Everyone on this site knows I am a sucker for pianist who knows how to drag every bit of emotion from those keys and Ed Carlsen does so with his latest EP “Elusive Frames” – which sits firmly on the minimalist scale and fits the Moderna Records framework so well.
“Elation” is a simple few chords that have a slow reverse reverb in to each press. To me, its more reflective than elation but the production across the whole piece has that warm glow you can give a piano, and its that hug you get on each sound. Less subtle is “Spring” which has some beautiful strings underscoring they keyboard patterns. Some of the strings are warm and sympathetic, whilst plenty of other synth strings provide a cold, Icelandic-like noise to things. It’s not until we get to “Unfold” where the piano is nakedly recorded and here it’s so close to the hammers, you can hear every press and creak. I personally love that intimate style of recording, as a soft melody unfurls for you to enjoy.
“Otto” is a track of two halves. The first is low-key and rocks between some chords almost like it’s in a safety net, but then second half has various piano loops take over and flesh out the track in an understated uprising. It’s my favourite track on the EP, and quietly moving. “Kvaelden” is more spacious with its synth pads giving off a personal sci-fi story feel and that gentle glacial space element makes “Frames IV” feel emptier and isolated as it softly and slowly works its way around the lower octaves of the piano. Interestingly, “Anew” is like a sister tune for “Otto” where things feel clean and fresh again, with lots of creaks and noises from the piano belly ascenting a circling chord structure that is light but melancholy.
Ed Carlsen has not created complex melodies that will blow your mind. Instead, this album is almost as much about the space between the sounds, rather than what’s actually here. One to close your eyes to and let your mind wander. “Elusive Frames” a welcome solace.
Recommended Track : Otto