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Electronic/Dance - Released June 7, 2019 | Brandt Brauer Frick

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Ten years later, and Brandt Brauer Frick’s dance music venture is still going strong. While the surprise value has passed, and others have successfully taken up the mantle in their wake (Cabaret Contemporain, Magnetic Ensemble...), the German trio, whose originality comes from mixing classical instruments and electronic sounds, continue to find new avenues to explore - and just when we thought they had reached the limits of the exercise with Joy in 2016, which explored what lies between indie rock and post-punk. On Echo, Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick go back to the basics: “It's about getting back to what we started off with. When we were starting out, we just had one microphone and a broken piano to make our first album.” Forgotten are the glorious featurings of Miami (2013); the only guest on this record is Catherine Ringer of The Rita Mitsoukis, a favourite of these Francophile Berliners (Encore). The rest of the album shows that the trio is still capable of bold genre-crossings (Reste) and moving melodies (Masse). And then there’s the piano that never steals the spotlight but always stays in your head. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic/Dance - Released October 24, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 24, 2014 | !K7 Records

According to the information dispersed by the !K7 label, Brandt Brauer Frick took a wholly purist approach when it came to assembling their addition to the DJ-Kicks series. The trio are known much more as musicians and producers than as DJs, yet they used only turntables and -- talk about going the extra distance for authenticity -- had eight exclusive selections pressed up as dubplates. Mixed during daytime at Berlin's Watergate club, though it's not revealed whether one member did the mixing or all three tag teamed, this DJ-Kicks plays out like a set from the staff of an ultra-hip record boutique. There's early abstract house from Theo Parrish, inspirational Detroit techno from Underground Resistance, trippy interstellar funk from Thundercat, Howard Johnson-jacking house from someone named DJ Do Bass and, unearthed by Stones Throw in 2005, primitive Nigerian synth-funk from William Onyeabor. Alternately stark and intricate dubstep and bass come from the likes of Machine Drum and Peverelist, as well as the Night Slugs label's Kingdom and Jam City. The track from the last of that lot, seemingly a neo-electro homage to Arthur Russell's "Let's Go Swimming," makes a surprisingly smooth segue into Brandt Brauer Frick's own rapidly chugging "Hugo," a new track. Among the other exclusives are Cosmin TRG's gnashing "Echolab Disaster" and Dollkraut's dub-psych oddity "Rollercoaster." The ride isn't particularly steady and there's no clear peak. None of the selections are deployed for the sake of mere functionality, to help bridge one standout to another. Much like the trio's studio work, the set has a unique touch that seems happenstance and carefully plotted all at once. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released November 22, 2010 | !K7 Records

4 stars out of 5 -- "The result is an immersive, stirring experience."
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Joy

Electronic/Dance - Released October 28, 2016 | K7 Records

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Brandt Brauer Frick switch it up a bit for Joy. Six of the ten tracks on the "emotional body music" trio's previous studio album, the expansive Miami, showcased as many vocalists, while all ten here -- not one of which is longer than five-and-a-half minutes -- involve Beaver Sheppard, a Montreal-based poet, songwriter, and singer from Newfoundland. The album's gist is indicated more by the black-and-white close-up of Sheppard's distressed face than by the title. BBF produce, arrange, and handle the drums, synthesizers, and piano work, receiving ancillary support on percussion, trombone, cello, violin, bass, and guitar. They allow adequate space for Sheppard and keep the reins tight enough to suit traditional song structures, even when they seem to be on the brink of a thrilling diversion. The tension and unease conveyed in BBF's earlier output is present here and is magnified by Sheppard, who comes across as an anxious bohemian drifting and acquiring wisdom through a nocturnal and aimless existence. Tracks such as "Poor Magic," "Society Saved Me," and "Oblivious" are among the trio's most startling and physical work, while "Facetime" -- where Sheppard's droning wariness somewhat resembles that of Hood's Chris Adams -- achieves a previously untapped bittersweet delicacy. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 11, 2013 | !K7 Records

On Mr. Machine, Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer, and Paul Frick re-recorded material from their self-sufficient debut with assistance from a ten-piece orchestra. The project turned out to be less a diversion than a point to the trio's future. While Brandt Brauer Frick remain the core, their third album involves several musicians on instruments like tuba and trombone, violin and cello, marimba and vibraphone. They've also added several vocalists -- a move that helps transform their early "techno without the technology" approach into proper song assembly with electronic and acoustic elements. Miami as a theme is peculiar, though the makers say they have an imaginary and superficial version of the city in mind. Judging from the severe, occasionally bleak sound here, BBF didn't spend their brief 2012 visit soaking up freestyle, bass, or Afro-Cuban jazz. It's not like the album's cover could pass as a scene from Occupy Miami, either. The album begins with the creeping and foreboding "Miami Theme," featuring Erika Janunger, whose whispered "Gasp for air/Hold it there/Release the strings" is as chilling as the thunderous blasts of piano and percussion. The chamber techno instrumental "Ocean Drive (Schamane)" somehow lightens the mood while increasing the tension. "Plastic Like Your Mother" is a twisted love song, not a put-down -- a whirlwind of lapping and tapping percussion, deep bass, and escalating strings as Grammy-winning producer Om'Mas Keith gasps, longs, and commands. Throwback soul shouter Jamie Lidell provides another highlight on the agitated "Broken Pieces," one of the album's most moving pieces despite its relatively skeletal makeup of brass and percussion shards, piano flecks, and acidic probing bass. Post-punk pioneer Gudrun Gut appears on the taut, rapid "Fantasie Mädchen" and adds voyeuristic suspense with her single repeated line of "Fantasie mädchen, du rockst meine welt" ("Fantasy girl, you rock my world). The album closes as strongly as it begins with "Miami Titles," a thrilling orchestra-hall-meets-club synthesis from a trio that draws from Mahler, Reich, Mills, and Hood as if they're all part of the same lineage. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released April 15, 2016 | K7 Records

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Techno - Released April 3, 2019 | Brandt Brauer Frick

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Electronic/Dance - Released August 10, 2009 | Tartelet Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 17, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released January 30, 2012 | !K7 Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 24, 2014 | !K7 Records

According to the information dispersed by the !K7 label, Brandt Brauer Frick took a wholly purist approach when it came to assembling their addition to the DJ-Kicks series. The trio are known much more as musicians and producers than as DJs, yet they used only turntables and -- talk about going the extra distance for authenticity -- had eight exclusive selections pressed up as dubplates. Mixed during daytime at Berlin's Watergate club, though it's not revealed whether one member did the mixing or all three tag teamed, this DJ-Kicks plays out like a set from the staff of an ultra-hip record boutique. There's early abstract house from Theo Parrish, inspirational Detroit techno from Underground Resistance, trippy interstellar funk from Thundercat, Howard Johnson-jacking house from someone named DJ Do Bass and, unearthed by Stones Throw in 2005, primitive Nigerian synth-funk from William Onyeabor. Alternately stark and intricate dubstep and bass come from the likes of Machine Drum and Peverelist, as well as the Night Slugs label's Kingdom and Jam City. The track from the last of that lot, seemingly a neo-electro homage to Arthur Russell's "Let's Go Swimming," makes a surprisingly smooth segue into Brandt Brauer Frick's own rapidly chugging "Hugo," a new track. Among the other exclusives are Cosmin TRG's gnashing "Echolab Disaster" and Dollkraut's dub-psych oddity "Rollercoaster." The ride isn't particularly steady and there's no clear peak. None of the selections are deployed for the sake of mere functionality, to help bridge one standout to another. Much like the trio's studio work, the set has a unique touch that seems happenstance and carefully plotted all at once. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released July 22, 2013 | !K7 Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 27, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 28, 2011 | Tartelet Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 12, 2010 | Tartelet Records