Brace/Choir is a trancerock quartet founded in Berlin, Germany in 2006. Musically, the band channels a dark, minimalist psychedelia to resurrect such classic themes as death, birth, rebirth, heartbreak, multiple personality disorder, and identity theft.
Brace/Choir communicates in an ur-language of rock and roll, taking turns singing the alternately mantra-like and narrative texts. Band members often switch instruments with each song (both live and in the studio), allowing each instrument to speak with a different voice. Their shadowy and ecstatic rhythm and blues is continuously recast over shifting organ drones and is reminiscent of such diverse bands as Bongwater, The Replacements, and Faust.[vimeo 62012763 w=620&h=300]
Childhood friends and Massachusetts natives Samuels and Gassmann met Californian Youssef and Berliner Adrian in Berlin in 2005 and formed the Joy Division-inspired speed-surf band Dus Vor Kount. While Samuels came to Berlin to pursue a degree in philosophy and work as a journalist in 2000, Gassmann was working as a street musician and bicycle mechanic.
When Youssef and Adrian went on hiatus from the band (writing a PhD and training as a speech therapist, respectively) Gassmann and Samuels continued on as a duo and, out necessity, learned to play other instruments. When the four were reunited in 2008, Brace/Choir was born, now committed to switching instruments, making slower, more repetitive music, and writing each other’s lyrics.
With “Turning On Your Double”, their follow-up to 2010’s self-titled EP, Brace/Choir have made an LP of idiosyncratic Trancerock geared towards the listener of whole albums. At its core, Turning on Your Double is a series of dark and ecstatic tales of mental illness, written and recorded in Berlin, Germany amidst tectonic shifts both personal and political.
The eight songs are a meditation on social and individual struggles with compulsive disorders, power and inverted schizophrenia: four people united by an idealistic vision of collaboration who come to think they’re one – and the cracks that show in their lives and personalities when the music stops.
Camera are not seeking to emulate the sound of older Krautrock bands, in any case. Nor have they been listening incessantly to NEU! or Can. “Perhaps we just have the same angle of approach” suggests keyboard player Timm Brockmann, “we start playing and simply go with the flow.”
Motorik-driven, energetic stretches laced with psychedelic overtones rise up from keyboards, drums and guitars, much as they did for the pioneers of German Krautrock some forty years ago. Without any sense of imitation or facsimile.
One hears a hypnotic beat. A musical drift that sweeps the listener into a trance. Shimmering elegance, forceful bursts of garage rock, a gentle flow, spherical flight. And one can hear it resonate beyond the horizon of this music.
Searching, researching, yearning. Camera have the resolve to search and explore – listen to “Hallraum”, for example, the closing track on their new album – they have an appetite for beauty, to play around with it a little.
Brace/Choir & Camera LIVE
Thursday, 19 June 2014 | 21:00 CET
Berghain Kantine | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain