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Frank Bretschneider

Sylvia Steinhäuser

Frank Bretschneider is a musician, composer and video artist in Berlin.

Bretschneider (1956) raised in Chemnitz, where his aesthetic developed as he listened to pirate radio and smuggled Beastie Boys tapes in the former East Germany. In 1984, inspired by science fiction radio plays and films, he began experimenting with tape machines, synthesizers, and modified guitars. After studying fine arts and publishing several graphic editions, he started his first tape experiments and established a cassette label in 1984.

Bretschneider founded AG Geige in 1986, a successful and influential East German underground band. Though limited to the East before the wall came down, they were invited to perform across Germany and internationally after 1989 and released three albums before splitting in 1993. Bretschneider explored the possibilities of exchange between visual art and music by various means such as film, video and computer graphics.

In 1995, Bretschneider and fellow AG Geige member Olaf Bender founded the Rastermusic record label which eventually merged with Carsten Nicolai's noton - archiv für ton und nicht ton to form raster-noton in 1999. Most of Bretschneider's early solo albums - about half a dozen - were under the alias Komet, the first, SAAT, appearing in 1996. Since then Bretschneider has released his work (in addition to raster noton) on various labels including 12k, Mille Plateaux, Quatermass, Staalplaat and Fällt, and contributed to some well-known compilations like CLICKS & CUTS on Mille Plateaux and raster-noton's 20' TO 2000 series. 2001's CURVE, his second album for Mille Plateaux, was critically acclaimed and brought Bretschneider international attention. Followed 2003 by GOLD, raster-noton's most blatantly pop album to date. GOLD, however, was topped by the percussive masterpiece released in late 2007, RHYTHM, an album that was rated very highly by several major electronic music publications, notably "The Wire" magazine, who put the album among there top releases of 2007. A highlight of 2008's live performances was AUXILIARY BLUE, originally written by Bretschneider as an audiovisual performance for the Dexia tower in Brussels, recomposed by Danish sound wizard Ejnar Kanding and performed by Bretschneider with Contemporánea Ensemble in Berlin and Copenhagen. 2010 saw the release of EXP, a rather complex and abstract audio-visual work and his new CD KIPPSCHWINGUNGEN came out in May 2012 on Line, combining the almost forgotten sound of the Subharchord with todays music and production methods. For fall 2013 a new release on raster-noton label is planned.

Bretschneider has performed at music and new media festivals such as Ars Electronica, CTM, Cut & Splice, Elektra, Mutek or Sonar. He has worked with artists such as Taylor Deupree, Olafur Eliasson, Steve Roden and Ralph Steinbruechel.

  • Ejnar Kanding, Frank Bretschneider

    Auxiliary Blue