Review: Brandt Brauer Frick’s DJ Kicks Mix
Germany’s triple-threat Brandt Brauer Frick holds the torch for the man and machine soundclash bringing acoustics to electronics. For its installation in the DJ Kicks series, the trio maintains that same aesthetic. Using all vinyl and dubplates, the mix was done live, so to speak, at Berlin’s Watergate Club behind closed doors when the venue was deserted. With each member bringing a chunk of tracks to choose from, the final 28 that make the mix are a true representation of all three. Brandt Brauer Frick produced three exclusive tracks for the mix themselves: “Bommel,” “Out Of Tash,” and “Hugo.” They also received exclusive contributions from: Dollkraut, La K, James Braun & Troels Abrahamsen, Glenn Astro, and Cosmin TRG. This collection isn’t trying to be perfect with post-production tidying up. Instead, it keeps it real with hiccups in the mix that only add to its flavor.
Not focusing on the minimal experimentalism that Brandt Brauer Frick have become known for, the mix draws from a multitude of genres pulling them together in a synth-driven space with the aid of mix-friendly edits. From shivery techno (“Lap The Music”) to percussive house to murky tech-house to captivating broken beat, relentless vocal tracks, and even some languorous hip hop (“Electric Alleycat”) plus a ‘60s protest throwback (“Better Change Your Mind”), DJ Kicks flows through styles keeping the mood constantly changing yet maintains cohesion in the process. At points they lock into a groove and keep you captured for a good spell such as with the soundtrack-ready “Rollercoaster” from Dollkraut. It takes a few minutes for this mix to kick in—no pun intended, but once it does, you’re happily committed for the entire ride. --Lily Moayeri