Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things I learned recently about Brettanomyces and Kraftwerk

The bacteria Brettanomyces, aka bret, is used in the process of making geuze - a sour belgian beer which forms the basis for lambics (beer made with fruit). My first exposure to a true geuze was a few months ago and I loved it; there was a super tangy aspect, as well as a satisfying, meaty savor. It brought to mind some flavors that Burgundy sometimes shows. Brett, by the way, can be thought of as the fish sauce of winemaking. Nasty to think of it on its own, but in the right amount (it is a naturally occurring bacteria in many wineries) it adds a certain degree of umami to wine. Though I am not sure that brett is something which can be easily adjusted. I don't encounter brett too often in New World wines, though, on occasion I certainly have. Maybe as the 'American palate' evolves more people will demand different flavors, more akin to European wines, and it will be common practice to allow bret to flourish in vats and barrels? Not that this would necessarily be a good thing....

And about Kraftwerk, I learned that a few of their songs were featured in Master of the Flying Guillotine. The film also has a song from Neu! and Tangerine Dream. That right there is pretty cool.


manuel said...

You keep amazing me, Joe!

Kraftwerk? Well, I don't know if you saw in L otra botella, but when recently dragged to a Duran Duran concert by a friend who is a fan of that band, I commented that the best part was their wonderful "Electro Set", a tribute to Kraftwerk, to me one of the most quietly influential bands ever.

You ever heard the Balanescu Quartet? They have a string tribute to Kraftwerk they put out in the early nineties which is pretty nifty. Of course, the album takes a weird turn at the end when they do a David Byrne cover ("Hanging Upside Down") as a closer. I'm still trying to figure that one out.


Joe M. said...

M -

Yeah, I did read about the Duran Duran concert. One of my favorite things about live performance is when a band does an unexpected song, outside of their usual genre. Agreed - Kraftwerk is without a doubt one of the most influential bands in the past 50 years. Right up there with the Beatles.

Will have to check out Balanescu - I tried to view a performance they did of 'The Model' but youtube was running slow.