'Eternal Something' is a tactile, fluid, exploratory and intensely communicative listen. Its greatest virtue is its mercurial restraint: the simple, warm glow brilliance of its creator's exhalations
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On his immersive, delicately sculpted solo debut, the London and Berlin-based producer and co-founder of Brandt Bauer Frick delivers a gorgeously contemplative and mesmerising set of melodies for the Erased Tapes imprint.
For his opening solo work for the Erased Tapes label, Daniel Brandt, otherwise known as the drummer from the German avant-classical-dance trio Brandt Bauer Frick, has cultivated an immersive, trance-like recording that’s as pensive and emotionally affecting as it is urgent and dynamic.
Performing all the instruments himself with the exception of Florian Junker’s trombone, Andreas Voss’s cello and Manu Delago’s hang drum, Brandt’s bed of textured electronics caresses the listener across a stirring series of instrumentals, employing rumbling drones, growling bass and limpid synthesisers to summon ardent movement and a glistening euphoria that’s distinctly his own.
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The record’s first piece, ‘Chapparel Masa’, pivots around the kind of cyclical, bucolic guitar figure beloved of Bibio in his more pastoral, ‘Wicker Man’ and ‘Camberwick Green’ moments, before the composer cleverly, gradually layers a plethora of new, looped ingredients; the methodology is post-rock and kosmische inflected with jazz improvisation but the effect is one akin to the sustained throbs and swells of dance music, Jon Hopkins and Jamie XX by way of Manuel Gottsching and Fuck Buttons. By building a maddening momentum around the hook of a repetitive, simple riff, the composer is able to introduce an array of supporting instruments to conjure an allusive, chilly majesty and weave an intricate tapestry of thud, blurt, crackle and glitch.
‘White of the Eye’ rides on a pounding, percussive piano hook that’s a mantric whirl, the delicious ‘FSG’ imagines a marriage between angelic, soothing electronica and the parping trombones of a New Orleans brass band and ‘Kale Me’ is awash with the buoyancy of giddy, disorientating Steve Reich piano arpeggios, pummelling techno rhythms and bursts of trombone. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s an impish, gleeful abandon and wonky, homespun charm about the synth-spattered, library electro-funk of ‘Casa Fiesta’. The blissful burble of ‘On The Move’ concludes the album on an Eno-esque note, attired in tremulous keyboards and mournful brass.
The prevailing mood is that of a cavernous aural miasma, a garrulous, melody-driven dive into woozy fever dreams and sonorous textures, seamlessly evoking swathes of techno, jazz, minimalism and krautrock without ever succumbing to one style or even one dominant instrument. Never sounding generic and frequently unearthing harmonic left turns within its boundary-blurring shower of plaintive and thundering electro-acoustic hues, ‘Eternal Something’ is a tactile, fluid, exploratory and intensely communicative listen. Its greatest virtue is its mercurial restraint: the simple, warm glow brilliance of its creator’s exhalations.