Album sequels are a rare and unusual thing to attempt. A direct sequel is exactly what ‘Klavierraum, Spater’ is though. It follows on from Henning Schmeidt’s 2007 album ‘Klavierraum’ and the new age pianist creates some of the lightest and wide-eyed compositions I’ve heard in 2019.
Readers will know I usually prefer the darker tones of music but Henning Schmeidt embodies warmth and optimism with his piano compositions. Just one listen to the beautiful flurries of ‘1 Bio Ei’ and you’ll be whisked away. The tracks kick starts a warmly understated album full of slice of life piano pieces. It’s no coincidence that Henning is signed to FLAU records. The Japanese label specialises in that country road rustic slow life pace and Henning is at home here.
It could be the lazy blues of ‘Prise Meersalz’, the tentative folk ballads of ‘Mit dem Schneebesen!’ or ‘Becher Milch’ or the wholesome simplicity of ‘Guten’ – the entire album is like a spring day. You can place most of the album as a soundtrack animations such as Nom Nom Biyori or a Hirokazu Kore-eda film. The music will never take centre stage – it is the definition of a slow out-breath.
That doesn’t mean that Henning Schmeidt has taken the minimal meh route though and that is crucial as to why I adore the album. There are proper melodies. They are uplifting and subtle but the song structure is present and working perfectly. Henning also enjoys adding in some synths and distant reverbs for new age effects too. ‘2 riefe Mangos’ and ‘Kaffee aufs Tablett’ are both soaked in wholesome synths that really cleanse your ear palette. The album also finishes off with two remixes from the original 2007 album. One is like a mermaid bossa nova piece with the lightest retro bossa nova beat and distorted pianos swimming underwater. The latter ‘Du Und Ich’ places short spoken-word snippets in reserve over easily the most expressive and jazzy tinged song.
‘Klavierraum, Spater’ is going to be a real underdog for many but I adored its simplistic and wholesome feel. The rich, bold and full-bodied production means the piano feels alive and meaty even when the music itself is relaxed. Henning Schmiedt has created the musical piano duvet. Sink in.
Recommended track: 2 riefe Mangos
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