“Bokoboko” comes from the Japanese, like the other track titles, and means “uneven”, “hollow-sounding” – adjectives aptly describing the album’s crooked, dynamic grooves as well as the many percussively resounding instruments. Friedman, recognizable more or less by the sound of the ten instrumental tracks, plays prepared oil barrels/steel drums, all kinds of wood and metal percussion, gongs, monochord, a home-made rubber-band guitar, organ, synthesizer, and electric guitar. He is sometimes joined by Hayden Chisolm (wind instruments), Joseph Suchy (guitar), Daniel Schröter (bass), as well as, making his first guest appearance, Takeshi Nishimoto, a Berlin-based Japanese musician playing the sarod, a traditional Indian string instrument.
The uneven types of rhythm, which provide the specific oscillation on which all the tracks are based, in principle obey all the components: melodies, noises, monophone sequences and dub echoes inserted into pre-sketched, programmed basic tracks. The tracks of the current production, like those in Secret Rhythms, Friedman’s live-and-studio project with Jaki Liebezeit, must be viewed as intermediate phases in an on-going process. They are not finalized, completed pieces that permit no further alteration, nor do they correspond to the idea of an original with unmistakable identity. On the contrary: permutability is their salient feature, and they are built according to a plan that follows natural laws.
“Deku No Bo” and “Sendou” follow the same rhythmic formula, the same seven-part cyclic groove, even it is hard to discover any superficial resemblance between the two. The same is basically true of the three parts of “Rimuse” (“Dance”) (tracks 1 and 9 on the CD; the first part is available exclusively on the vinyl EP Zen’Aku, released in 2011). Here an even groove (four) is superimposed over the one divided into ten. “Bokoboko” follows the rhythmic pattern of eleven (divided into eight and three), and was last deployed under the title “120-11”, most recently mixed for Secret Rhythms 4.
The first two Flanger albums (1997–99, with Atom™) and Burnt Friedman’s Just Landed (1999) and Con Ritmo (2000) still aimed to juxtapose fully programmed, electronically generated productions (“reality constructions”) with the universally known production model involving instruments that were actually played. The “authentic” sound of the programmed music revealed the inherent artificiality of the “real” productions. In Secret Rhythms, and now Bokoboko, it is no longer a question of mixing, simulating or faking genres that already exists – the aim is to invent music that is extra-territorial, non-national, non-place.
“The entire Industrial movement in England was not just inspired by Can, Cluster and Kraftwerk – they were all-pervasive. As an Englishman it’s hard for me to judge just how German the German avantgarde was back then. But I reckon very little about it was specifically German, otherwise those bands wouldn’t have become so important for musicians around the globe. I even believe the Germans put up much more resistance to being identified with their country than we Brits did. I was always fascinated by how international Can were: maybe they used world receivers, Morse code and Afro beats because they wanted to distance themselves from that accursed image? We were so fascinated by Can precisely because they treated all forms of national or ethnic music purely as a question of the sound – and in that way arrived at an international form.” Richard H. Kirk (Cabaret Voltaire) in Martin Büsser’s Testcard Zwei (1995)
“The colonial exploitation that annihilates the ‘other’ in favour of the ‘own’ and the ‘same’ must be strictly distinguished from appropriation, which is constitutive for education and identity. Only an idiot, or God, lives without appropriation. The ‘own’ is not simply given like a date. Rather, it is the result of successful appropriation. Without appropriation there is also no renewal. (…) Those who appropriate the ‘other’ do not remain identical with themselves. Appropriation entails a transformation of the own.” – Byung-Chul Han, Hyperkulturalität (2005).
Freed from the search for identity, from the burden of soloists striving to be expressive, from the pressure of avant-garde dictates, the music discovers the magic moments during the repetition of musical patterns based on the material that comes into being. For example, moments when the background unexpectedly becomes the foreground, like an optical illusion, when patterns considered to be unalterable suddenly appear to stand on their heads, or evolve in a wholly new direction. Such effects presuppose the existence of something active between transmitter and receiver: the understanding of a musical message that is also dependent on the listening, and can change in the course of the listening. These are the traces of the process in the course of which the musician took decisions in the capacity of a listener at the same time.
The ten tracks on Bokoboko, as well as the four exclusive tracks on the preceding EP Zen’Aku, were recorded and mixed in Friedman’s Berlin studio during the past three years. The cover shows a detail from a work by Theo Altenberg. Motifs by the same artist were used for the covers of the EP Zen’Aku and the Friedman & Liebezeit EP 5 7.
“Ten beguiling and open-ended instrumentals – over three years in the making – on Friedman’s fourth full length for his own Nonplace imprint. Burnt’s sound is much beloved of everyone from the Hardwax crew to Shackleton, and it’s very easy to hear why – he’s faithfully perpetuating the original, outernational spirit of krautrock which so heavily influenced much of the music they, and we, love today.” – Boomkat
01. Rimuse 2
03. Deku No Bo
05. Totan Yane
06. Tom Tom Keppo
09. Rimuse 3
The album Burnt Friedman “Bokoboko” (Nonplace) is going to be released February 03, 2012.
Burnt Friedman – Fireside Chat: