Burnt Friedman - Masque / Peluche

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  • When Will Lynch spoke to Burnt Friedman a couple of years ago, he noted the "mild-mannered" way that the artist delivered his "fairly radical" views. He could just as easily have been referring to Friedman's music, which—as with other German vanguardists like Moritz Von Oswald, Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer—uses subtlety and audiophile precision as a vessel for deeply strange ideas. Friedman's latest 12-inch swaps the richer textures of recent collaborations with Daniel Dodd-Ellis for a yet more restrained sound. Its two tracks are so delicate that listening to them can feel like squinting at a light sculpture under the glare of a full sun. The more you concentrate, the more of its delicate filigree you see. Each track is built around a single beat-loop, embellished with very light dub processing. "Masque" is the more understated of the two, its hi-hats ultra-crisp and lilting, its kick drum sounding sharply at the start of the bar. Scraps of chord and melody are fleetingly visible in the background, like wisps of cloud against a clear sky. "Peluche" is a bolder take on a similar idea. A 5/4 time signature enhances the feeling of balanced asymmetry, and the beat is pitted with all kinds of live-sounding percussion hits. Every couple of minutes, puffs of reverb coalesce into a dense fog, and in the second half the whole thing picks up a loping, implacable pace. It's a strange groove, but in Friedman's hands it feels like the most natural thing in the world.
  • Tracklist
      A Masque B Peluche