Music

Brandt Brauer Frick: DJ-Kicks

The Berlin deep house trio takes you on an eclectic journey for their DJ-Kicks selection.


Brandt Brauer Frick

DJ-Kicks

Label: !K7
US Release Date: 2014-02-18
UK Release Date: 2014-02-24
Amazon
iTunes

Compilations and DJ mixes are notoriously difficult to cover. When it comes down to writing the review, I can't really discuss the music from a compositional point of view, since all of the featured artists deserve a special and separate write up. What I can talk about, however, is the curatorial aspect of the release, its flow, structure, and of course selection. The good news here is that Studio !K7 has been releasing its DJ-Kicks series for nearly two decades now, with the very first instalment kicking off with C.J. Bolland in 1995, so the imprint knows just how and who to pick. For their 48th entry, the Berlin-based independent label brings us Brandt Brauer Frick, a German techno project consisting of Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer, and Paul Frick.

The trio has already recorded and released a few albums and EPs on Studio !K7 as well as the label's offshoot, !K7 Records: 2010's You Make Me Real, 2011's Mr. Machine, and 2013's Miami. The group has a particular aesthetic when it comes to producing their music. Their sound is very organic, consisting of much acoustic instrumentation, pushing the exploration of techno and tech-house just a bit beyond the typical nightclub atmosphere. For their DJ-Kicks mix, Brand Brauer Frick continues the trio's pursuit of the human element, which is often lacking in electronic music and digitally assembled computer mixes, by recording their entire set live on vinyl during a daytime session at the Berlin club Watergate. This particular approach is immediately evident through a warmer-EQed sound of some recognizable pieces and a few less-than-surgically-perfect track transitions.

The 28-track eclectic journey begins with a minute-long excerpt from an ambient piece by Jan Jelinek, and immediately drops into a disco-house track by Inkswel off his Australaborialis EP. Two minutes in, and we're into a deep house category, courtesy of Theo Parish's 1998 classic "Electric Alleycat". Backtracking even further, suddenly we're in the late '70s, surrounded by William Onyeabor's funky afrobeat, only to wake up with some jazzy house grooves, followed by UK garage off of Kindom's 2011 release Dreama EP. The mix progresses somewhere around the housey territory from the likes of Alfabet, Fantastic Man, and of course Brandt Brauer Frick. Things break down a bit rhythmically half way through the mix at the end of a very groovy track by Galaxy 2 Galaxy titled "Transition". As if embracing this fact, the vocals on a track proclaim: "There will be people who will say, you don't mix this with that, and you would say, watch me." And thus, taking that chance the trio dives into a deep bass track by Peverelist.

I'll spare you from more spoilers of all the twists and turns, and stop the further deconstruction of this multiform trip at the half-way mark of the mix. Rest assured, the remaining voyage is just as diverse and exciting (there's even a surprise appearance by Machinedrum). It's also important to mention that this mix includes three new tracks by Brandt Brauer Frick, as well as previously unreleased pieces by Dollkraut, Le K, James Braun & Troels, Glenn Astro, and Cosmin TRG. Because of these exclusive contributions, Studio !K7 also released a double vinyl featuring ten more tracks. While shopping at the label's store, I highly recommend you pick up other DJ-Kicks installments, including the ones by Apparat, Thievery Corporation, James Holden, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Nightmares On Wax.

6
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

The Cyclops and the Sunken Place: Narrative Control in 'Watchmen' and 'Get Out'

Hollywood is increasing Black representation but Damon Lindelof and Jordan Peele challenge audiences to question the authenticity of this system.

Featured: Top of Home Page

'Breathing Through the Wound' Will Leave You Gasping for Air

As dizzying as Víctor Del Árbol's philosophy of crime may appear, the layering of motifs in Breathing Through the Wound is vertiginous.

Music

12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.

Music

Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.

Music

Martin Green's Junkshop Yields the Gritty, Weird Story of Britpop Wannabes

Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.

Reviews

Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.

Reviews

'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.

Reviews

Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.

Music

Why Australia's Alice Ivy Doesn't Want to Sleep

Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.

Books

Five Women Who Fought the Patriarchy

Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.

Film

Director Denis Côté on Making Film Fearlessly

In this interview with PopMatters, director Denis Côté recalls 2010's Curling (now on Blu-Ray) discusses film as a "creative experiment in time", and making films for an audience excited by the idea of filling in playful narrative gaps.

Music

Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.