2LP | 2016 | UK | Original (R&S)
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Release:2016 / UK – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Nonkeen is Nils Frahm, Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald.The Gamble’s songs were originally captured by four track tape recorders connected to even more primitive vocal microphones, though sometimes Frahm would override a good take with a bad one just because he was confused. The band refused to practise songs, or record multiple takes, in order to reshape or improve them, meaning only first takes were acceptable. These, furthermore, were dependent upon them actually making it to tape, so chance became a band member. From time to time, the tapes would be taken to Frahm’s studio for playback, where the band isolated their favourite passages and bounced them down to computer, allowing them to undertake further work, such as processing or overdubbing on certain sections. The tapes were then recycled for fresh sessions.Listening back to music recorded years earlier helped the band take their sound in a more distinct direction. Starting out as an improvisational music collective, they’d taken their work increasingly seriously, though they always retained their minimalistic recording setup, and chance continued to play its role due to the unreliability of cassette tape and the multiple, cheap recording devices they employed. No one knew how things would sound, just as a picture taken to film maintains its secrets until it’s developed: sometimes ‘double-exposures” occurred, or, by chance, a tape would play back in reverse mode. Devices whose motors were pitched up and down also brought other fantastic sounds to life – sounds that were previously unheard, or unthinkable, and always unexpected. Such inescapable, embedded mishaps were as likely to complete a song as to destroy it entirely.There were other factors, too, that, alongside Frahm, Gmeiner, Singwald and chance, contributed to the recordings: friends like Andrea Belfi, who added their musical character during the overdubbing phase, and locations like the apartment – to whose neighbours the band still owe an apology – where they holidayed in Copenhagen.Finding time when all three could gather together to overdub or mix wasn’t always easy, but finally Frahm, Gmeiner and Singwald realised they had reached a stage where nothing more needed to be altered. Chance, however, had one last part to play when it united Frahm and Renaard Vandepapeliere at a gathering in Mannheim. Before long, the ink had dried on an R&S recording contract. nonkeen felt ready to leave their basement again.