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Let’s give the drummer some: The sublime repetition of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit
Post-Can selections from one of our favorite drummers – Jaki Liebezeit.
There’s no mistaking the sound of Can drummer Jaki Liebewitz’s pound. Both sparse and complex, the late percussionist helped birth the sound of post-war Germany with relentlessly repetitive patterns that fueled the band’s direction.
Here’s Liebezeit discussing the band’s theory on repetition and the blowback it caused from critics:
When I started with Can I had a lot of critics who said we were repeating all the time, and we didn’t have ideas. But I think the repetition, you have to feel it. With Can, for every tune we played I designed a special rhythm, so each of the tunes had different rhythms. It’s not like rock rhythm. I stopped with all that. I’ve given up that old style of – you can call it American drumming. American drumming, it was and still is normal, everybody plays American. So that’s why I don’t play what to me is normal. Like the typical drum set, with hi-hat, bass drum, snare drum, tom-tom, right cymbal – I’ve changed that.
You don’t need us to recommend Can jams to you, but it’s worth noting that after Can stopped working together in the 1980s, Liebezeit kept his sticks in motion. Starting in the early ‘00s, the drummer commenced an extended collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Bernd Friedmann (a.k.a. Burnt Friedmann). Mixing electronic dub, downtempo and Liebezeit’s singular drumming, the releases – six albums, four 12-inches and various extant appearances – are packed with secret-weapon rhythm tracks. Most aren’t all that pricey, either.
Below, a primer on some choice Liebezeit post-Can work.
To start, he’s a snippet of an interview in which the drummer outlines his approach, which – spoiler alert! – involves an interaction with a LSD-fueled peer who offers some some sage advice.
Want to be mesmerized by a master of patterns? Here’s Liebezeit banging out a rhythm during soundcheck.
Here’s Friedman and Liebezeit zoning out during a 2015 outdoor festival in Berlin.
In 2013, the duo performed a full set at Festsaal Kreuzberg that was filmed for release as a feature length film. This is the trailer for the movie – which you can watch in full here.
In 2016, Liebezeith joined collaborator and Faust co-founder Hans Joachim Irmler for a set at the traveling Sonic Protest festival.
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