Mar 6, 2016

Sundaze 1610


Today's artist is a musician, composer and video artist in Berlin. His work is known for precise sound placement, complex, interwoven rhythm structures and its minimal, flowing approach. His subtle and detailed music is echoed by his visuals: perfect translated realizations of the qualities found in music within visual phenomena. ....N'Joy

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Frank Bretschneider is a German electronic musician. He works primarily with sine waves and white noise as his source material. He also releases material under the name Komet. Bretschneider (1956) was born and raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz since 1990), where his aesthetic developed as he listened to pirate radio and smuggled Beastie Boys tapes in the former East Germany. After studying fine arts and inspired by science fiction radio plays and films he began experimenting with tape machines, synthesizers, and modified guitars in 1984, as well as exploring the possibilities of exchange between visual art and music by various means such as film, video and computer graphics.

In 1986, after establishing his cassette label klangFarBe, Bretschneider founded AG Geige, a successful and influential East German underground band. Though limited to the East before the wall came down, they were invited to perform across Germany and internationally after 1989 and released three albums before splitting in 1993. In 1995, Bretschneider and fellow AG. Geige band member Olaf Bender founded the Rastermusic record label. In 1999 this label merged with Carsten Nicolai's Noton label, to become Raster-Noton. Bretschneider has released material on record labels such as 12k, Raster-Noton, Mille Plateaux, Fällt and Bip Hop.

Most of Bretschneider’s early solo albums - about half a dozen - were under the alias Komet, the first, SAAT, appearing in 1996. Since then Bretschneider has released his work (in addition to raster noton) on various labels including 12k, Line, Mille Plateaux or Shitkatapult, and contributed to some well-known compilations like Clicks & Cuts on Mille Plateaux and raster-noton’s 20' TO 2000 series. 2001’s Curve, his second album for Mille Plateaux, was critically acclaimed and brought Bretschneider international attention. Followed 2003 by Gold, raster-noton’s most blatantly pop album by then. Gold, however, was topped by the percussive masterpiece released in late 2007, Rhythm, an album that was rated very highly by several major electronic music publications, notably »The Wire« magazine, who put the album among their top releases of 2007. 2010 saw the release of EXP, a rather complex and abstract audio-visual work and his 2012 album Kippschwingungen explores the sound of the Subharchord, a unique electronic instrument based on subharmonic sound generation. Super Trigger, his 2013 album for raster-noton, is an absolute trove of percussive tension. And his newest, Sinn + Form, is all about improvisation and analog modular synth chaos.

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Frank Bretschneider's Rand takes the oft-minimalist sounds of Germany's Mille Plateaux a bit farther towards nothingness than they traditionally go. The East German artist lays down 20 tracks of quiet, twinkling sounds in an amazing display of carefully organized symmetry, with the occasional rumble or pulse of bass accompanying the highly ordered sounds. Since there are 20 songs crammed onto this album, none of them last for more than a few minutes, presenting the listener with a wide range of song ideas that range from the vast spaciousness of the first few songs to the near technoness of the later tracks. Anyone with an ear for subtle sounds glimmering with delicacy will savor this album, but most listeners coming from the percussive field of techno, the pounding maelstrom of drum'n'bass, or the rhythmic realm of house will find themselves continually turning up the volume, wondering if they're missing something: there is no percussion, no ambient strings, no synths, few bass pulses, little to no static, only the occasional clicks or cuts, and little else. Songs such as "Mark" and "Pin" that integrate bass frequencies with the glistening clink and twinkle sounds tend to be the more rewarding moments on the otherwise ultra-minimal album.

Frank Bretschneider - Rand (flac 200mb)

01 Din 3:46
02 Mond 4:03
03 Glas 3:04
04 Pal 2:58
05 Mol 3:04
06 Pond 2:47
07 Mark 3:02
08 Rand 3:07
09 Last 2:49
10 Land 2:28
11 Verb 2:58
12 Pin 2:24
13 Watt 3:06
14 Nox 3:20
15 Mai 2:59
16 Bell 3:06
17 Norm 2:27
18 Term 3:19
19 M.D. 2:31
20 Tau 2:44

Frank Bretschneider - Rand (ogg   167mb)

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Esteemed German producer Frank Bretschneider returns with a much more casual second album for Mille Plateaux. His debut, Rand, found him supposedly employing "spatial metamorphic rhythm patterns" that resulted from a "computer-based, modulated synthesizer system." Fortunately, this time around you don't need to read a user's manual or study the philosophy of contemporary music to enjoy Curve. It's a fairly straightforward album that slowly evolves from clicky austere ambience into ambient dub by the halfway point. The fact that this album actually has beats and noticeable rhythms makes it instantly more listenable than his debut, and, furthermore, the fact that he seems to have a firm grasp on how to sequence them in such a mesmerizing manner makes this, in fact, engaging and worth returning to. The album just kind of meanders around in ambience until "Sat," where the sparse dub bassline comes in. From here, the album flows rather well until its conclusion. If you have the patience to wade through the near-nothingness that precedes this latter half, it only makes your listening experience all the more enjoyable, as you're practically starved for some rhythm or even just a beat by the time you reach "Sat." The nonstop mix from one track to the next adds to the album's atmospheric quality, making it a truly suturing listen much in the spirit of the better Mille Plateaux albums

Frank Bretschneider - Curve  (flac  280mb)

01 Blue 6:08
02 Curve 7:26
03 Fall 6:52
04 Silk 8:58
05 Sat 9:32
06 Star 8:49
07 Tag 7:46
08 Tones 4:27

 Frank Bretschneider - Curve   (ogg   133mb)

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This pairing of Frank Bretschneider and Taylor Deupree brings together two of the world's most celebrated ambient glitch producers. Both producers -- the former from Berlin, the latter from New York -- established themselves as masters of microscopic sounds, the sort of sine wave/white noise-based music central to the glitch aesthetic -- or at least the ambient side of the style. So when the two announced their partnership, anticipation mounted quickly. The result of their work -- exchanging patch files via email, with Bretschneider doing the initial mix and Deupree doing the final remixing and re-processing -- is showcased on Balance, a nine-track album released by Mille Plateaux in 2002. The album seamlessly mixes the nine tracks, which vary quite a bit -- relative to other ambient glitch full-lengths, at least -- from one track to the next. Some tracks, such as "Vertical Invader" and "Autodrive," are composed of primarily high-frequency click- and beep-like melodies, while other tracks, such as "Moving Light" and "Freeze Frame," add percussion and bass to the melodies. Bretschneider and Deupree construct these tracks around rhythms and melodies rather than still ambience, making this album quite a bit more accessible to the general electronica audience than your standard ambient glitch album. Moreover, since the duo incorporates a variety of sounds from one track to the next in addition to the rhythms and melodies, Balance is one of the more dynamic releases within the style as well. Considering the past work of these two producers, Balance tends to be greater than the sum of its parts; though both producers had released similarly excellent albums in previous years, their work had never been this dynamic. Only sometimes do collaborations such as this better the work of the individual producers, but in this case, Bretschneider and Deupree do so, resulting in one of the best ambient glitch albums of its era. Furthermore, Deupree designs the album's packaging and Bretschneider contributes Quicktime visuals for the track "Autodrive," adding yet more craft to an already well-crafted album.

Frank Bretschneider & Taylor Deupree - Balance  (flac  207mb)

01 Interlock 6:15
02 Moving Light 5:45
03 Dug In 5:09
04 Vertical Invader 5:25
05 Freeze Frame 4:15
06 Autodrive 4:31
07 Concrete 5:26
08 Half-Mute 4:42
09 Bluetime 4:29

 Frank Bretschneider & Taylor Deupree - Balance   (ogg   107mb)

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The 12k web site notes that Bretschneider is a fan of science fiction novels, and that he envisioned his work as a science fiction story of sorts, with a beginning, middle and end. It's a work of slowly building loops, clicks and whirls that echo in bubbly depths, and deep chasms of mutated sound waves. It sounds like a dark universe to me. Bretschneider is probably the foremost purveyor of minimal dance music. His plentiful output over the past decade (under his own name and numerous pseudonyms, like Komet) usually revolves around icy-sharp, glitch-fused beats. At its best, his music is as good as dance music is likely to get. But Looping I-VI is a departure from that formula. There are grooves, there are clicks, there is minimalism, but the emphasis is on atmosphere, not rhythm.

This is, as I said, a story. It begins with a slow, mumbling wave (kind of like a dense, dark passageway); eventually, tiny echoing clicks are added to the mix. The clicks then melt away, revealing a whole cavern of deep, oceanic waves and hard thumps. Then, at "Against a Blue Background," the thumps mellow and a melody emerges (like the emergence of life in an otherwise lifeless valley). This life grows and builds into other melodies, and these melodies all play together, mixing with the stray noises and echoes that lumber into view. Then the melodies slowly die out, replaced by sad simulations, silence, damp fuzz, and emptiness, which then mutates into new melodies that play and dance together before falling into yet another respite of cold echoes.

The album is one of death and rebirth, new musical life growing out of the embers of the old. I glimpse at least four sets of deaths and rebirths spread over 42 minutes. I like to imagine that each of those clicks and melodies revealed a different face or contour to a cavernous, dark world, and that the music, taken as a whole, tells the story of a character who spends his life searching for an elusive entity known only as "light." In this case, perhaps each of the magical melodies that surface here are glimpses of light, or what he thinks is light, revealed in the only language he knows, sound.

Frank Bretschneider - Looping I - VI (And Other Assorted Love Songs) (flac 199mb)

01 Looping I 4:17
02 Looping II 2:41
03 Paperthin 4:46
04 Looping III 2:11
05 Against A Blue Background 5:24
06 Rocket Summer 4:47
07 The Day It Rained Forever 2:32
08 Looping IV 5:39
09 Night Broadcast 5:37
10 Looping V 1:40
11 Go! Said The Bird 4:08
12 Looping VI 1:38

 (ogg   mb)

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elpeleon said...

Big big thanks for flac !!

Roger Murphy said...

Hi Rho

Thank you for uploading the albums of Frank Bretschneider, I do love his minimilist music, but I have not seen these uploads before.

And definitely "Headphone music" fantastic stuff.

Kindest wishes

Roger the Dodger

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Just to let you know that the link for "Frank Bretschneider and Taylor Deupree - Balance" is not working.
(Says that website is dodgy and blocked).

Kindest regards

Roger the Dodger : )

ncunningham81 said...

any chance of a re-up on curve? i would really appreciate it.