Germany’s Bohren & der Club of Gore return this week with their first album in six years, Piano Nights.
Piano Nights will be heralded as a “return to basics” for the German quartet, which is slightly misleading. Sure, 2011’s Beileid (EP) was a bit of a one-off curve ball, but Piano Nights is a logical extension of the band’s main body of work, one which they have never really abandoned. Piano Nights is the decadent dessert to the wondrous feast that was Dolores (which is still a stellar album, six years later — all are encouraged to revisit it). Twenty years removed from Gore Motel, and an additional two from the band’s inception, Bohren is still the go-to act for ambient jazz. Although several have challenged their claim to the throne over the years, none have had such a knack at carving out the icy, glacial jazz that embodies their sound. Over time I find myself increasing drawn to Bohren’s music; in today’s modern world, time seems to be constantly compressed into increasingly shorter units, and musicians have a tendency to work within that boundary instead of resisting it and establishing a new paradigm. With each album, Bohren abolishes the status quo an resets the clock; Piano Nights is a trip back to a simpler time, and we’re reminder to occasionally stop and enjoy the finer things in life.