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CD Review
The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble - Mr. Machine

Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble

Mr. Machine
Record Label: !K7
Artist's Facebook
Review by Emily Genco
October 2011

If Alfred Hitchcock was making films today, he would no doubt recruit The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble to write the soundtrack for one of his psychological thrillers. This October the German trio released their sophomore effort Mr. Machine. In their latest work, Brandt Brauer Frick stitches club-style percussion with classical instrumentation. The result: An album as spine-tingling as Frankenstein’s monster and equally complex.

Brandt Brauer Frick captures the feeling of walking through a fun house. Piano lines provide momentum and continuity. Dissonant clanging coupled with violin screeches also increase the album’s emotive power. Staccato keys and eerie turntablism create tension for listeners on tracks including “You Make Me Real.” Listeners may well find themselves glancing surreptitiously over their shoulders to make sure Psycho’s Norman Bates isn’t hovering over them with a knife. Such is the evocative power of the album.

Vocals on “Pretend” share stylistic similarities with those of Romy Madley Croft, member of the British indie pop band The xx. Layered over violin, piano and percussion, the vocal repetition creates an intricate soundscape sure to chill listeners.

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