Track Of The Day #732 Irmin Schmidt – Why Not (Mute Records)
Ahead of the release of an unquestionably expansive twelve CD box set – Electro Violet – that surely would represent the zenith of critical inspection if approached in one go, we have an unreleased track from founder member of Can and all round avant-garde man about town Irmin Schmidt. As a taster for that comprehensive overview of Schmidt’s solo output, it’s a thing of perfectly constructed, low-key beauty. The very definition of less is more, hackneyed though that phrase is.
From his soundtrack work conducted as part of a most peripatetic career ‘Why Not‘ features Markus Stockhausen – yes indeed, son of Karlheinz – teasing some of the most emotively glum trumpet from that instrument in recent memory. In amongst the atonal plinks, plonks and generally worrying ambience it represents a warmth, humanity even, within what otherwise is a gently rhythmic hymn to dread. And, considering its haunting qualities, possibly the dead as well.
Things drift along with deceptive ease but all the while there’s a disquieting unease and enveloping sorrow. Heart-rending stuff and a beautifully realised night-time landscape. Bring on the marathon of European arthouse poise. Black turtleneck purchased and Gitanes ready to go.
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