The Brandt (Daniel) Brauer (Jan) Frick (Paul) Ensemble stole my heart
and several slices of my mind with their 2011 release 'Mr Machine'.
Its clever amalgamation of electronic and acoustic elements in music
which owed as much to techno as it did to the spirit of contemporary
"high art" stirred our knees and toes as much as it captured the interest
of our cranial juices. You could both think about it and dance to it!
'Miami' finds our German cousins broadening their sound palette with the
inclusion of vocals on six of the ten fine compositions in this new collection.
Rhythmic complexity remains the order of the day but their mathematical
bent is also shot through with flashes of almost primal ribaldry (and not
a little humour) amongst the clattering beats and dense chromatic inventions.
Jump straight to track two, 'Ocean Drive (Schamane)', for an immediate taste
of what this terrific collective are capable. There's an almost 70's King
Crimson Larks Tongues In Aspic-like energy in the jagged-but-precise
barmy time signatures which really does set the pulse racing in a wholly
agreeable way! There's magic and mystery too in the grumbling drones and
trudging pace of a number like 'Miami Drift' and more rhythmic mayhem in the
almost tribal batterings of final track 'Miami Titles' but it is in the vocal
tracks where we find some of the richest ideas. Opening number 'Miami Theme',
featuring the singer Erika Januger, is a wonderfully dark sound-drama with
an almost Second Viennese School ambience (Kind-of Berg-meets-Berghain!);
'Broken Pieces' bursts into vivid life around a terrific fractured soul
work-out from Jamie Lidell and Nina Kraviz gets a deliciously spooky turn
on the abrasively discombobulating 'Verwahrlosung' to end the show.
A tantalizing and intelligent confection. Three Hurrahs once again for BBF!