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Burnt Friedman, "Plays Love Songs"

After three years of label delays and metamorphosis this album finally sees the light of day on Bernd Friedmann's own Nonplace imprint. "Plays Love Songs" fits comfortably among other recent releases "Con Ritmo", "Just Landed" and Flanger (BF w/Atom Heart) "Midnight Sound". Friedman weaves together performance and numerous samples into latino/jazz tinged electro grooves full of space and warmth. The major difference here is the central themes of love and sex, from the innocence of an eager adolescent to the blatant vulgarity of sex workers, as bits of spoken text and samples pepper the album with 'love' stories. The title of "Fucking Long Time" duly expresses Friedman's frustration with the album's delay. In "It Hurts !" a young man speaks of his beloved job and reluctant girlfriend over gentle rhythms and dramatic chords. "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" rides a handclap and mild dub synth wave into bliss. "I Go With You" is bright and truly swings with some nice female and vocoded Friedman vocals. In "Tongs of Love" a man tells the poetic tale of his unwarranted advances upon a stranger on a boat, accentuated by slow and subtle guitar and the sounds of the sea. Borrowed Lennie Tristano piano passages and a field recording of a building being destroyed comprise much of "Conjoined". "Sex Working Class" is out and out raunchy and funky with sex toy talk, an explosive rhythm and cut-up human-isms. Altogether "Plays Love Songs" goes by rather quickly (about 40 minutes total) and is a bit disjointed, probably due to the changes it underwent for so many years. But, it's also very intriguing nonetheless. I think I prefer "Con Ritmo" though for some reason I've been spinning this one more instead.