Feb 26, 2017

Sundaze 1709

Hello, drummer Jaki Liebezeit, who has died Januari 22nd aged 78, is the trigger for these Sundaze. today two more from Can, paired to teo from the band that was the genesis of Can, The Inner Space. It was Irmin Schmidt, courtesy his connections in the West German art world as a classical conductor, musical director at der Stadttheater Aachen and part-time film critic which led proto Can to pursue soundtrack work at their onset.

The so-called “motorik” beat, a minimalist, relentless form of rhythm practiced by groups including Neu! and Kraftwerk, became one of the most distinctive trademarks of Germany’s postwar rock groups. Liebezeit, a founding member of the Cologne-based quintet Can, was also a skilled practitioner of the motorik approach, but he was much more besides. He was able to incorporate a range of moods and styles into his playing, from African and funk rhythms to violent thrashing grooves, while always maintaining meticulous rhythmic control. His playing could veer from the heavy, pulverising beat he created on You Doo Right, from Can’s debut album Monster Movie (1969), to the lithe, off-kilter feel he brought to One More Night, from Ege Bamyasi (1972). On the title track of Flow Motion (1976), Liebezeit delivered a lesson in lean, bare-bones funkiness. So precise and unswerving was Liebezeit’s playing, which included an ability to repeat drum patterns with uncanny precision, that he was likened to a human drum machine. To this he retorted that “the difference between a machine and me is that I can listen, I can hear and I can react to the other musicians, which a machine cannot do”. His particular gift was the ability to refine his drumming down to a compact, streamlined essence, so that when he did eventually add a fresh accent or extra beat it became a musical event of startling significance.

Today's artists comprise of some of the musicians Jaki Liebzeit made music with during, shortly after Can and lastly a live album 2 decades later. ......N'Joy

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Jaki Liebezeit (26 May 1938 – 22 January 2017) was a German drummer, best known as a founding member of Can. He was called "one of the few drummers to convincingly meld the funky and the cerebral".

Jaki was born in Dresden, Germany. In the mid-1960s, he was part of Manfred Schoof's quintet, who were early exponents of European free jazz. He subsequently moved towards the new possibilities being opened by psychedelic music as a member of Can. His drumming was prominent in the band's sound, particularly in his much-admired contribution to the side-long "Halleluhwah" on Tago Mago. Liebezeit is best known for his exceptional "metronome" style of playing; other members of Can have suggested that he sounds as though he is "half-man, half machine".
Liebezeit provided drums, in the form of the distinctive "Motorik beat", for Michael Rother's late-1970s solo albums.

In 1980, he became a member of Phantomband, and has formed drum ensembles such as Drums off Chaos and Club off Chaos. Later he recorded with numerous musicians, such as Jah Wobble and Philip Jeck, with whom he produced an album for Jah Wobble's 30 Hertz Records, and has contributed drums and percussion to many albums and as a guest throughout the years, such as the Depeche Mode album Ultra and Brian Eno's album Before and After Science. In the '00's, he has worked with Burnt Friedman on the  5 Secret Rhythms albums and with Schiller on the Atemlos album.

The last release he worked on was the Cyclopean EP, released on 11 Feb 2013 on 12” and download for Mute Records. Cyclopean was a project that involved, other than Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt from Can alongside long time collaborators Jono Podmore (Kumo / Metamono) and musician and producer Burnt Friedman. Liebezeit died of pneumonia on 22 January 2017.

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Michael Rother was the guitar and keyboard playing half of the groundbreaking Krautrock group Neu, and earlier, a founding member of Kraftwerk. Flammende Herzen (Flaming Heart) is his first solo album, recorded by and produced by Conny Plank in 1976 and issued at the dawn of punk in 1977. Flammende Herzen is, in a sense, the complete and utter flowering of a vision Rother held from Kraftwerk through his work with Klaus Dinger in Neu and through his short-term collaboration with Moebius and Roedelius in Harmonia. Rother's signature guitar sound is twinned with an analog delay, the simple mechanical or "motorik" percussion all wound around simple, yet transcendent, melodies that are nearly anthemic in their strident execution. With percussion assistance from the very unique behind the beat drumming of Jaki Liebezeit, Rother crafts a driving, soaring ride into the sonic abyss that is rich with melody and rock & roll rhythm. For Rother, music is a thing filled with light, and tracks such as the title, "Zyklodrom," and "Karussell" feature a cylindrical weave of electronic and organic percussion, opaque but insistent synthesizers playing chord progressions, and, of course, acoustic and electric guitars either chiming in single- and double-string Brucknerian motifs or churning on two or three chords hypnotically into the ether. , there is plenty of spaced-out psychedelia and churning rock & roll ellipsis here ("Feuerland") for fans of early Krautrock. This remains one of Rother's strongest and most visionary records, with Conny Plank at the helm.

Michael Rother- Flammende Herzen    (flac  199mb)

01 Flammende Herzen 7:04
02 Zyklodrom 9:38
03 Karussell 5:22
04 Feuerland 7:09
05 Zeni 5:11

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Right out of the '70s, Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit formed a new band, Phantom Band, obviously to carry on where a creativity-depleted Can had left. Yes, the group's eponymous debut, released in 1980, has the "Krautrock goes worldbeat in the cold wave" feel found on Can's last two or three records. Phantom Band would make three albums, and this first one is the weakest of them, mostly due to the presence of bassist/singer Rosko Gee. Once a member of Traffic, Gee contributes the blandest pop songs on the album, and his slightly androgynous vocals simply don't fit the dub-ish mood of the music -- however, his bass work does. For this project, Liebezeit recruited (in Cologne) top musicians such as Helmut Zerlett (e.g. Dunkelziffer, Unknown Cases), Rosko Gee (Traffic, Can), Dominik von Senger (e.g. Damo Suzuki Band, Dunkelziffer), Olek Gelba, and Holger Czukay (Can) as guest musician.

The Phantom Band mixes Can-style monotonic polyrhythms with afrobeat, funk, jazz, disco, reggae, and dub. percussionist Olek Gelba, keyboardist Helmut Zerlett, and guitarist Dominik von Senger. Can alumnus Holger Czukay makes an appearance on horn. The drums take center stage; it is obvious that each song has been assigned a carefully designed beat, and Liebezeit is exploring most of his interests in music here, from repetitive Krautrock pummeling to complex Afro-funk and reggae-dub patterns. The arrangements are dark but clear-cut. Liebezeit's songs are the most interesting, from the tense "No More Fooling" (although Gee's falsetto mars it) to the funky vamp of "Absolutely Straight." Zerlett also contributes strong compositions in the spacy "Pulsar" and "I'm the One," the most expansive song of the set at six minutes. The two songs penned by Gee, each opening an LP side, have forgettable melodies and mediocre lyrics (they are also the most dated tracks production-wise). Despite Liebezeit's long and strong experience by 1980, Phantom Band bears all the signs of a debut album by a band that still hasn't gelled. Can fans who diss the group's final albums will definitely not like this one. In any case, skip forward to the group's second effort, Freedom of Speech, a much stronger proposition recorded after Gee's departure.

Phantom Band - I  (flac  232mb)

01 You Inspired Me 3:55
02 I'm The One 5:52
03 For M. 4:14
04 Phantom Drums 1:21
05 Absolutely Straight 3:28
06 Rolling 5:11
07 Without Desire 2:36
08 No More Fooling 4:08
09 Pulsar 4:00
10 Latest News 2:46

Phantom Band - I    (ogg  99mb)

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Things changed a lot for Phantom Band in less than a year. Original bassist/singer Rosko Gee left and was replaced by spoken-word artist Sheldon Ancel, remaining bass-less. This lineup change made it possible for the band to align its actual sound with its experimental leanings. The situation can be summed up by comparing the first two albums' opening tracks. The lead-in track on the group's 1980 debut LP was the Gee-penned midtempo song "You Inspired Me," clearly meant as a crowd-pleaser and potential hit single. The lead-in track on "Freedom of Speech" is the title track, a vocodered rant on how the government knows what's best for us, presented over a disquieting rhythm track. The tone is set: Freedom of Speech is a darker, edgier record. It retains the Krautrock-gone-dub feel of the first album, but drops all pretensions of charting to present a more mature, better asserted group sound wrapped in a production that has aged much better than the debut LP. Ancel is not a rapper, but a spoken-word performer: he embodies characters, and uses effects to dress up his voice. It works very well, especially on the dub-laden "Brain Police," the angry "Gravity" (a love story at its sour end), and the electro-freak "Dream Machine." Freedom of Speech is a stunning avant rock record informed by the New York no wave scene and the European reggae/dub scene, with Can's history in genre-pushing repetitive rock serving as the foundation.

Phantom Band - Freedom Of Speech  (flac  214mb)

01 Freedom Of Speech 3:46
02 E. F. 1 4:15
03 Brain Police 4:08
04 No Question 2:05
05 Relax 4:07
06 Gravity 5:18
07 Trapped Again 1:00
08 Experiments 3:40
09 Dream Machine 5:33
10 Dangerous Conversation 2:12

Phantom Band - Freedom Of Speech    (ogg 88mb)

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Wobble had not been solo very long before he caught the attention of Holger Czukay, the leader of Can, one of the world's premier avant-garde bands. Czukay described Wobble in glowing terms before the EP which preceded this album was released. The coming together of old and new turned out to be far from disappointing. It would be doing Jaki Liebezeit a great disservice by not mentioning him also. The musicianship displayed here is superb and the inventiveness has rarely been equaled. Full Circle is a true landmark album. How Much Are They?’ is an absolutely brilliant track, way ahead of its time. If I would need to date this purely based on its musical qualities I would say it should be from around 1990, almost 10 years after it was actually made. The sweeping bass line combined with dub elements and reverberating drums and samples, is almost intoxicating. A classic of early '80s alternative music, the heavy Wobble bass fitting like a glove with Czukays dub experiments

Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit - Full Circle  (flac  235mb)

01 How Much Are They ? 4:48
02 Where's The Money ? 5:02
03 Full Circle R.P.S. (No. 7) 10:58
04 Mystery R.P.S. (No. 8) 8:47
05 Trench Warfare 6:45
06 Twilight World 4:20

Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit - Full Circle   (ogg  99mb)

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Jah Wobble has proved the most enigmatic of ex-punks, delving into all manner of different musics over the last two decades. This aggregation puts him in some stellar company, with bassist Bill Laswell, former Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, along with pianist Harold Budd and cornetist Graham Haynes, both best known for their more ambient work. What they stir up together is quite mind-boggling. With just four tracks (the briefest of which runs over six minutes) they tear the roof off the sucker throughout. Both Haynes and Budd are revelations, attacking their instruments -- just listen to Haynes during "The Mystery of Twilight, Pt. 1," for example, or Budd anywhere on this album, as he assembles sound collages of noise and fury. Laswell turns on the fuzz bass, most notably on "Seven Dials," where he and Haynes trade off phrases with an energy that's quite palpable. Liebezeit does what he does best -- keeping very metronomic time,  at the closer, "Around the Lake,"  he seems to break out and catch fire. Wobble himself is rarely in the spotlight, but gives a center to everything, from which the other players can leap as far as their imaginations and abilities can carry them -- which proves to be very far. It's an unsung but vital role, keeping everything together with his bass work. He continues to take chances, and in this instance it pays off very handsomely.

Jah Wobble's Solaris - Live In Concert    (flac  415mb)

01 The Mystery Of Twilight Part 1 20:01
02 The Mystery Of Twilight Part 2 24:37
03 Seven Dials 6:17
04 Around The Lake 18:53

Jah Wobble's Solaris - Live In Concert   (ogg  159mb)

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Anonymous said...

Great post & many thanks for the .ogg options - Cass

apf said...

Thank you, Rho!