Search The Line of Best Fit
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Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm need some sleep

Release date: 02 October 2015
Olafur arnalds nils frahm loon album cover
28 October 2015, 12:16 Written by Christian Cottingham
I met Ólafur Arnalds this summer, briefly, as I helped him scoop out tiny potatoes from a tray in the backstage restaurant at La Route Du Rock.

He’d just played a set with Kiasmos, had been playing sets with Kiasmos all summer, and, as the yellow cubes scattered across the floor and, somehow, in my shoe attested he was tired - as well he should be after months of touring and more collaborations than Vichy France.

God knows how he found time for another one. The same goes for Nils Frahm, an album, a soundtrack and a top-drawer contribution to the Late Night Tales series already under this year’s belt, and it’s only been a few weeks since their names last appeared together on the "Life Story" 7”: for those of us who find getting dressed each morning a monstrous effort such manic overachievement is galling.

That said, it’s unlikely that Loon was hugely exerting to create: five tracks of minimal electronica driven as much by mood as by sound and where even the titles are stripped back to mere letters. Opener "Four" hits the closest to Arnalds’ characteristic etherea, warm and understated with chimes ringing out like ‘Near Light’s’ crescendo, but in the main this is a shadowed listen, heavy on the reverb and the ominous loop. Loon rewards repeated listening, definitely - there’s a lot of subtlety lurking in those depths - but doesn’t really encourage it, "m" and "Wide Open" in particular restrained to the point of narcolepsy.

But hey, maybe that was the point - these guys clearly need some sleep after all. As for us, this is nice but inessential, a steady nod in between the sweat of Kiasmos and the rapture of Frahm and Arnalds’ day jobs.

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