In 2015 Telekom Electronic Beats festival added Bucharest to the city venues where the Telekom sponsored festival and platform happens in Europe. Inertia Movement and Sound Hub were offered the occasion to interview Brandt Brauer Frick during the festival before their concert in "Ateleierul de Producție". Courtesy of Telekom Romania.
Brandt Brauer Frick is a German trio based in Berlin with distinguishable identity in sound and music philosophy. Their electronic dance music can be characterized by unpredictable poly-rhythmic oscillations and improvisations with synthesizer instruments that lead to very present and unexpected electronic sounds. Is not Your usual programming in electronic music but live human-instrument/machine interaction pushing the boundaries of music and performance, all in a context of reference and appreciation to the legacy of sounds and music in general.
If the language of dividing genres needs to be used their music finds classical, acoustics, jazz and early jazz rhythms blended with electronic dance music in warm and emotional instances in an intelligent manner. Up until now they have released 3 albums and a DJ-Kicks Compilation: "You Make Me Real" in 2010, "Mr. Machine" in 2011 and "Miami" in 2013. They have also played live at fantastically curated festivals such as Worldwide in France or Dimensions in Croatia. They sum up their music as being "thought provoking, hard to pin down, fluid, sometimes contradictory. Music to engage your brain at the same time as moving your soul."
Their future album will be released in May this year and is a collaboration with Beaver Sheppard who adds through his voice to the spontaneity of the music with elements of punk, almost a counter culture attitude and a spirit of unity.
SoundHub: Hi I'm Elena from Sound Hub; we are a music enthusiast community, semi accelerator and coworking space for artists.
Inertia Movement: I'm Ciprian from Inertia Movement. Is a project I started five years ago in Dublin. Is sustaining artists, labels, different sounds, different views on the sound. I'm doing blogging, some podcasts. It aims to support artists locally, globally, wherever and also present different views on the sound whatever they are.
SH: BECAUSE SOUNDHUB IS SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE TO BUILD A CAREER IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY I WANT TO ASK YOU WHAT JOB YOU HAD BEFORE MAKING MUSIC?
Beaver Sheppard: Oh the paper boy from the kindergarten to the great five i delivered the paper. Made that cash which I then bought hockey cards, which I then sold to my friends; when they were hot they're hot they're hot, when they are not they're not they're not; don't forget your cash there! Did porn for a couple of years and right now I'm..doing this with these guys and I make a great Caesar salad! Amazing Caesar salad!
Paul Frick: He does! It's a bit different for all of us. For me is a bit like Beaver but a bit different. I’ve been making music just music, I studied it and when I was done with it I couldn’t make a living.
So I was working for a tiny little bit in Deutschland Radio which is a national radio as an assistant and producing radio plays, meaning actors and noises, a bit like movies without images and I was cooking a lot of coffee basically. (Elena laughs)
And very quickly, luckily we could make kind of a living with the band so I quit. Since then I do just that.
IM: How about Yous?
Jan Brauer: I was working in media production, media pagement as Paul said only a little tiny bit then music started to take over. Most of the schedule.
Daniel Brandt: I started film directing and I did a lot of videos for other artists and also for us so I never really had a job except after school there’s this thing that You can do instead of military so I was basically picking up old ladies that fell down from the bed... at night.
SH: What got You in the music industry? Passion..
DB: Music I think was always there from the beginning.
SH: Passion, girls, money?
JB: Some people wanted to sell. That has made us!
DB: There exactly. (Everybody laughs)
We didn’t aimed to get it to the industry but the music was always there and the industry just happens.
PF: The industry came at the very last moment. The music was way before…Except for Beaver. He started in the music industry.
BS: Kindergarten, great one. I wouldn't talk and sing in class. I just wouldn't talk. An then teacher was like “what’s wrong!? what's wrong with the some of it? ..And then I was never invited to the birthday parties! (Everybody laughs)
BS: Because she was the mother of one of the guys in the class and I was weird. But.. she used me and what I didn’t understand there was soprano and alto and I was supposed to sing certain parts of the song. Like in the alto You sing certain parts of the song in the soprano.. Am I even answering the question or anything?
Anyway.. but I would just sing all the parts and then she used me..I thought she kinda' liked me.
PF: Who was she?
BS: Misses Night! (Laughs)
PF: And did she ever seen "Weed" live?
BS: No. No one ever seen "Weed" live except for.. No one did.
PF: Cause by the time he had a band it was called "Weed" and they had two songs: one was called “Drugs”, one was called “Kill me”
BS: “Be constipated”.
JB: What about You guys? Do You have bands?
IM: She’s doing a lot of DJ-ing.
SH: Yes and I’m also producing for about a year and that’s why I’m curious: about your studios..
SH: DID YOU HAVE BEDROOM STUDIOS OR ONLY WORKED WITH THE LABEL STUDIOS?
PF: I always had like bedroom studios. And actually when I met these guys they had something better already. Actually way better. It was the garage of Daniel’s mom and is where he started drumming and slowly building up the studio.. That was way better to be in a place where You can be like really loud.
And then now since four years we have a studio in Berlin which is a bit of a dream, that’s really nice. Is a is a big room, Grand Piano, lots of instruments. Just keeps on getting better. Also thanks to this guy (pointing at Jan Brauer). He’s the only one who cares about how a studio actually works.
JB: I put a plan there last week... (Laughs)
IM: I used to do that too but nobody looks into. (Laughs)
JB: And we wouldn’t mind using the label studio of course but I hardly seen a label maintaining its studio these days. We’re not on Motown.
PF: I think the last time was Motown. (Laughs) I was thinking the same.
JB: Is a kind of illusion: big labels have big studios. They don’t!
DB: Quite some of them have.
JB: Tell me one! (Laughs)
SH: If You now have big pianos and plans and everything how was the setup back ago?
PF: First record we made it all entirely in the garage like very tiny and there the setup was yeah..there were some drums and some really big speakers like way to big and way too powerful, clap system way too powerful for the space and this is why..
DB: It was perfect.
PF: Yes it was great!! I was not used to make music that loud and it was funny because I think before when I was trying to make dance music I would always go for last fast stuff fast tempos and then I realized the way they made music with so much power in the system You could actually make slow music and it's thing really pushes You. And since I met them I was way more also into..
JB: Furthermore we were using a Makey mixer and one microphone.
IM: Nice one. You guys have on the website links to two labels which are smaller ones, is Tartelet Records and the Gym Records. What’s the story with them?
JB: Tartelet Records is a label originally from Copenhagen but is now more or less Berlin based. Is a Danish bunch of tutz who started and they actually discovered BBF and they put the first Brandt Brauer Frick tunes on vinyl. So they were the first ones to release our music.
IM: And how about Gym Records?
JB: Gym Records is our own little label which we founded and then we forgot about it for a while but now is back.
SH: And who is in the team in the label? Only You guys?
JB: No is seven people in total and we just released Josa Peit new EP on the Gym and she’s gonna sing with us tonight as well.
IM: What’s Your view on the independent labels and independent music producers? Living as an artist is it hard is it bad?
PF: Is definitely hard but is totally worth it..
I mean I think we were really lucky and lived like a lot of fancy things and I think because when we founded the band we had no clue about the music industry. I don’t want to say we have a clue now but we have a bit more so You just keep on realizing how You actually really want to work and who You really want to be involved with.
And we were also been involved with some really big companies.. where we got the feeling that as an artist You don’t really matter.. so I think with the time it became clear that the best collaborations are continuous and also personal relationships because once You work with a big company You know.. people, the chiefs, the CEOs switch. Everything can be gone in one second and so on..
I think what we realized is that we really want to work with the same people for a long time build the relationships of trust and once it gets so anonymous yeah.. You are just not worth anything..
IM: Nicely said!
IM: WHAT’S THE PROCESS OF EXPLORING SOUNDS IN THE STUDIO WHERE YOU GUYS MEET? IN RECENT INTERVIEWS YOU SAID THAT YOU START COMPOSITIONS FROM JAM SESSIONS. HOW DO YOU DO IT NOW?
BS: They do! (Laughs)
BS: I know.. Cause I made the last record with them which they’re releasing in February. They work faaasster than Usain Bolt! They are just crisp little monsters, then they just get on on their keyboard and the drums and there’s like "zubb-zzub’-zubbe-zub", and you’re like “What the fuck is just going on?”.
And then all of a sudden You have little gems and little hits. And they go in there and chop them up like little elves and they choose little nuggets and then fuck’em and twist them up and they bang it..
So quick though!! Quickest workers I’ve ever.. You know. (Laughs)
PF: But You also definitely You were not there. (Laughs)
BS: “When You will make him stop: It’s not seem like!” (Laughs)
JB: But the sessions work like this that’s true. Yeah. You put it really well Beaver. (Laughs)
IM: There’s an interesting thing also. You guys are in a great symbiosis now. You got to play live fast with synthesizers. How did You meet? You seem pretty good friends. Was it hard to sort of find the feeling, the mutual feeling of what You want to do and how You want it to communicate?
DB: We’ve met on a dot-friendfinder-dot-com! (Laughs)
JB: You can touch Your interest and then click Yourself. Easy!..
And if You want to do a three-some You can just check the box.
PF: Jan and Daniel knew each other for a long time. They played in the school band together. Daniel was the drummer and Jan was the keyboard. They played top 40 hits and they had several band projects and one of their projects, and then we mutually got aware of each other and met and for me was so far the best band I’ve played in.
Because they come from a region in Germany is called Essen and there people are a bit more like positive, a bit more like actionists as opposed to where I’m from in Berlin. You know in Berlin where it was maybe the 80’s where a broken Berlin was pretty depressive in a way, a lot going on but You know from where they came from is more like “Let’s do it” and..
JB: and enjoy! enjoy yourself!
PF: ..enjoy yourself.
JB: Don’t be depressed! (Laughs)
IM: Here’s a nice thing to know: You guys said You like Theo Parrish and it would be interesting to know what are Your artists that You really love or records that You bought recently Yourself?
PF: Good question! I think we can all agree for is for example Dean Blunt. Is like we saw him like last year? ..and the year before. And each year he was pretty much the best thing I saw.
IM: He played recently in Control. One week ago.
PF: You saw him?
IM: No. I’ve seen only the act from the night before.
DB: Four Tet.
IM: I actually seen Four Tet; he was pretty good. And Portico play a nice sound.
SH: I love Four Tet.
PF: I don’t know like he would be an example.. I mean we are when we started we were a lot into techno and house and of course there’s still some things that really grab us but we basically we don’t really care about it so much..
So it needs to be daring, it needs to be like express something.
DB: And all of us are really into Thundercat.
IM: I saw Thundercat live with Flying Lotus I think it was. Pretty cool!
DB: Those guys are cool because are really pushing the boundaries also Dean Blunt is a true artist because he’s.. for example in London he recently did a show where he wasn’t even on the show there was just a copying machine on the stage for 30 minutes copying things. You know. That’s the real spirit!
Beaver: Bring it back! Bring it back the old french times!
IM: HERE’S AN INTERESTING ONE ON..BRIAN ENO..THERE’S THESE JOHN PEEL LECTURES THAT THEY HAPPEN EVERY YEAR SO BRIAN ENO SAID SOMETHING RELATED TO SOCIETY AND ART AND IS INTERESTING AND IF YOU GUYS WANT TO COMMENT IT:
“WHAT WE’RE MOVING INTO IS AN ERA OF ABUNDANCE AND COOPERATION”. DOES IT APPLY TO YOU? WHAT CAN YOU MAKE OF IT?
PF: Abundance in terms of nowadays there’s more releases of course and like is impossible for anyone to stay on track..
JB: Catch up.
PF: ..catch up with it. It’s always hard to judge the times we are living in because we are not doing what we did in any other time!
We don’t have the comparison but I think yes with the recent it shows like everything happens more at a social level that we would have thought. For example in a time when I was just checking out electronic music and I didn’t know anybody like who did it or so and then I would be much more impressed by names or stuff but yes those were the times.. even such as big names.
..And then when You are working with them it doesn’t really mean anything and is just about yeah.. how You get along at a social level and .. I don’t know.
We are probably a good example for cooperation because we work a lot into a collective we have extended our core of 3 people into so many different constellations up to 60 people so far. That’s definitely our vibe but You know is also just trying out.
I wouldn’t .. in the end I don’t like characterizing an era or something because it's that what already defines it and what makes it fascinating is to go beyond that and see what else can actually happen.
IM: Is not a good idea to talk or label: You limit/close things when You talk about it.
BS: I just wanted to say is hard to take credit for anything at this day in edge. Cause there’s so much.. Being smacked in Your face for the hole around You. So much been done!
Like what’s next You know? Is like Dean Blunt is just going back. You know performance are like.. from You know..: back in the last 500 years like where they didn’t have technology but they had art.
They were doing performance. You’re just taking innovative things and bring it to life. So that is like taking so that is like cooperating in a sense.
DB: Well in the same time it was always like that, that everything already have been done everybody had the feeling always. You could never really imagine at the time when You were like “Oh shit, everything has been done!” and everything since to be..
If You look at the past from now it looks like things were suddenly happening and there was like a big revolution but it never was like that if You were actually living in the times because things they were slowly evolving.
JB: Because changes in art never happen without changes in the society. Art is always in relation to society. If the society doesn’t change art cannot come with anything new.
PF: And that’s the reason why art will not stop. I mean is obvious like our lives have changed in just like 10 years, in 10 years it changed so crazily like how could art not change? So that worry is kind of useless.
There so many composers from renaissance that were like “Now everything has been said, is just about recompiling”. Well..
JB: As well as there’s no reason. There’s no use in defining the art in that era. Is more about defining the society and then You will get the art.
PF: Yes. And then on retrospective it gets all attached to a few names but You know none of those who kind of started a revolution could have done it without a lot of people before approaching that.
And is more I mean the whole “genius” way everything is presented is just really bullshit. Because that really denies and really doesn’t get attention to what is actually happening and how art is created. Because of course You have certain very talented people who put something to a next level but yeah is not a thing that one person does. You know!
Is just.. always some kind of conversation.
IM: Is a context thing.. and is society in itself probably.
IM: WHAT IS YOUR GEAR NOW? WHAT YOU GUYS WILL BE PLAYING AT THIS EVENING? EACH ONE. STARTING WITH DANIEL..
DB: I play drums and Nord Drum synthesizer.
JB: I play synthesizer, electronic effects.
IM: What synthesizers do You use?
JB: Tonight I will use a Nord Lead and a Moog Minitower. And 2 effect devices and update the mixing desk.
BS: I’m the same. (Laughs)
I use nothing. I had some machine but I don’t really.. but in Brandt Brauer Frick I just sing. My voice.
IM: Good stuff.
PF: Tonight I just use two Korg Electribes which are sequencers on which You can put Your own sounds. Yeah is a good very nice thing. I’m looking forward to the new one which I think is about to come out. And I also manipulate the mixing desk and the Moog Minitower a bit.
IM: There’s a few years since Your last record. Are You guys having something new?
PF: We actually had the masters sent today but we couldn’t listen yet.
JB: It will be a new album coming out in February where we did a lot of tracks with Beaver. He’s on every track. All of them.
IM: Sorry about that. I didn’t know You’re the voice.
JB: Exactly. He’s our new voice now.
PF: On the cover of the album is also him.
IM: How is it? You had a few influences of soul and Detroit soul on Miami. With Jamie Lidell. Is it gonna be pretty much the same approach?
DB: No. This time we found the right guy. (laughs)
PF: Well is really different because now we have an album with one singer that we admire and You know I think in Miami we were trying out. It was like our first time we worked with a lot of singers and we wanted to have them as different as possible just to see like what’s coming out and now it was maybe like an anti reaction.
DB: Miami was like a job application for different singers but then nobody made it. Then we found him. Yeah..
PF: Now is more. Beaver is giving the music way more shape basically then all the other singers did. And is also the lyrics of.. Yeah. Throughout the album the lyrics are building a thing which was impossible on the other albums.
Well the other album was a bit like a concept album but the new one will be much more. And then You get many facets of the same singer. Cause he’s able to.. like is versatile and he for everything like just slightly putting himself on top of the music to just “I’m here! Fuck You!!”.
That’s...all this in between is all on the record.
IM: I’m really looking forward to hear You. Definitely.
SH: Looking definitely for tonight.
BS: No comment.
SH: I have one more question to You. So first of all I would like to say “Happy Birthday!” for yesterday.
SH: ..AND I KNOW YOU ARE A BIG FAN OF TOWERS AND BUILDINGS. AND WANTED TO ASK YOU ARE PLANNING..
PF: Towers? Airport towers? Is that guy. (Pointing to Jan)
SH: You are the guy with the towers. Sorry.
JB: You want to talk about towers? (stepping in front) (laughs)
SH: And buildings also?
JB: Buildings? Who doesn’t like buildings but I’m really into airport towers.
SH: I was curious about the Palace of Parliament if You are planning to see it?
JB: I know is the biggest building in Europe.. and the second building after the Pentagon?
JB: But we didn’t see it today unfortunately.
SH: You should.
JB: We saw it last time when we came to Bucharest but we didn’t go inside.
SH: You should visit it inside too.
DB: We would love to but unfortunately we have to leave really early after the show.
PF: When was it built?
IM: During the communism in the 80s or something like that.
PF: I have a strong childhood memory when I was watching the TV I was really small and they showed it Ceausescu’s toilet which was made of gold or something.
SH: Yes exactly.
PF: ..and that kinda struck me, I was like “Who is that guy?” (laughs)
IM: There’s a lot of humans on this planet and sometimes people like him get the power.
PF: Well You can’t get the power if You’re normal. (laughs)
JB: You want. You won’t!
PF: You won’t!
BS: That’s beautiful.
JB: Look at Hameron.
PF: Yeah. Look at Hameron. “hashtag Hameron” (laughs)
IM: Thanks very much!
SH: Thank You!
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