There’s something discerning about having the piano as your instrument of choice – you’re in a small but talented group of musicians too – consider: John Cage, Sigur Rós, Tori Amos, and Elton John. The duo behind the Düsseldorf-based Grandbrothers can call themselves members of that elite group. In a sense at least.
Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel founded Grandbrothers in 2011 while studying at the Institute of Music & Media in Düsseldorf. They found inspiration in the experimental musicians of the 1960s, such as Alvin Lucier who would “play” by attaching electrodes to the performers head and transforming the resulting alpha waves into vibrations, thereby activating percussion instruments around a room. Likewise, Grandbrothers draw on the classical/progressive dualism, commenting, “We want to make music that sounds modern with a classic instrument, an instrument with history.”
Heroes like Alvin Lucier make sense when you consider their sound is generated through the manipulation, looping, amplification, and re-cutting of the sounds that are generated when they “play” the piano. Play is, again, the operative word. The sounds that come out of the piano are actually generated via electromechanical hammers, developed by Lukas, which are controlled via laptop. Almost combination of the clicks and cuts genre with the the emotion of classically sweeping piano compositions, the electronic aesthetic created draws on both contemporary production techniques and traditional music training as well as the sounds of n Minimal, Ambient, EDM & Techno.
In 2014, ZEIT Online named “Ezra was Right” song of the year (it’s included in the FvF mixtape created by DJ Phono), and after two years of composition, Grandbrothers are poised to release their debut album “Dilation.” They’re adamant explorers of the audio realm, explaining, “Dilation means something like extension. We see our project like something that experiments with extending the classic piano, we want to explore this area.”
- The Album Leaf – Malmo
- Trentemoller – The Forest
- Dark Sky – Clear
- Nathan Fake – You Are Here (Four Tet Remix)
- Koreless – Last Remnants
- Gold Pana – Flinton
- Taylor McFerrin – Decisions (feat. Emily King)
- Telefon Tel Aviv – I Lied
- Kodak To Graph – Lo Lindora
- Grandbrothers – Wuppertal
- Caribou – Bowls (James Holden Remix)
- Özdemir Erdogan – Gurbet
- Ella Fitzgerald – I Get A Kick Out Of You (Cinematic Orchestra Remix)
- Kyu Sakamoto – Sayonara, sayonara
Many thanks to Grandbrothers for this great mixtape!
On May 9th, you’ll be able to see the “brothers” live at Berlin’s Emmaus Kirche during the XJAZZ Festival.
Looking for more compilations? Head over to our wide range of previous FvF Mixtapes made by friends and amazing DJs.