Nashville-by-way-of-Phoenix electronic duo brotherun — consisting of siblings Nick and Trevor Tillery — craft swatches of bright, vibrant synth-led beats, piled on top of silvery melodies and the occasion squeal of electric guitar. But the path to brotherun wasn’t quick and took a bit of effort on their part — in fact, the two didn’t even begin to work together until they lived some 1,600 miles apart. Trevor worked on his songwriting while at a college in Seattle, and Nick taught himself the drums while playing in a thrash band in Phoenix. It’s at this point that they began to form the basis of what would come to be known as brotherun. Though in the meantime, Trevor also moved to Phoenix and was inducted into a local rock band which actually found a modicum of success before unfortunately fizzling out. With distance no longer an issue, the brothers began recording and reworking the ideas and sounds that they had envisioned for their band. They’ve been favorable compared to bands like Washed Out and Youth Lagoon, and with the release of their self-titled debut EP in August, the band has made those comparisons quite explicit.
They recently let producer N8 take a crack at reworking the song “Maze” from their debut, and while the song isn’t completely deconstructed, it certainly has a different feel to it. Replacing one thudding beat for another, and for one slightly more menacing, N8 has injected a visceral thrill into the electronic theatrics of the song. Everything seems just that much more shrouded in mystery,while each layer of instrumentation seems on the verge of running off the tracks. Working with the band’s original concept for the song — they envisioned it describing how people often trap themselves in a cyclical series of events and who then have a difficult time extricating themselves — he grafts circling synths and hazy beats onto the track’s skeleton and watches as it contorts and shudders under the weight. But it does stand on its own and is a wonder of reimagined influences and electronic pomp.
Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere N8’s remix of brotherun’s “Maze.”