Brandt Brauer Frick are an interesting ensemble who have taken it upon themselves to create a wholly acoustic sound that in a reductive fashion takes on some of symbolic and recognisable stylistic elements of modern minimal electronica and produce a both backward and forward looking result.
The German trio have taken the familiar structures and rhythmic elements of minimal music and at once made them engaging on a performance level but also made an album (‘You Make Me Real’) that will not feel out of place in the music collections of either a progressive classical music fan or that of a progressive electronica listeners.
Brandt Brauer Fricks tracks are heavily rhythm focused and at times extremely mechanical in precision, once could almost believe that the pianos and drums on some of the tracks were sequenced on ableton live, but there is always the core of “aliveness” in the sound that is only achieved by the best electronic producers and is so sadly lacking in so much identikit “by the numbers” techno and electronica out there.
“We had felt for years that most instances of combining techno and classical music lack an authentic approach,” says Paul Frick. “Instead of using only the typical epic orchestra or piano sounds, we love to explore the dirty and percussive sides of those instruments, adapting techniques from composers like John Cage or Helmut Lachenmann: preparing our piano with screws and rubbers, knocking against every single part of an instrument, until we find that one great sound.”
Like their classical and dance music forefathers, Brandt Brauer Frick’s music takes on new dimensions when experienced live. Where many of their peers’ live sets offer little besides an artist staring intently at a laptop, the trio’s performances convey the movement of their music as strongly as the thumping beats do: Frick and Brauer set up complex song structures and play blushing piano chords while Brandt metes out beats on his drum kit.
The group recently expanded their live experience to more fully realize their initial aspirations, recruiting highly skilled instrumentalists for a 10-piece ensemble and training them for the rigors of their tracks. Transcending audiences’ expectations for what sounds should be heard where, the BBF ensemble is majestic to behold whether they’re esconsced in the pristine halls of the Modern Art Museum or the sweaty confines of a club like Berghain.
Their debut album ‘You Make Me Real’ is out on December 6th via !K7 and they are playing live at the ICA London on December 1st