FRIEDMAN & LIEBEZEIT: Secret Rhythms 4 (Nonplace Records)


Posted on Mar 29th 2011 01:20 am

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Friedman & Liebezeit: Secret Rhythms 4

Secret Rhythms 4
Nonplace Records 2011
06 Tracks. 56mins36secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

The partnership between German electronic musician Burnt Friedman and legendary Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, established almost ten years ago, is back in action once more, following the 5 7 EP released last year. This fourth instalment in the Secret Rhythms series continues on a similar path to its predecessors by bringing together rich rhythmic tones and rarefied electronic formations. More than ever centered around Liebezeit’s hypnotic drumming, Secret Rhythms 4 sees the pair move into more minimal, stripped down terrains, the rhythmic patterns forever more cyclical, repetitive and fluid, layered with fragments of electronics and guitars, themselves set into loops of varying intensity and length.

Four of the six tracks here go over the ten minute mark, with 182-11 clocking at just under sixteen minutes. This leaves the pair plenty of time to set their rhythmic structures in motion and work on the trance-like aspect of the groove of each track until it starts distorting the perception of its very nature. So bare is the surrounding soundscapes created by Friedman around Liebezeit’s overwhelming rhythms that, as tracks progress, it becomes difficult to identify with precision at which exact point one is. For the most of 128-05 for instance, the scope is divided between Liebezeit’s alternating set of toms and bass drums and a recurring electronic two-tone bass which appears so tightly stuck to the drum patterns that it blends in almost entirely in the background. Later, the bass is taken up a couple of octaves as Friedman progressively introduces sweeping textures, but this barely affects the hypnotic nature of the piece.

Before it, 204-07 shows a richer sonic space around the core rhythmic structure, although Friedman seems to remain slightly towards the back here, leaving long term collaborator Joseph Suchy, a member of his Nu Dub Players, on E-Fuzz guitar to occupy the fore. Equally, 182-11 is a much more elaborate and complex piece, which grows over its all course from sparse drum inputs placed over hazy soundscapes to much drier forms later on as treated guitars are introduced, while 120-05 later is once again criss-crossed with E-Fuzz guitar fragments, this time supplied by Tim Motzer, giving it a more abrasive feel as the pace picks up.

On the two short tracks, 131-07 and 120-11, the sonic scope is considerably concentrated, which induces an element of urgency otherwise absent of this record. The hectic pace of the former contrasts with the more subtle progressive tempo of previous pieces, while the latter provides Friedman with the opportunity to develop miniature melodic forms and let them roam free for a moments before they are ultimately brought back under the implacable control of Liebezeit’s percussions.

It appears that the further Burnt Friedman and Jaki Liebezeit develop their collaboration the more fascinating it gets. Secret Rhythms 4 is a less immediate record than its predecessors, perhaps due to its barer overall aspect, yet the pair have reached here another level of development here, their understanding and respect of each other’s space allowing them both to perform as equal whilst occupying very different roles, ultimately making this record their more compelling release yet.


Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit (MySpace) | Nonplace Records
Amazon UK: CD US: CD

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Comments (2)

2 Responses to “FRIEDMAN & LIEBEZEIT: Secret Rhythms 4 (Nonplace Records)”

  1. photo_laon 23 Apr 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Another brilliant album, seeing him in concert would be a dream

  2. […] release in their Secret Rhythms series, and this collaboration has generated three more albums, the more recent published last year, and four EPs, and has seen the pair tour together quite extensively. While […]