Nils Wülker – GO

The title is tailor-made for a musician, a person like Nils Wülker – always on the move, curious and forward thinking, a head full of musical ideas, a man who lives with the Hamburg family moves to Munich because he is closer to the mountains there, someone who became a father for the first time a year ago and who is writing, producing and recording his most exciting album almost at the same time. Everything on go.

»GO« is Nils Wülker’s excursion into elegant electronics and completes an album trilogy that has been experienced over at least five years, for which the at least as charismatic as visionary trumpeter / songwriter us with »UP« to pop and with »ON« to hip hop has seduced. His tenth studio album, with all the analog synthesizers, the arpeggiator, the organic loops and beats, is »at most not live«, as the »great melodist« (Die Zeit) says, but in contrast with some of his most beautiful and emotional songs to date – and the most direct and dynamic trumpet playing beyond his live albums and concerts. Produced with Ralf Christian Mayer, known from his work with Clueso or Fanta 4, and composed entirely by himself, the ten pieces by »GO« show the most extreme and energetic side of the award-winning musician to date – played with members of his popular live band, plus the Viennese keyboardist Albin Janoska, the sound expert behind SOHN, and the American trumpeter Theo Croker in the anything but sterile corona distance duo “Highline”

“For this production, it was good to have made the live album right before that, as contradicting as that sounds,” says Nils Wülker and immediately explains what “GO” owes to its 2019 live album “Decade”. »I have now worked more ‘live’ in the studio, I was able to bring in more dynamics through playing the trumpet and take this human element with me through the trumpet. It also strengthened my way of working. Maybe that’s why I got help with the sounds, but wrote the songs completely myself, without co-writings, as on the last two albums. ”Another not exactly obvious aspect in the development process of“ GO ”was the program “The Art of the Duo”, with which Nils Wülker went on tour with his long-time guitar partner Arne Jansen at the end of 2019. Just like in this enthusiastically received concert series, the trumpet is not just a melody and solo instrument, but also takes on other functions – looped into surfaces, filtered, rhythmically chopped up or alienated.

Even if »GO« had its beginnings at a time when at most virologists at Corona did not think of a Mexican beer brand, it fits in perfectly with the current situation. “I tried to accept the situation as it is and to use it creatively,” says Nils Wülker, referring to various “isolation buster actions” on the album. »Even before Corona, I had the idea of ​​exploring for myself what soundscapes I can only generate with my non-harmony instrument, especially after the duo tour, on which we often accompanied each other with our own loops, but now it was just perfect. «This becomes evident in the above-mentioned collaboration with Theo Croker, where both musicians were” alone, not lonely “during the recordings, as Nils Wülker calls it, because although everyone was sitting in his studio, But they could still be creative and exchange ideas together at a distance.

“In any other situation, I probably wouldn’t have thought of contacting Theo Croker,” says Nils Wülker. “But when I saw a post on Instagram in which he wrote ‘use these times’ several times and advised to practice more, to remain positive, to find his strength, I just wrote to him spontaneously.” So, “Highline” became an inspired and inspiring trumpet duo in which Theo Croker plays openly and Nils Wülker plays with a mute – over a pumping, pulsating electro groove, in which part of the accompaniment consists of a rhythmically chopped up and looped trumpet area.

The cinematic ballad “The Frame” begins with a trumpet that has mutated into a soundscape, before indulging in all sorts of wobbling, creaking, calling synths and the wonderful trumpet. In the dramatic “You Of Now” the bassline comes from the piano for once, the introduction to “Seat 47” plays a dark, dirty synth bass line, a possible reminiscence of eighties funk stars like D-Train or George Duke. Front and center, so to speak in the eye of the electronic storm, these haunting melodies shine again and again, for which Nils Wülker is known and loved as a musician and composer – they float confidently over wide areas, with the drum sound as the foundation, sometimes crisp live, then programmed directly again. The 42-year-old calls “Blow Up” the most striking and extreme example of electronic solo effort: 29 trumpet tracks including a kick drum made from popping mouthpieces and a backbeat made from clicking valves – everything about “Blow Up” is trumpet, alone Created in the home studio, using the technical possibilities in isolation as creatively as possible – childcare during the day, album production at night.

»GO« is progress in every respect, a new, excitingly different creative chapter, a triumph. The new album builds on the previous career of Nils Wülker: nine, multiple award-winning and chart-spoiled studio and one and a half live productions, working with musicians as diverse as Craig Armstrong, Omara Portundo, Dominic Miller, Mocky, Peter Vetesse, Samy Deluxe, Marteria, Max Mutzke and many more. Always on the move, always on »GO«, Nils Wülker also presents his musical cosmos in his radio show »Offbeat« on 917XFM. The freshly baked father is also a passionate mountaineer and “instructor for high-altitude tours” at the German Alpine Club. It’s going up and forward – GO.

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