Brandt Brauer Frick have done it again. Last year, the German trio’s debut album, ”You Make
Me Real”, successfully fused techno and classical music. The two forms are so different –
regimented rhythms and laptop production on the one hand, complex musical theory and
virtuosity on the other – you”d be forgiven for thinking a true hybrid was impossible. But
tracks such as ”Bop”, a gently building pulse of shuffling polyrhythms, rich, resonant pianos
and warm synth bass, saw them pull it off in some considerable style. ”You Make Me Real”
may have been built from classical sounds, but the result didn”t sound out of place in a
minimal techno set.
Now Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick have taken their genre-defying experiment to
the next level with the Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble. Think of it as BBF V2.0. They’ve
ditched the computers they used to arrange ”You Make Me Real” and expanded the band to
a ten-piece so they can play handcrafted dance grooves completely live. Earlier this year at
the Eurosonic conference in Holland, they recreated ”You Make Me Real” on stage using 80
pages of sheet music per track. The result was weird, compelling and unlike anything else.
Dates across Europe followed. An appearance at Coachella in April kicked off a festival
season that includes ensemble shows at Glastonbury, Sonar, North Sea Jazz, Haldern Pop
There’s also a new album, recorded using the same handmade approach. ”Mr Machine”
sees the group reinterpret five tracks from ”You Make Me Real” -Mi Corazon, Bop, You
Make Me Real, Caffeine and Teufelsleiter. There are also two cover versions -”Pretend” by
Emika and ”A 606 N Rock N Roll” by James Braun -although they”re so different they
amount to new songs. A completely new track rounds things off.