Burnt Friedman/Jaki Liebezeit Secret Rhythms 3

The third go around from the famed Krautrock drummer and his mad scientist compadre many years his junior treads along the same lines as their previous collaboration. This is a mixed blessing. These introspective soundscapes are full of burnished sounds that make tricky time signatures go down easier. At times, the complexity seems a little more forced than others, with acoustic guitars jamming on one chord to establish tempo and groove in a rather obvious way. "Morning Has Broken” and "Entsafter” flow in almost exactly the same way — both seem like distant descendants of Peter Gabriel’s "Solsbury Hill.” Liebezeit sticks to hand percussion mostly and his minimal swing is always easy on the ears. Friedman’s electronic processing is less and less flashy as the years go by and his crazy releases on Ninja Tune as one half of Flanger seem less and less relevant all the time. His subtle tweaks to Joseph Suchy’s guitars and Hayden Chisholm’s reeds make them feel like the audio equivalent to sepia-toned photographs. On the positive side, the Touareg-like deep dub of "Gegenwart” is successful and captivating. On the negative, this album uncovers few secrets Secret Rhythms 2 hadn’t already explored. (Nonplace)