Frank Bretschneider
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1Evening News
2Here We Go
4Alright Tomorrow
8Dichte 9

Unequal cycles searching for synchronous experiences: On his new album »Pounding«, Frank Bretschneider tells of distance, convergence and congruence in a continuous, ever-changing flow of events. What is often considered to be an unquestionable dogma in club music (for which Bretschneider has provided significant impetus since the 1990s) – the groove – appears precarious, unstable, and in motion. Pulse and accent are volatile encounters and have to be found again and again for short, delightful moments. Music becomes a constant process of negotiation.

In search of new sound spaces, Bretschneider has recently worked a lot with modular synthesizers, both solo (for example on »abtasten_halten«, 2020) and in collaborations, including the project Beispiel together with Jan Jelinek. »Pounding« was created using similar means – conceived in 2020 for the Pochen Biennale in Chemnitz, subsequently developed further and recorded in March and April 2023 on a sample-based modular system. And in fact, Bretschneider is once again exemplarily scanning his own sound material, for example Dub effects that listen to themselves crumbling. But also the human voice, or more precisely: the stuttering of fragments of speech, far in the distance but omnipresent, like a mysterious narration. Aesthetically, the eleven pieces form part of a series of works with a focus on percussion. Bretschneider has already perfected this approach with albums like »Rhythm« (2007) and has been shifting the perspective ever since, for ever new results.

Shifting is the basic principle of »Pounding«. Bretschneider combines elements that are in different aggregate states, changing their relationship to each other and thus ensuring the complex overall movement. He lets one to two-bar loops run against each other and through manipulations, develops a network of rhythms that creates a hypnotic state in the counterplay of repetition and mutation, between clearly recognizable meter and disorientation. There are comparable approaches in aleatoric music. Bretschneider combines them with sounds and patterns that are reminiscent of step sequencer logic and at the same time go far beyond it. The result is relational techno. Never clear, constantly restless and exciting.