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Coachella 2011: Brandt Brauer Frick and the sound of German minimalism [Video]

In the week leading up to the April 15 kickoff of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Pop & Hiss offers a preview of some of this year's less established or underappreciated artists.

Who: Brandt Brauer Frick

When: Friday, April 15

From: Berlin, Germany

Sometimes images and sounds trump words, as is the case with the above video. Some context, though: Brandt Brauer Frick, who play Coachella on April 15, are a Berlin trio of instrumentalists who merge thumpy, four-on-the-floor German/Detroit-inspired techno with the sparse, minimalist composed music of Steve Reich and Gavin Bryars. Sounding at times like Jorg Burger's relentlessly beautiful project the Modernist, the trio of Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick craft a convergence of techno and so-called classical that never sounds forced, cheesy or pretentious.

"We had felt for years that most instances of combining techno and classical music lack an authentic approach," writes Paul Frick at the group's website. "Instead of using only the typical epic orchestra or piano sounds, we love to explore the dirty and percussive sides of those instruments, adapting techniques from composers like John Cage or Helmut Lachenmann: preparing our piano with screws and rubbers, knocking against every single part of an instrument, until we find that one great sound." The group also references Kraftwerk, Robert Hood, and Jeff Mills in its bio, so you know they're coming from a solid base.

The above video was created by Danae Diaz and Patricia Luna. It's all drawn with pencil on paper.

But then, also, another recent video of theirs, for "Bop," will give you a better idea of where they're coming from in a live setting. Check it out after the jump. (Hint: It involves clones.)

The trio's most recent album is called "You Make Me Real," and it's on the estimable K7 label.

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-- Randall Roberts

 
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