Both bandleaders Dirk Balthaus and Bert Lochs are developing and spreading their still growing oeuvre since the early 90’s. From the first quintet to the first records Tales of the frog and The Healing the couple rejoined, after a short break with other bands and projects, and started working together again. Lochs‘ adventurous and lyrical playing and Balthaus‘ refined and colourful touch, complement each other wonderfully and make for a fascinating world of sound.
In November 2018, Braskiri’s second CD was released. After the first one – Killing the Mozzarella – which was widely appraised, the four musicians hit the studio again. Once again, German record company BERTHOLD records from Bremen published the album.
Imagine. You are sitting on the couch, relaxing and contemplating every day life. All of a sudden, an idea pops up – a groove, a different form, a melody, a yet unexplored chord progression. The next moment, you are running to get a pencil and start drawing five lines on a piece of paper, a tissue or even the wall, trying to save this little gem from oblivion.
After this, it’s still a lot of hard work to make a playable piece out of the tiny morsel, but this first part of the process is what Bert Lochs calls The Couch Principle.
Numerous pieces of band leader, composer and trumpet player Bert Lochs have come to life this way. Therefore, many of the song titles on this album reflect daily life: be it a character from Lochs’ favourite television show, Arya from Game of Thrones, or one of his all-time movie faves, Doc Brown from Back to the Future (the song being conceived on the exact day that Marty McFly, in his DeLorean time machine, entered the future), but also dreadful events like Lament for B., which was written after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, or a heartfelt tribute to his parents, in The House on the Mountain.
However, without the right people, with the skills and the willingness to play with these ideas, even the best ones cannot come to life. This is where co-band leader and piano player Dirk Balthaus, drummer ‘par excellence’ Wim Kegel, and Norwegian tuba giant Steffen Granly come in. All of Lochs‘ compositions are written with these three musicians in mind. The brass instruments are the core of the band’s sound: wonderful duets with tuba and trumpet, with fat grooves in the bottom and light notes, flying free like a bird in the sky. Simultaneously, the piano and the drums are enhancing, colouring, challenging and complementing the horns.
A whole universe, in which meteors strike, planets rush through space, and satellites shine brightly and leave their orbits to explore new galaxies.
Since their first meeting in 2014, Braskiri has played several European stages. At the 2016 North Sea Jazz Festival, the room was so packed, that people were queuing outside and some of them couldn’t even get in anymore. In just a few years, the unique Braskiri sound has evolved from experiment to concept, thus deserving a worldwide audience.