Daniel Brandt, co-founder of acclaimed German ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, releases his second solo album Channels with Erased Tapes on October 12th.
The seven-track LP is Brandt’s biggest statement yet, with the album’s thrilling avant-garde framework interweaving chord-driven techno, orchestral flourishes, rich electronic textures and hints of dark cinematic pop. Following on from 2017's Eternal Something, which captured a contemplative kind of isolationism, with Channels Brandt set out to create an album that captures the essence of minimalism whilst lending it to a more playful context.
After performing and recording Steve Reich’s Six Pianos in a group of six, Brandt began regularly composing long meditations on the piano, something that permeates the sound of the new record. Its frenetic energy and shape-shifting identity was also born out of touring with his new band Eternal Something — comprised of Brandt on piano, drums and synthesisers, Pascal Bideau on guitar and bass, plus Florian Juncker on trombone — and a desire to translate both the sound and spiritual unity of their live shows in which musicians locked together to create an intriguing meld of expansive works.
Intricate floor-filler and lead track ‘Flamingo’ synthesises the measured pacing of Detroit techno with an orchestral background. As with all of the tracks on Channels, ‘Flamingo’ began life as a sketch with very basic instrumentation, before taking it into the studio to rehearse with his band members, giving the album a live and visceral sound that sets it apart from his debut; “It was a great experience to do it this way as I have always wanted to have the chance to try out something in a live setting before recording it in the studio and not the other way round,” explains Daniel. “The actual typical rock band recording style that I never had the chance to do before.”
With Brandt also being skilled as a filmmaker, directing and producing visuals for BBF and Eternal Something, much of the new album’s creative ideas reference a rich visual palette. He directed the video for ‘Flamingo’, a sideways glance at the art world that takes the concept behind John Cage’s 4’33” and turns it on its head.
Daniel’s passion for film even prompted him to kick start his own online television channel Strrr.tv in 2017 that since attracted a lot of attention with guest moderators including BBC Radio DJ Gilles Peterson, modular synth legend Suzanne Ciani and Berghain bouncer Sven Marquardt counting amongst the most popular episodes.
Recorded between Berlin and London, Channels is a deeply enthralling listening experience, which sees Daniel Brandt build upon his distinctive percussive sound whilst exploring new and expansive horizons.