Cologne-based Thomas Brinkmann (born 1959 in Mönchengladbach) is a German producer of minimal music.
Brinkmann is renowned for audio works that hover amongst forms such as techno, dub or ambient.
Founder of Max Ernst.
Brinkmann was initially influenced by bands such as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel and Kraftwerk. Funk, soul and rare grooves also had a major influence on his later works.
Brinkmann learned to play drums from Jaki Liebezeit from Can. Early as 1978, he began converting records into manually programmable sequencers, carving notches to produce endless grooves on vinyl records.
Brinkmann then worked in design in the second half of the 1980s. From 1989, he lived for a long time in France and Italy, where he increasingly turned into visual art, then went back to Germany, where he initially studied as a guest student and later regularly at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Academy) with Jannis Konnellis and Oswald Wiener. In 1996, he was expelled from the Academy, which led to a long-running legal dispute.
From 1997, Brinkmann first drew attention in the techno scene with his Thomas Brinkmann – Studio 1 – Variationen, created with a modified record player with a dual tonearm.