Blog Archives

Video: Grandbrothers – All the Unknown

shot by Toby Coulson

Today Grandbrothers have shared a cinematic new video for “All The Unknown,” the title track from their third album which is set for January 15th release on City Slang.

The visually striking, surreal clip explores and maximises the dramatic builds and crescendos within Grandbrothers’ expressive music. Speaking on the video, the band comment: “We worked closely with our good friends and filmmakers Manfred Borsch and Malte Thuilot, because they had us hooked with their ideas and vision for this project. We felt that they could perfectly put into pictures, what we only can express with music.“

The video’s director, Manfred Borsch adds: “The brilliant and deeply touching work of Grandbrothers offers an unbelievable visual playground and creates pictures in the mind of each individual. We are enormously grateful that we were allowed to bring our own visual feelings to this project.”

Watch the video for “All The Unknown” here: 

On the leafy cover Grandbrothers invite the spectator to peer through the thick foliage of a hawthorn bush, seemingly powered by a similar sense of curiosity that informed this exploratory new record. Ditching the restrictions of their former setup, with their new record the Turkish-German/Swiss duo took a leap into the dense unknown—and landed on their feet.

The album maps out a wide-open soundworld of compositional possibilities for pianist Erol Sarp and producer / electronic engineer Lukas Vogel, who have been putting their modern and unique electronic spin on prepared piano since first forming in 2012. Forgoing the need to play every single note live, this new album sees the pair juxtapose the old and new once again, venturing further into the electronic cosmos armed with a grand piano, self-built computer-controlled mechanics, and a new sense of latitude.

Listen closely to this latest album and you can hear an old-school hip-hop beat enmeshed in melodic piano, or feel the cold rush of techno fly past at lightning speed. “We wanted to leave the lovely romantic piano music behind,” explains Sarp, whose affinity with dance music has always been an influence on his writing process. Motifs of club music creep subtly into ‘All The Unknown’’s impeccably textured palette, which nonetheless uses sounds found exclusively within the piano. These sounds and samples are triggered and collected using mechanics built by Vogel and placed inside the piano, then extracted, processed and shaped beyond their original identity to create alien beeps, beats and tones. Melding these with the organic piano sounds is what fuels Grandbrothers’ creativity.

‘All The Unknown’ will be released on January 15th 2021 via City Slang. Pre-order and streaming options can be found here: https://grandbrothers.lnk.to/AllTheUnknown

‘All The Unknown’ track list:
 1. Howth
2. What We See
3. Umeboshi
4. All the Unknown
5. The Goat Paradox
6. Four Rivers
7. Shorelines
8. Auberge
9. Organism
10. Silver
11. Black Frost
12. Unrest
13. Mourning Express

Grandbrothers – All The Unknown

shot by Toby Coulson

Grandbrothers have announced details of their third album, ‘All The Unknown’, which is set for January 15th release on City Slang, and have also shared the album’s title track.
 
On the leafy cover they invite the spectator to peer through the thick foliage of a hawthorn bush, seemingly powered by a similar sense of curiosity that informed this exploratory new record. Ditching the restrictions of their former setup, with their new record the Turkish-German/Swiss duo took a leap into the dense unknown—and landed on their feet.
 
The album maps out a wide-open soundworld of compositional possibilities for pianist Erol Sarp and producer / electronic engineer Lukas Vogel, who have been putting their modern and unique electronic spin on prepared piano since first forming in 2012. Forgoing the need to play every single note live, this new album sees the pair juxtapose the old and new once again, venturing further into the electronic cosmos armed with a grand piano, self-built computer-controlled mechanics, and a new sense of latitude.
 
The debut single and title track from the album All The Unknown” starts out with the clanging percussive piano figures that have danced across Grandbrothers’ previous terrain, but grows with stuttering digital percussion to cast out allusions of classical romance, guided by emotive, cascading keys.
 
Listen to “All The Unknown”

Listen closely to this latest album and you can hear an old-school hip-hop beat enmeshed in melodic piano, or feel the cold rush of techno fly past at lightning speed. “We wanted to leave the lovely romantic piano music behind,” explains Sarp, whose affinity with dance music has always been an influence on his writing process. Motifs of club music creep subtly into ‘All The Unknown’’s impeccably textured palette, which nonetheless uses sounds found exclusively within the piano. These sounds and samples are triggered and collected using mechanics built by Vogel and placed inside the piano, then extracted, processed and shaped beyond their original identity to create alien beeps, beats and tones. Melded these with the organic piano sounds is what fuels Grandbrothers’ creativity.
 
Sarp and Vogel met nearly a decade ago while studying audio and video engineering in Düsseldorf. Conceiving a project that would draw on Sarp’s piano skills while also providing a piano part for Vogel through bespoke programming and mechanical apparatus, Grandbrothers was formed.  They brought their vision to life with debut album ‘Dilation’ in 2015, followed by the majestic ‘Open’; a swirling fusion of electronica and classical piano, which was released on City Slang in 2017. These days, with the pair no longer both residing in Düsseldorf, they have forged a new remote working relationship that involves a lot of back and forth and more time spent on developing ideas and producing. This new album documents that process. 
 
“The main difference compared to the last two albums, is that we set ourselves a rule that everything needed to be created on the instrument in that moment” explains Vogel. “But now that this rule is gone, we’ve started to produce or record things on the computer which means we can stack up more layers” Sarp surmises. “Previously, it has always just been me sitting at the piano playing, but now we have three or four piano parts together, which I wouldn’t be able to play at once as it’s too many notes; it just wouldn’t be possible as I only have ten fingers. This new method has opened up worlds and given so many more opportunities to write music.”
 
‘All The Unknown’ will be released on January 15th 2021 via City Slang. Pre-order and streaming options can be found here: https://grandbrothers.lnk.to/AllTheUnknown
 
‘All The Unknown’ track list:
 1. Howth
2. What We See
3. Umeboshi
4. All the Unknown (YouTube)
5. The Goat Paradox
6. Four Rivers
7. Shorelines
8. Auberge
9. Organism
10. Silver
11. Black Frost
12. Unrest
13. Mourning Express

Lycoriscoris – Blue (Grandbrothers Remix)

No. 07: Grandbrothers – Open

07

Video: Grandbrothers – From A Distance

Ahead of their European Tour, Grandbrothers have shared an atmospheric and visually striking new video for “From a Distance”, taken from the group’s latest album Open, which was released on October 20th via City Slang.

Speaking about the video, director Dan Medhurst said: “The film is a loose adaptation of the ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus who struggled to push a large rock up a mountain only for it to roll back down and for him to start again each day. It tells a tail of eternal struggle for our lead character (played by Mark Wingett) who appears to be locked in a convoluted journey for victory, but ultimately ends up back where he started. It also plays with the concept of eternal recurrence; That the universe and all existence has already occurred and will continue to reoccur infinitely. I chose to shoot in the Brecon Beacons at night to emphasize a feeling of total isolation. We used a high powered custom built LED attached to a drone to light our character and shot on 50 year old, Russian anamorphic lenses to create haunting, unusual visuals which play with the idea of distance and anonymity.”

Watch the video for “From a Distance” here:

Grandbrothers – Bloodflow (Lone remix)

Grandbrothers recently announced details of their second album, ‘Open’ (due Oct 20th on City Slang) along with the enchanting track “Bloodflow”. Today they share a new version of the track, remixed by Lone, and announce more live dates including a string of shows with Bonobo this Autumn.

Grandbrothers are the sum of unique parts: progressive Swiss engineer/mechanic/sofware designer Vogel and German-Turkish pianist Sarp. Their second album ‘Open’ twins Sarp’s piano skills with Vogel’s talent for both building the formidably intricate mechanics with which he exploits his partner’s instrument and also designing its software. Sarp works at his ivory keyboard while, from behind his own computer keys, Vogel live-samples his partner’s notes, triggering further effects with the aid of homemade apparatus that physically manipulate the piano’s strings and body. “There are hammers I control,” he explains, “which hit different parts to make beats and percussive patterns. In the beginning, I just used an open circuit board I’d constructed without a proper case. It was very fragile and often didn’t work. We always had a soldering-iron when we played live.”

Video: Grandbrothers – Bloodflow

Düsseldorf duo Grandbrothers have signed to City Slang for the release of their second album, ‘Open’, which is to be released on October 20th 2017, and have confirmed live dates including a London headline show. Now, they share a first taste of the new record with enchanting track “Bloodflow” and an accompanying video.

Pre-Order: https://grandbrothers.lnk.to/openYD

Video: Grandbrothers – Arctica

grandbrothers

German duo of Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel, aka Grandbrothers, have shared the video for “Arctica”, one of the standout cuts from their recent debut album “Dilation”, out now via Berlin-based label FILM. The video was made by graphic moving imagemakers Warped Type.

We use a system of self-built hammers that trigger all parts (metal, wood, strings) of the grand piano in order to create all the sounds you hear including percussions. On stage that looks like an open heart surgery on the grand piano with a lot of cables attached. We wanted to visualise that with the new video for Arctica.