Gudrun Gut und Joachim Irmler - 500m - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Gudrun Gut und Joachim Irmler - 500m

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2014-09-10

If you’re an affectionado of experimental German rock then those two names might well ring a bell for you. Hans-Joachim Irmler is a founding member of seminal Krautrock band Faust, while Gudrun Gut is an electronic artist known for her work with industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten.

If you’re familiar with those bands, you probably think you know what you’re gonna get from 500m, but this collaboration is surprisingly light on industrial freak-outs. 500m is industrial, but in a low-key, 5am kind of way: the hum of the heating switching on; miscellaneous creaks echoing through the empty house; the occasional car slashing through puddles on the road outside; the muffled burble of a radio next door.

This early-hours feel is incorporated into a series of jams which have been edited together by Gut. A few tracks are very reminiscent of Neu!, with ‘Früh’, ‘Parfum’ and ‘Noah’ incorporating drifting Michael Rother-style guitar and occasional motorik beats. ‘Früh’ in particular is impressive, its tick-tock, 808 beat emerging slowly from a morass of feedback and organ which recalls Faust’s collaboration with Nurse With Wound, Disconnected.

However, many of these instrumental pieces are a little too low-energy and murky, some of them meandering past the six-minute mark without making much of an impression. There is occasional variation, such as ‘Mandarine’s lovely ambient house beat, ‘Traum’s acid squiggles, or ‘Auf und Ab’s bedsit electro mixed with proggy organ, but you may well find yourself tuning out and not being entirely sure where one track ends and the next begins.

500m is an interesting collection of improvised compositions, but fans of its makers may have been hoping for more of a statement. 

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