The way this guy makes music is the way I'd like to. This album is a collection of tracks the guy behind Flim made over a period of 8 years starting in 1993. That's kind of unhurried, serendipitous approach to musicmaking is the way I'd like to go about it, if possible. Flim occupies an interesting place between organic and electronica, the way Fridge and Mice Parade do - the music was plainly put together on a computer, but real instruments are used and sampled so it feels very natural. Some tracks, like "Linker" and "My Czesko Guitar" have more beeps and boops or fragmented beats, while the opener "Hell," a soft, tender, and absolutely stunning piano piece, sounds very warm and personal. "April"'s chaotic jumble of keyboards recalls early Manitoba, while "Plural" is a little rollercoaster, a twisted Disney soundtrack. The title track ends on the same note that "Hell" began the CD with, a quiet, melancholy, and slightly creepy piano tune backed by some kind of light organ.
Though the sound travels all over the place, Given You Nothing has a very recognizable tone in each song, a sort of musical signature that immediately tells you that it's Flim. It's rather a simple album, actually, no pretense, no lyrics, but plenty of craft. It's pleasant the whole way through and I play it for reading or milling around. Since this album came out, Flim has stretched out a little bit and covers a little more territory, more experimental stuff and so on, but Given You Nothing is a great, calm little record that anyone can like.