International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music
WHO: German producer and musician Bernd Friedmann (also: Drome, Some More Crime, Nonplace Urban Field, Flanger, the Nu Dub Players)
STYLE: Secret rhythms
LATEST: Clock EP, with Daniel Dodd-Ellis (2015), Cease to Matter, with Daniel Dodd-Ellis (2014)
LABELS: Nonplace, Ash International
MORE: He has a band with David Sylvian (Japan) called Nine Horses; he’s also playing as Flanger with Uwe Schmidt at the festival this year
MUTEKs: Barcelona: with Flanger, 2016; Montreal: with Jaki Liebezeit, 2004, 2009
Turned on by the potential of electronic music and its means to liberate not only musical idiom but the imagination, Burnt Friedman is a tireless proponent of musical unlearning. He has spent 30 years in pursuit of a sound with no connection to existing tradition, one that is also entirely a product of “no-time” – the present, a real zeitgeist. His many projects variously hint at techno, dub, jazz and world music, but he pulls apart the signifiers of each, leaving them to float and fuse in unexpected ways. With long time collaborator, former Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, he developed the concept of secret rhythms – a musical philosophy and practice that privileges experience and spirit over endless practicing and western musical law – the result is a thoroughly compelling but enigmatic music of no fixed genre address.
Reinforced by studies in painting, performance and video, Friedman name checks German progressive rock, Gary Numan, Iron Maiden and Tangerine Dream as early influences, first emerging as a musician in the German industrial scene of the 80s. An early adopter of all things electronic, and endlessly inventive with technology, samplers and field recordings, Friedmann has made his label, the appropriately named Nonplace, home to his many musical identities since 2000.
In another move to usurp the usual order, and to “undraw” the line between audience and artist, Friedman’s set will be performed in the centre of the room – he promises a sweet spot experience for his machine driven, live dubbed, dynamic grooves and analog synth lines.