Monday, April 1, 2013

The Intersection: Brandt Brauer Frick

The Intersection: An ongoing feature on JazzWrap that looks at artists that have blended jazz, world and electronica in new and highly creative ways.

Brandt Brauer Frick (trio)
Miami (K7! Records; 2013)
Daniel Brandt (electronics)
Jan Brauer (electronics)
Paul Frick (electronics)

Miami is the German group, Brandt Brauer Frick's third and most dramatically cinematic album so far. While the previous albums, Mr. Machine and You Make Me Real had elements of dance, free jazz and experimentalism mixed throughout, Miami strips things down to the deeper introspective parts. And it delivers on every level.

Harboring more dark beats and themes than its predecessors, Miami is a intricate leap forward and exciting listening experience. The opening title theme is a slow plodding movement based on basic two or three chord piano notes, some eerie electronics, slow bowed cello (possibly even a tuba!) and haunting vocals from Erika Janunger. A lengthy opening piece with a lot of emotional impact that resonates throughout the album.

"Plastic Like Your Mother" has a dense, soulful vibe to it that is almost reminiscent of early Tricky or mid-period Massive Attack. The dance elements finally emerge towards the middle of the piece with trippy repetition and vocal loops. And just as you think the piece is about to explode--it ends. Intelligent and crafty.

"Empty Words" is like walking through a hall of mirrors in any horror flick. Slow descending heart-thumping paces on the keys and lots of improvised moments with Jamie Lidell's loving and cries floating in and out. And then having the slicing bass lines defining each movement made this one of my favourite tracks in the session.

"Fantasie Madchen" keeps true to the Bodo Elsel original with simple electronics and infectious attitude and the rough vocal treatment by Gudrun Gut. Gut's vocals give the piece a little more of a sexy vibe with the instrumentation making this late 90s dance piece more futuristic.

Yes, musicians want to challenge themselves every time out. But you don't get many that succeed with each effort. With Miami's more improvised vision the trio of Brandt Brauer Frick manages to do that over and over and over. This is an excellent session and must have for music fans. Highly Recommended!

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