The first couple of listens to this (on the train, with headphones) left me a bit ambivalent about it. But then the vinyl arrived and something clicked with me. Listening to the record seemed to open up the analogue warmth of the original tape recordings. Recorded over many, many years by 3 lifelong friends (of which the most famous is Nils Frahm) the final product is the result of hours of material using primitive equipment and single-take sessions. These were sometimes processed and over-dubbed, and at others left raw and original.
The album flits from trip-hop ('Saddest Continent On Earth') to Krautrock ('Ceramic People') and on into ambient territory, all the time retaining an organic feel and flow that enables you to really drift away with it. Although sonically it might be quite removed from Frahm's usual solo work I'm sure it will apeal to lovers of his previous material. For me he can do no wrong and it's good to hear him in this group environment - I imagine these tracks will develop further when they play them live as a band in the forthcoming months.
It's worth mention that if you get the vinyl you get an extra track (which takes up the whole of side D). The record comes with a download code for the digital version of the album as well, so it's worth the investment in a physical copy.
'The Gamble' is out now on R & S Records - you can stream and and follow the purchase link below.