Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit - Secret Rhythms

I'm clueless. Here I was really enjoying Burnt Friedman and Jaki Liebezeit's second collaboration without knowing anything, I mean anything about who these people are. Surprise, these two German guys have credentials. Jaki Liebezeit was the drummer for Can and a frequent Jah Wobble collaborator. Burnt Friedman has been known by many a guise - Nonplace Urban Field, Flanger, Nu Dub Players, but has most recently been helming Nonplace records and working with David Sylvian (who appears on Secret Rhythms 2 ) amongst others. So my first few listens were untainted by the bios of Mr. Liebezeit and Friedman. I love backing into finds like these because I'm able to appreciate the music without being swayed by impressive qualifications.

I can point to the moment when I was struck by the subtle and sprawling power of this record. The impact was sudden, the timing ideal. I was walking to subway on the Upper West Side, lost in a daze. I was stunned by the circumstances of France's loss Italy in the World Cup final. The sun was still shining in New York, but I was far away in a stadium stunned by an incomprehensible act. Mighty Casey had fouled his way into a troubled immortality.

To forget that the World Cup had ended and that Italy had won, I tried to disappear into my headphones. That's when a track from this album came up, randomly shuffled. It was the song "Caracoles" (MP3). At first I thought it was a Coltrane song or maybe a Brian Eno instrumental. Over a brooding and hypnotic rhythm, notes from a melodica fizzed like molten bubbles. Without warning cool, citrus sprays of steel drums offered pleasant relief to the menacing tone. The track is solemn and mesmerizing, perfect for my mood on that humid Sunday.

While standing out, "Caracoles" does not stand alone. "The tunes on [Secret Rhythms 2] aren't hell-raisers but languorous atmospheres of nuance and mystery," writes Textura. "[the record] is addictive," says Mark Weddle for Brainswashed.com. "the more I listen, the more I want to listen to it, its predecessors and its hopeful successors."