Track Of The Day #732 Irmin Schmidt - Why Not (Mute Records)

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.

Electro Violet is released 20th November.



God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.