In 2010 the German trio, Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick produced a successful debut album “You Make Me Real,” by combining techno music with classical. This year they have taken their genre-defying experiment to a whole new level with the Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble. Ditching their computers they have moved on to a ten-piece ensemble, allowing them to play handcrafted dance grooves completely live. With the new, highly complex modification of an ensemble in place for the past year, they are set to release their new album entitled “Mr. Machine” October 24th. The album includes a track entitled Pretend featuring Ninjatunes' Emika. Catch them this Wednesday October 5th, where they play live at Fabric’s “London Electronic” mid-week session supported by Anglo-French dance musician Ivan Smagghe.
Dazed Digital: When did your trio start and how did you three meet?
Paul Frick: We started three years ago. Daniel and Jan are old school friends. I contacted them via Myspace after hearing one of their tracks. We listened to each other’s music and liked what we heard, so decided to meet up in Berlin.
DD: Was it difficult at first since you and Jan didn’t know Paul?
Daniel Brandt: We heard a piece of Paul, ‘Ya Esta’, that was techno-inspired but completely acoustic with weird piano sounds. We thought it would be great if we did a project to combine both our approaches. We tried it and the chemistry was really good. We just knew we had to do more.
DD: How long has it taken to put together these albums?
Jan Brauer: ‘You Make Me Real’ took a year to make, whereas Mr. Machine took just five “very long and intense” days to record. Even though the two albums share tracks, the new versions are substantially different. To just recreate them would have been very boring.
DD: Was it difficult to make decisions for ‘Mr. Machine’ since so many people were involved in the making of it?
Paul Frick: ‘Mr. Machine’ benefitted from the incredibly broad sound spectrum of ten musicians. The ensemble has quickly grown to become a real band and the ensemble album has a vibe that reflects the openness and artistic exchange. We wrote all the orchestral parts in advance, but often the other musicians brought their own ideas into it and surprised us with interesting sounds and grooves.
DD: What did you have in mind when you set out to make your albums?
Jan Brauer: Often people focus a lot on this whole "cross-over" aspect. We wish people would simply notice we have good chords, melodies etc. and take the music as it is. Because we make it the way we feel, and not for other, let's say purely conceptual reasons.
DD: What category do you often get labeled as?
Jan Brauer: Some reviewers perceive us as minimal techno, some as modern classical, some as nu jazz and so on. But we don’t divide the world into techno and non-techno.