Reviews

Grandbrothers
Open

(City Slang)

8/10

For the last few years, the likes of Peter Broderick and Olafur Arnolds et al have been at the forefront of a slowly building but now boldly present genre. Call it neo-classical if you’re sniffy, or indie classical if you’re not.

Düsseldorf duo Grandbrothers would doubtless like to avoid that label, and it’s true that their music has its own idiosyncrasies. Foremost amongst these is that despite the rich complexity of the sound they assemble, it’s all made from a single instrument – the piano – and a host of effects from homemade kit that manipulate that single sound.

‘Open’, Erol Sarp’s and Lukas Vogel’s second album, uses their tested approach to superb effect. The record opens with a nervous introduction, full of taut energy and gathering power, and the suspenseful tension of an imminent storm. Single ‘Bloodflow’, meanwhile, is stunningly on edge, coming at you in waves, beautifully and powerfully nuanced. There’s a dichotomy between calmness and a relentless, ecstatic energy; it’s six minutes of purely visceral drama.

This is typical of ‘Open’, an album that sweeps from one movement to the next in much the same way that traditional classical music does. It’s poised, often very balanced, but also wilfully falls into controlled chaos, beautiful pathos or sublime melody. Sit down with this record, embrace and absorb it; at its finest, it will really transport you.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.