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Daniel Brandt: Interview & Minimalist Playlist

Daniel Brandt, co-founder of acclaimed German ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, plays at Corsica for Baba Yaga’s Hut on Tuesday 26 February.

Daniel Brandt’s second solo album “Channels” draws on Detroit techno and has gained notoriety for its avant-garde framework interweaving chord-driven techno, orchestral notes, and dark cinematic references. We caught up with Brandt ahead of his performance at Baba Yaga’s Hut alongside his new band Eternal Something, and support from Daniel Thorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just released your second solo album Channels on Erased Tapes. Can you tell us about the background of the album?

After releasing my first solo album “Eternal Something” I formed the Eternal Something band with Pascal Bideau on Guitar and Bass and Florian Juncker on Trombone and it only felt natural to record the second album as a band. So for “Channels” I made some rough sketches of the songs in the beginning and we then started to develop them in rehearsals with the band. We went on to a short tour through the Netherlands to test out the songs and from there we directly went to the recording studio in Berlin. Tilo Schierz-Crusius who is doing our live sound also recorded the album in the studio together with Christian Prommer and after this I edited and produced the songs. It was all a very quick and intense process and within 3 or 4 months the album was done.

Glenn Branca – Light Field

Really love this song, it kind of fields like a mantra but is also very upfront and groovy, a fantastic piece of rock music without vocals.

In addition to the releasing the album Eternal Something, also on Erased Tapes, you directed the short film of the same name. Can you tell us about the film, and more broadly your interest in film making and art direction?

The short film is made of hundreds of Youtube videos that I downloaded and composed them over the period of one year. It was also kind of an homage to Koyaanisqatsi from the 80s but in a more dirty and modern style. My friend Beaver Sheppard from Montreal whom we also worked with on our previous Brandt Brauer Frick album did the narration for the film. My interest in film making in art direction was always there and I actually studied film directing in Cologne at the Academy Of Media Arts because I didn’t feel like studying music. For me that field was more interesting and to this day most of the projects I am involved in have a focus both on music and video.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Stratus

This is just a very beautiful dreamy song.

As part of Brandt Brauer Frick you released a number of albums and EP including four critically acclaimed albums. Can you tell us about how the band formed, and what drew you to such orchestral-come-electronic sounds?

I went to school with Jan Brauer and we were both in the school band and later founded two bands together, one called “The Free Electric Band” which was kind of a weird performance-art project together with another friend called Julian Schleef and “Scott” which was a band focussed on minimal house played with real instruments. We then met Paul Frick through myspace and I was intrigued by his avant-garde compositions and especially his use and sound of instruments in those pieces. We invited him to our then studio in Wiesbaden for a session and joined our two projects together into one which then became Brandt Brauer Frick. For that session I bought an old broken Piano from eBay and we used it to make sounds for the recordings. From the beginning the idea was there to form an ensemble with classical instruments but using them in a different way than usually and a few years later it became a reality.

Terry Riley – In C Mantra from the Reed Streams album

I recently discovered this version of “In C” and I am blown away by it. It has such a great atmosphere and it sounds like a huge group of people playing together, almost like a never ending carnival procession.

What can we expect to hear from you at the show?

We will play songs from both “Eternal Something” and “Channels” which we haven’t performed like this in London yet. We have just finished playing a tour through Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands and really enjoyed playing this new set. Also Daniel Thorne might join us again on stage which was really great on the previous shows.

Faust – Ich Sitze Immernoch

Really great song from legendary Faust whom we shared a stage with in Poland once. It almost sounds a bit like Calexico.

Do you have any projects coming up in 2019 that you would like to share?

I am involved in an installation- and performance-art piece by Belgian artist Karel Burssens which I will contribute 45 minutes of music to. It will be premiered later in the year at the new Centre Pompidou in Brussels. Also I am working together with Frieder Nagel on a new modern-dance version of Don Juan for a festival in Nuremberg this summer. It will be choreographed by Fukiko Takase who is an alumni of the Wayne McGregor dance company and already danced in and choreographed the music video for Eternal Something. Also there will be new things coming from Brandt Brauer Frick but that’s still confidential.

Herbie Hancock – Nobu

Very cool minimalistic song. It’s so enjoyable to listen to Herbie’s unique style of playing with a very dirty electronic loop underneath.

Julian Lynch – Catapulting

I love most of his music and have listened to it a lot on tour in the past. This is a song from his recently released album and for a fan of his music like I am one it’s just pure perfection and realness again.

Daniel Thorne – From Inside, Looking Out

Fantastic song, so much power and so emotional. I am really happy that we can share a stage again in London.

Daniel Brandt play at Baba Yaga’s Hut on Tuesday 26 February. You can find tickets here.