B I O G R A P H Y
BURNT FRIEDMAN is one of Germany’s most long established and highly rated electronic musicians with a career spanning almost 40 years. He was born in Coburg, Germany in 1965 and has lived in Berlin since 2009.
After initially being a student of art in Kassel, Germany, Burnt started to focus on music exclusively from the late 1980s onwards. He went on to attend the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne as a postgraduate student and began to publish his musical works along with his studio productions in 1979. He also began performing live around the same time, both of which soon attracted the attention of the Cologne electronic music scene. From there he progressed to various notable music collaborations throughout the 1990s on projects with the likes of Jaki Liebezeit, Hayden Chisholm, Root70, Atom™ (as Flanger), Tim Motzer, Steve Jansen and David Sylvian (as Nine Horses).
In 2000 Friedman launched his own record label, Nonplace, with 46 releases to date. Working under the solo artist name of BURNT FRIEDMAN, he sought to address the prejudices people had then about the authenticity of programmed music.
His studio and on-stage partnership with Jaki Liebezeit, the former drummer of CAN, dated 17 years. On the strength of their craft and universal musical vocabulary they have consciously distanced themselves from the formulas of Western European and Anglo-American music.
“There’s something about Burnt Friedman’s music that’s impossible to pin down between genres, styles or cultural cues. The German artist’s music exists beyond any zeitgeist or totemic musical pole in an unifying artistic language all onto its own. With an acute focus on rhythmical structures to an almost obsessive degree, Friedman’s work operates on the fringes of electronic, experimental music, reinforcing a pervasive, primordial musical form that exists through and inspite-of every and any musical tradition and stylistic trope. If Friedman’s music conforms, it’s a fundamental conformity, a precursor to all music and something he consolidated recently with an Anthology that contextualises a career spanning the better part of four decades.
Friedman engaged in the experimental aspects of music from an early age, using toys and household items in a “primitive” pursuit to create music. A drummer in various projects throughout the nineteen eighties, his focus, like so many of his peers, shifted towards electronic processes during a time when musical machines were commonplace and allowed musicians to start exploring music outside of the limits of natural and institutional human impulses. Through several solo projects and collaborations, Burnt Friedman created music throughout the nineteen nineties, with his largest contribution coming via his Nonplace Urban Field project in which he first established the idea of music with origins from- and designs on a non-place. Nonplace is music that lives outside culture, identity and music politics as a form of artistic expression that moves “beyond a culturally determined reality”.
In the early 2000’s Friedman established this idea as a concept for his new label, Nonplace and embarked on the defining solo project of his career as Burnt Friedman. It’s as Burnt Friedman he joined forces with Jaki Liebezeit, the legendary drummer for the penultimate avant garde rock group Can for five albums as the Secret Rhythms series before Liebezeit’s untimely passing in 2017. The exploration of rhythm through the series engaged with music on a primary level with poignant effects without alienating the listening experience. Using a universal numbering system rather than track titles, the music was laid bare with little by the way of subjective influence from the artist informing the listening experience. The music is free thus to exist in its nonplace, not even bound by the identity of the artists involved.” (Jaeger/Oslo)