • 1. 4:33 (a Tribute To John Cage)
    2. Late
    3. Berduxe
    4. Rain Take
    5. Todo Nada
    6. Weddinger Walzer
    7. In The Making
    8. Further In The Making
    9. All Numbers End
    10. The Idea Machine
    11. Then Patterns
    12. Corn
    13. New Friend
    14. Nils Has A New Piano
    15. Acting
    16. As A Reminder
    17. Iced Wood
    18. Strickleiter
    19. The Chords
    20. The Chords Broken Down
    21. Forgetmenot
    22. Restive
    23. Old Friend

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