Meet Mackintosh Braun
we're in the studio working hard on the new album.
in the meantime click the image above to go check out this remix we did for Chromeo. it's premiering today on rcrdlbl.com!
Go sign-up for the Mackintosh Braun boys mailing list here, and you'll get a free download of their song "The Same".
It was recently featured in episode 810 of Grey's Anatomy on ABC.
Click the image below and enjoy!
we just took a song by AIH through the MB machine.
it's streaming on our soundcloud page and below, so take a listen and let your ears enjoy.
With their Chop Shop Records debut, Where We Are, Mackintosh Braun establish themselves as a formidable pop duo who blend crisp, sophisticated production with sharp, emotive songwriting. On tracks like the delicate but propulsive “Familiar” and the harmony-filled banger ”Nothing Else Is Real” the Portland, Oregon-based group conjure a cool intimacy that sets them apart from their peers. This is the kind of music you can break a sweat to on the dance floor with a new crush then play the next day to console yourself if they don’t call. “We both wanted to create something exciting and innovative, but that’s also familiar,” explains guitarist/keyboardist /producer Ian Mackintosh. “It has to sound different but it also has to give people something to hold onto. It has to give people hope.”
Considering that Portland is home to bands as varied as the Decemberists, YACHT, and Modest Mouse, the qualities that seem to define the city’s current scene are experimentation and singular sonic vision. And in these ways, there is no more quintessentially Portland band than Mackintosh Braun.
Both Ian Mackintosh and bassist/keyboardist/producer Ben Braun have deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. Ben was born in New York City but moved to Portland with his mom when he was nine. Ben’s father was the longtime drummer for Hall & Oates and he instilled in his son an early love of all things music related. “He would take me up onstage and sit me behind him and put headphones on me,” Ben recalls. “I thought that was so cool.” Ian was also brought up in a musical family. Born in Los Angeles, he grew up in Santa Barbara, then Southern Oregon, before moving to Portland right after high school. Like Ben, it was Ian’s father who inspired his interest in music. “My dad was a singer-songwriter who gave it all up to raise a family,” Ian recalls. “He taught me how to play guitar when I was eleven. We didn’t have any money but my dad found a way to build a studio at our house.”
As ambitious young men introduced to the wild world of rock music by their fathers, you would think that both Ben and Ian would be shredding in their bedrooms at sixteen, but instead they both found themselves drawn to the technical side of music: sampling, sequencing, and high-end production. Mesmerized equally by the joyful simplicity of the Bee Gees and the cerebral cool of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, they both felt compelled to make substantive music that showcased a deep range of influences but that you could also dance to. And it’s this shared sense of how music should sound that brought them together. Well, that and Ben’s dad.
Back in 2006, Ben’s father bought a new house through a realtor who knew Ian. The two got to talking about music, Ian’s name came up, a tape was exchanged, and next thing you know Ben was playing Ian’s music in his living room. “It blew me away,” Ben recalls. “We didn’t know each other at all, but immediately I realized we both want to hear the same things. Even now, when we’re writing, he’ll do something and I’ll think, ‘shit, I was going to do that.’” The pair began making music together. Then, when Ian was evicted from his apartment, he started crashing at Ben’s studio and the band really took off. Following six months of feverish writing and recording, Mackintosh Braun emerged with their self-released debut, The Sound. The album included “Wake Up,” an affecting electro-jam which perfectly captured the sound the duo was going for: ethereal and elegant but also deeply emotional. The track was selected for inclusion on an episode of the TV show Chuck and suddenly Mackintosh Braun had gone from a studio project between two music obsessives to a full-fledged band signed to Chop Shop.
With a record label in place, the band entrenched themselves in the studio and began working on Where We Are. The stakes were higher, but their process remained the same. They recorded the album in a makeshift studio set up in Ian’s house, producing and mixing the entire record themselves. Opening track “Could It Be” is an engaging and optimistic ode to staying in the moment of being in love. “Unfortunate” is a soothing synth dream with intricate production juxtaposed against a throbbing bassline. And “I Won’t Fall” is a compulsively danceable track with a sing-along chorus.
“We want to bring our own take to what dance music is and can be,” Ian explains. “What used to happen in the 70’s with groups like ABBA or E.L.O. is that you’d have these well crafted songs that the listener could connect to emotionally, but, rhythmically, would also make them move, dance. While we don’t sound like those artists, I think we bring that approach back to dance music with this album and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”