Irmler & Liebezeit

A special energy is released through the clash between Hans-Joachim Irmler, one of Krautrock’s main driving forces ever since his work with Faust, and his sparring partner Jaki Liebezeit, the living legend from Can whose unrivaled hypnotic drumming has earned him a reputation as one of the most avant-garde percussionists, and as a “human drum machine”.

Having performed together over numerous years, the duo have recently released FLUT (Klangbad, 2014), a hypnotic maelstrom of an album that was recorded over three consecutive days of noon-to-night sessions in July 2013. The album adds another chapter to Irmler’s collaborations, which aim to explore, whenever possible, the hidden potential that lies dormant in the clash between prepared organ and drums.

Hans-Joachim Irmler began experimenting with sound-generating technology at an early age. In 1969, he moved to Hamburg, where he was drawn into a collective of musicians and filmmakers that would become known as Faust. Their eponymous 1971 featured electronically generated and distorted sounds and arguably constituted the most far-out album ever released on a major label. This musical and technological transmutation contrived through self-built or heavily customized equipment has become the leitmotiv of Irmler's aesthetic. Irmler went on to form his own label, Klangbad, and launched the internationally acclaimed Klangbad Festival. Since releasing his first solo-album Lifelike, in 2003, ongoing improvisations and collaborations with other musicians have included musician, composer and multimedia artist Alfred 23 Harth, percussionist Z’ev, drummers Christian Wolfarth and Lucas Niggly, trumpeter Franz Hautzinger, and ex- Einstuerzende Neubauten percussionist, FM Einheit.

Master drummer Jaki Liebezeit spent the early part of his Career in Barcelona playing jazz with Chet Baker amongst others as well as studying flamenco and arabic music. In 1968 he became a member of the Legendary Can, one of the most influential bands of all time, which helped to define what has become known as Krautrock. Can´s direct influence can be heard in the music of artists such as The Fall, Pere Ubu, Mouse On Mars and many more. Since Can´s last performance in 1977, Jaki Liebezeit has worked with numerous international artists and developed his own projects Such as his rhythm Project "Drums of Chaos" in 1982 around the time of his first meeting with Jah Wobble with whom he has worked on many occasions since. Liebezeit also regularly performs and collaborates with Burnt Friedman, with whom he has released over five albums since 2002.

Photo credit: Manuel Wagner

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