I must start by saying that the name Burnt Friedman always lurked at the edges of my musical library. I guess he's one of those artists that have a huge portfolio of collaborations. For example, he is a guest artist on countless legendary dub records, and you can’t miss his name when scanning through collections of the genre.
"Musical Traditions in Central Europe: Explorer Series" is another addition to his discography that further adds to the diversity and brilliance of his releases. As the name suggests, Friedman manages to blend the many cultures present in the region with dub, tribal, acid and jazz sounds to create this seminal downtempo double LP series.
After all, nothing less can be expected of a legend in electronic music who started his practice in the late 70s. On the other hand, I believe people often have widely differing expectations when it comes to music. Still, putting those aside, “Musical Traditions in Central Europe” will blow your mind if you are into hypnotic music because the whole idea of this album I believe is to give you a feel and touch of the emotions that encompass Europe's diverse cultural heritage and the experience they give.
Friedman has an amazing control of his synths and percussion, which allows him to create immersive and stunning soundscapes filled with sweet frequencies that can help you unwind and travel somewhere in your mind in a calm and relaxed way.
The width of his sound design and overall production on this volume cannot be criticized. When played on a proper set of speakers, there are even some frequencies that really play with your ears. This play, between the electronic and more organic spectrum of sounds, is a trademark that can be given to this legendary artist. After all, Friedman has been an active musician for over 40 years, always pushing the boundaries of Dub, Techno, IDM, and many other genres.
The percussions and sub-basses are also a trademark of this release; however, it is the acid vibe that clearly dominates, and does so with confidence and elegance. The groove is always present, and there is usually something else to focus on other than the beat.
Midway through the release, Lucas Santana, a bossa-nova vocalist, makes his presence felt as the album gains a deeper, more introspective tone. Such a deep-listening experience lets you feel it in your own way; it’s these feelings that set apart the true legends from the rest, I guess.
Overall, “Musical Traditions in Central Europe” merits devoted listening and trust in where it might take you. Here, the roles of the musician and listener are much like a jazz duo — you both have to accept the groove and feel each other.
Musical Traditions in Central Europe will be released as a 2xLP on May 31st on Burnt's own imprint Nonplace.
1. Supreme Self Dub
3. Schwebende Himmelsbrücke
4. Unbehagen In Der Natur
6. Berlin, A Cidade Que Não Morreu W/ Lucas Santtana
8. Sensation Des Normalen
10. Sky Speech W/ Hayden Chisholm