The Alphabet according to Brandt Brauer Frick

Brandt Brauer Frick successfully fuse electronic and acoustic sounds without the end product sounding like a forced marriage. And that’s no small accomplish- ment, considering the sheer number of mismatched electronic-versus-acoustic failures we’ve had to endure in the noughties. Instead of attempting to recreate the conventional rhythms and sounds of electronic music, the trio has reinterpreted them with (predominantly) classical instrumentation to startlingly danceable results. Be sure to catch them live next Saturday along with Karin Park and Fil Lavin when Electronic Beats hits Montenegro!


A as in Arab Spring:
A new beginning can’t take place without dealing with the ghosts of the past. Still, we see the Arab Spring as a big chance and it’s good for set political structures to be rearranged—at least we hope it is.

B as in Johann Sebastian Bach:
On the ensemble version of “Bop” we include a hidden B-AC-H melody. (Think H as in B and B as in B-flat, like in the German system. And be aware that the melody may be transposed.) Whoever can figure out where it happens and which instrument plays it gets put on the guest list (plus two) for a Brandt Brauer Frick show.

C as in Counterculture:
Counterculture can’t mean a culture that’s always more authentic or more “real” than established or mainstream culture. Culture is all about expressing ideas and emotions, and people can find many different contexts to do that—also within established “high culture”. We’re very into pop music and would avoid calling ourselves countercultural. However, with our ensemble, we’ve created something you’d normally only find in wellestablished, state-run institutions, like symphony halls or opera houses (at least in Europe). This year, we’ve really had to learn a lot of things the hard way.

D as in DJ-Kicks:
All in all, a great series. We’re on !K7, so we’re lucky to always be able to steal a new DJ-Kicks from their office when we swing by. Recently, we’ve been enjoying the Motor City Drum Ensemble, as well as the new Scuba release. Watch out for a Brandt Brauer Frick mix in a year or two . . . or three.

E as in Ego:
We have big ones—we love what we do.

F as in Form follows function:
We’re not the best musicians to ask about functional music. We love things that are unpredictable and go beyond mere functionality. We also believe that most people on the dance floor want drama and surprises, not just something that serves a predictable musical function—at least in the techno sense.

G as in Growing up:
. . . is probably the most fundamental part of life. If you actually feel like growing up when you get old, you’ll have more fun in life (partly taken from The Teachings of Buddha found in our hotel).

H as in Heroes:
Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, Theo Parrish, Matthew Herbert, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, 4Hero . .

I as in ID:
We appreciate the idea of a world in which no identification papers are needed.

J as in John Cage:
No need to talk too much about Cage; everybody else does so enough already. But unlike to many twentieth century composers, he had a great sense of entertainment.

K as in Kling Klang:
Kraftwerk’s studio. Their pioneering use of electronic instruments is impressive. We have probably a tenth of the equipment they have, but we don’t feel like there’s anything missing from our collection. Musically
it seems like we pretty much do the exact opposite of Kraftwerk: we make electronic music that’s warm and dirty instead of cold and clean.

L as in Live electronics:
We only use basic electronics in our live set as a trio: a Nord Wave keyboard, Roland V-Drums and a Korg ESX-1. We don’t know much about live electronics—it’s much easier for us to explore mic’d acoustic instruments.



M as in Mr. Machine:
We found his bones in our garden. It appears that he was some sort of pre-industrial robot. Our experts are still not sure whether he was originally a man or a machine.

N as in New world order:
Who are we to know what the future holds? We only want a world with great music.

O as in Open source:
When it comes to the basics, we consider music history to be open source. New music is never about inventing something from nothing, but rather about composing it from certain preexisting elements. Playing a chord on a piano is not essentially different than sampling; it’s all been brought to you culturally and historically. Nobody should consider their music their own “property”—and that’s the great thing about music.

P as in Pornography:
A guy and a girl are having sex. Suddenly, the guy freezes while they’re doing it doggy. The girl’s like, “What’s up? Keep going, I need more!” He responds: “This is a new technique I found online—it’s called ‘buffering’!”

Q as in Quo vadis, classical music?:
Obviously, some amazing classical music will be around for a long time and remain relevant. Unfortunately, very few people are aware of the music that’s written for classical instruments these days. Most of it is trapped in academia or stuffy old institutions, so it’s hard not to be pessimistic about its future. There are only a few composers living today that still inspire us.

R as in Remixes:
Technically speaking, we tend to “reinterpret” instead of remix because we use little or nothing of a track’s original samples. It’s a cool process, because sometimes confronting foreign musical ideas lead us to things we otherwise would never have explored. Often it shows us where our own music could go in the future.

S as in Supernatural:
We usually experience the supernatural onstage. Not like ghosts and spirits, but rather like a single unifying feeling that brings together the whole room and everybody in it. One of the best moments of being onstage is when our entire ensemble feels like one big machine.

T as in Terror:
If you really want to freak out, listen to Rotterdam Terror Corps! Certainly better than real terror, but still hard to take.

U as in Underwear:
We wear it. Right now things aren’t easy because we’re on tour in the U.S., playing up to ten gigs in a row, and flying almost every day. We need fast laundry service . . . but it doesn’t always work out.

V as in The Velvet Underground:
The Velvet Underground was an amazing band and show that you don‘t need much technique when you have something to express. Rock and roll! Heroin!

W as in Wimps
. . . should leave us alone.

X as in Xylophones:
We especially love the xylophone’s big brother, the marimba, although its character is so strong that we can’t use it for every piece. Also, it takes up a lot of space. But when used correctly, it’s magic. We probably have one of the best marimba players in the world in our ensemble, the fantastic Mr. Matthias Engler.

Y as in Yawn:
We yawn when we’re asked whether we make a fusion of techno and classical music. Who cares?

Z as in Zen:
Watch out for our upcoming Ninja Tune release, catalogue number beginning with ZEN . . . It’s a remix we did for Amon Tobin. ~

Photo: Jan Brauer, Paul Frick, and Daniel Brandt, photographed by Hans Martin Sewcz in Berlin.

This text appeared first in Electronic Beats Magazine N° 28 (2011). Read the full issue on

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Win tickets to Electronic Beats Presents in Podgorica, Montenegro

If our recent announcement of the first ever “Electronic Beats Presents” in Podgorica, Montenegro didn’t get you excited enough, here’s something even better: you could be going for free.

November 24 will find us invading the beautiful country along with Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble, Karin Park and Fil Lavin for a night of different variations on one theme: electronic sounds to make you move. Six lucky EB readers will be waltzing into the theater Crnogorsko Narodno Pozorište, scoffing at those who must pay for their entertainment. We know the truth: you’re special, and you deserve these tickets. So here’s your chance. Just fill out the form below before the Nov. 17 deadline. That’s all! The winners will be contacted by email. Good luck!

UPDATE, Nov 20: Competition is closed, winners Jankovic M., Miljana B. and Pavle R. have been notified!

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Watch an important announcement by Depeche Mode, live from Paris

What? Where? When?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 marked yet another important milestone in the history of Electronic Beats. Earlier today we’ve been broadcasting an important live video announcement by synth pop legends Depeche Mode from Paris, France. From their beginnings in Basildon where they established themselves as synth pop pioneers, to global, stadium filling rockstars, via Dave Gahan’s brief flirtation with death, there’s few bands as storied as Depeche Mode. What’s the next chapter going to be? You know where you need to be to find out.

You’ll be able to watch a rerun of the stream as well as a summary of the initial press conference live stream with all hard facts and editorial commentary below.

Twitter and Instagram hashtag is #DepecheMode2013—follow us here.

6:19pm: Watch a rerun of the stream on Tuesday, Oct 23rd 9pm CET and Wednesday, Oct 24th 7pm CET
1:39pm: Big tour announcement, find all dates at the bottom of this page—ticket sale starts at 2pm today!
1:35pm: We’re live from Paris!
1:30pm: Countdown has started.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct 23, 11:54am: We’re getting ready for today’s Depeche Mode press conference. Watch the stream above, find our live coverage in here.

[<a href=”” target=”_blank”>View the story “From Paris, with Depeche Mode” on Storify</a>]

Depeche Mode live in 2013:
May 7 Tel Aviv – Hayarkon Park
May 10 Athens – Terra Vibe
May 12 Sofia – Georgi Asparuhov Stadium
May 15 Bucharest – National Stadium
May 17 Istanbul – Kucukciftlik Park
May 19 Belgrade – Usce Park
May 21 Budapest – Puskas Ferenc Stadium
May 23 Zagreb – Hippodrome
May 25 Bratislava – Inter Stadium
May 28 London – O2 Arena
June 1 Munich – Olympic Stadium
June 3 Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz Arena
June 5 Frankfurt – Commerzbank Arena
June 7 Berne – Stade De Suisse
June 9 Berlin – Olympiastadion
June 11 Leipzig – Red Bull Arena
June 13 Copenhagen – Parken
June 15 Paris – Stade De France
June 17 Hamburg – Imtech Arena
June 22 Moscow – Locomotive Stadium
June 24 St. Petersburg – Skk Arena
June 27 Borlange – Peace & Love Festival (Stockholm)
June 29 Kiev – Olympic Stadium
July 3 Düsseldorf – Esprit Arena
July 7 Belgium – Rock Werchter Festival
July 11 Bilbao – Bbk Festival
July 13 Lisbon – Optimus Alive Festival
July 16 Nimes – Antic Arena
July 18 Milan – San Siro Stadium
July 20 Rome – Olympic Stadium
July 23 Prague – Synot Tip Arena
July 25 Warsaw – National Stadium
July 27 Vilnius – Vingis Park
July 29 Minsk – Arena

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Pet Shop Boys’ “Leaving” music video — EB Premiere

Pet Shop Boys Leaving Music Video Premiere Electronic Beats Single Artwork

You’ve seen their live show, read our interview and listened to Elysium? In this case you’re pretty much set for Pet Shop Boys‘ new “Leaving” music video, which is using video footage from the Berlin concert as well as footage from Berlin’s urban image. Neil Tennant‘s and Chris Lowe‘s second single off their new album Elysium will be released on October 15th, and we at Electronic Beats are excited to be premiering their latest music short.


In case you’ve missed Pet Shop Boys’ Elysium launch concert in Berlin, you can watch the full recording of the show in 1080p HD video below:

The premiere of the “Leaving” music video was brought to you in cooperation with, find more videos of Pet Shop Boys at their website.

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Win an exclusive Pet Shop Boys <em>Winner</em> 7″ vinyl

To celebrate the new album Elysium, Electronic Beats and Pet Shop Boys are giving away 200 copies of the limited ‘Winner’ 7″ vinyl, featuring two unreleased mixes of ‘Winner’ by Andrew Dawson with artwork by Farrow. Along with the vinyl, all winners will receive a copy of yesterday’s live showcase brochure, featuring interviews with Mark Farrow, Andrew Dawson, and Pet Shop Boys, as well as Chris Bohn‘s essay on Elysium. Andrew Dawson’s ‘HappySad’ remix will also be available on the covermount CD of our upcoming print issue, which will come with a Pet Shop Boys cover story.


UPDATE, 13 September, 2012: Competition is closed, winners will be notified via email!

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