Within the underground electronic music industry’s endless stream of music, it is a distinct pleasure to discover a fresh sound that reaches beyond the expected to capture your imagination and draw you into its world. Broj’s new Daydream EP fulfills this quest for the joy of discovery, while providing evidence that the electronic music scene is always ready for an interesting new perspective. Driven by passion, emotion, and the spirit of collectiveness, the minds behind Broj, Benjamin Brommer and Casper Jansen, have been developing their unique organic electronic blend for the past four years. Their shared vision and continuous desire to keep innovating and challenging each other have resulted in an authentic and atmospheric sound that encourages deep and repeat listening.
The duo’s shared approach to music production and life is a natural fit for Minds Alike, whose intention to be “a destination for the open-minded by appealing to those who are interested in explorative soundscapes and authentic expressions”, is evident in their selection of this release. Take the time to get lost in the music video from the title track, and read on to discover more about Broj:
How did you first get to know each other and start working together?
We actually got to know each other years ago while attending the same high school. We discovered that we were both drawn to music, which led to us always talking music in lunch breaks. On weekends we got together, sharing new discoveries and developing an interest in DJ’ing. Slowly but surely we started creating music ourselves as well, and you could say that this escalated a bit into what it is now, 8 years later.
What do you think makes your partnership work well? What do you each appreciate most about the other?
It’s funny that we think very much alike. Not only about music, but also on other aspects in life. The great thing about that is that we connect easily, and we share the same vision on everything music related without having to explain ourselves. Of course, this stimulation works both ways, so if one of us is not really feeling something, the other gets influenced by this as well. In general, however, we definitely consider this a blessing.
What we appreciate the most in working together, is first of all the love for music that goes into everything we do. Secondly, we both share a continuous drive to get the best out of ourselves and our music. Part of this is the way we try to keep innovating, production-wise, as well as the way we challenge each other to really put all of our emotions, ambitions and passion into making this work.
What was the driving force behind the idea to start producing music? Has anything surprised you about the journey so far?
In the very first beginning we had no real vision behind producing music, rather a curiosity, and an admiration towards big house producers and electronic artists. The curiosity turned into a strong interest in the industry and in the art of producing music. Over the years, that what once started as a modest hobby, evolved into so much more. A way of expressing ourselves creatively and emotionally. Now it’s become a strong passion for us, with a clear vision and ambition as to where we want to go next.
One thing that surprised us, was the time it took us to stand out from other artists, but most of all connect to the right audience. Because we’ve been working hard on this for years, it’s great to finally see people discovering our music. It’s been humbling and heartwarming to hear and see which emotions the listeners experience. That’s something we appreciate endlessly, and what motivates us to keep doing what we’re doing. We couldn’t be happier now to have you along the ride.
I’d love to hear more about the creation process of this EP: Is there a usual starting point you work from for each track?
Every new projects starts out with us jamming, one on the synthesizer and one on guitar or keys, usually with a certain BPM in mind. Drums and samples are naturally the foundation to this, but melodies are the crucial factor which gives direction and meaning. What ultimately matters for us is that a song has enough character to stand out.
Do you work simultaneously or try to finish one before starting another?
Haha, this is a good question. Because despite our best intentions to finish one song before the other, it eventually always ends up going simultaneously, which we pretty much despise. We guess it has something to do with closure. If you’ve been working on a track for hours, days, weeks, when do you decide the mix is final? So everytime we are finishing up a body of work, as was the case with this EP, we keep delaying until eventually, all of the songs are where they need to be, and all of a sudden it’s finished. Which is always a weird but very satisfying moment.
What are the most challenging and enjoyable parts of the process for you?
The most enjoyable part is the moment during a jam where we just know we’re working on something special. Those moments of inspiration and focus are very valuable to the process. On the other hand, working out a jam into an actual song proves to be the most challenging part of the process, as we don’t want to force the progression of a song but still move forward. Instead we hope to use the jam’s momentum, collecting all of the elements needed while inspiration is at its peak.
Do you each have different roles when it comes to the production process?
Definitely. Our different roles and strengths have become more clear throughout the years. So now we actually give each other space to display our different talents in the studio. For example, we’ve learned that the keys, drums and sampling are more Benjamin’s specialty, just as guitar, synths and software are more Casper’s. Needless to say that we inspire one another, and build on each other’s ideas. But instead of interfering, we’ve learned that letting us both work our separate magic leads to stronger elements, and better songs.
It feels like there’s a deeper story beneath your music – it certainly reaches a deep emotional center when you listen. Is there an intention by you to share something in particular through your music?
It’s great that you picked up on that, and you’re absolutely right. There definitely is a deeper story to our music. In real life we joke around a lot, but when it comes to music it’s serious business for us. We both tend to ponder a lot about life, maybe overthink things at times, without always saying them out loud. Music has found a way for us to do that, to express emotions we don’t always get to show in real life. In the end, the intention is there to share the emotion we strongly felt at the time of creation. There is a beauty in the fact that ultimately the listener gets to associate and attach their own thoughts and feelings to it.
What’s important to you for your tracks to always have? For example: a sound / mood / quality / style?
First of all, it’s important for our tracks to have strong dynamics, in combination with melodies and the right sounds. For us these are crucial to convey emotions. In addition, we always put together our tracks with a combination of electronic and organic elements. They contain a certain atmosphere, which could sometimes be cinematic, at times nostalgic. We love to use field recordings and static to achieve this. It may seem like these are a lot of different characteristics, but we truly feel that these can be applied to all of our tracks.
What are you most proud of with this EP?
If there is one thing we’re proud of with this EP, is the ability that each song has to tell a story on its own, but still work great sonically with the other tracks as part of a bigger concept. Besides this, we couldn’t be more proud and excited that we get to release our music at Minds Alike Records, a label that shares the same philosophy and that truly believes in the concept of this EP.
What would you like Broj to be known for?
For us, Broj stands for quality, detailed, timeless, emotive and thought provoking music. Sometimes dark, but never without a feeling of hope. If we would eventually be known for this, that would of course be great. But maybe it doesn’t even matter, as long as people enjoy our music one way or the other, that would be the greatest honor we can receive.