nonkeen, the German trio comprised of Nils Frahm and childhood friends, Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald, officially released their debut LP The Gamble today. The nascent band’s first record is actually a bit of a comeback story. Back in 1997, when the then-15-year-old teens were performing, a faulty carnival swing sent bodies flying into their stage. The traumatic event incited a nearly 20-year hiatus from music.
Frahm announced the nonkeen revival back in November. The group’s first single, a hypnotic concoction of shakers, tribal drums and woozy electronics, arrived a month later, and today, in conjunction with The Gamble’s release, nonkeen marked their return by sharing a second track –fittingly titled, “re:turn!.”
It seemed that the propulsive first song, “chasing god through palmyra,” was a harbinger of nonkeen’s divergence from Frahm’s ambient milieu. This latest release shows that that's not entirely the case, though. “re:turn!” is full of fluttering piano flourishes, cymbal taps and dulcet electronic waves – all very apropos of Frahm’s typical canon. If, in these first two tracks, we’ve heard the full breadth of the nonkeen style, then we can all look forward to wrapping ourselves in semi-ambient, semi-drone, neoclassical-techno blankets, and that sounds pretty nice.