A new concert documentary featuring legendary drummer Jaki Liebezeit (CAN) and electronic musician Burnt Friedman continues the play loud! (live) music series
Those having the chance to see Jaki Liebezeit live and to actually watch him playing the drums, will be impressed by the unparalleled level of precision and ingenious simplicity of his drumming. And on top of that find out that Liebezeit is, even beyond his 70s, still one of the world’s best in his profession.
In fact, the Can-founder has been far from retiring: after numerous collaborations with renowned artists (Jah Wobble), legendary ex-colleagues (Holger Czukay) and even more legendary producers (Conny Plank), in the 90s he completely moved away from classical percussion and since then plays “just drums”. The principle of simplicity, having already been his trademark with Can, has therefore increasingly come to the fore in his language of rhythm. In the early 2000s, he finally found in the musician and producer Burnt Friedman the perfect interlocutor.
Their now twelve year long collaboration has so far produced five studio albums and seen numerous live performances. Seeking new musical forms and searching for globally relevant rhythms, together they created from Jazz, World and electronic a kind of trance-like ritual music far beyond the ordinary three-four time of old Europe: “It possibly incorporated many elements of this earth without featuring any specific elements,“ says Jaki Liebezeit. In a work where all the individual elements have been made abstract, neither an ethnic nor a national character remains. “There’s nothing typical to Seville or Istanbul, but the properties held in common by all types of music have been abstracted and processed,” he adds. Interwoven with Friedman’s synth layers, what comes out of it are exceptionally beautiful sound collages of an archaic vitality, beyond mass consumption or the bustle of everyday life.
Watching Jaki Liebezeit on drums also means getting immersed in the repetitive grooves that he produces steadily, from an impulse. As part of a continuous process, these pieces appear like fragments out of an eternal sound continuum, knowing no beginning and no end. The instruments here are mainly the musicians themselves, just executing what the musical structure dictates – and because you want to play it all really well, it is repeated over and over again. As it was with Can, so it is today – even if the duo might sound less intense than the krautrock five-piece from the past.
Filmmakers Dietmar Post and Lucía Palacios have now included a taster of this live experience in the music series of their production label play loud!. As part of a project to document the performances of particular, rather out-of-the-ordinary artists such as Gebrüder Teichmann, Damo Suzuki & Sound Carriers, Faust, or Camera, the footage for this 43-minute Friedman & Liebezeit concert film was recorded at a gig in the famous (and by now unfortunately burnt down) Berlin Club Festsaal Kreuzberg on 15 December 2011.
Having their roots in the tradition of Direct Cinema, Post and Palacios have made another very authentic, intuitive documentary, showing us two artists in their natural environment: two musicians deeply immersed in their work, relaxed but highly attentive, every now and then looking at each other in silent communication. We, as spectators, may feel like at our own personal venue, watching closely Liebezeit’s drumming technique. Or catching one of the rare moments when the master looks up from his drum kit and realises that everybody’s having a great time: then an expression of honest, joyous amazement crosses his face, accompanied by a slight shining in the eyes. – After all, some things you can only see. (Annika Hogekamp)
Friedman + Liebezeit: Live at Festsaal Kreuzberg
Label: play loud! (live) music series
Download / Video Stream HD 16:9, colour, 43’39” min, 2013
Release Date: 5 May 2013
Friedman & Liebezeit :
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