Irmler/Einheit – Bestandteil
The latest collaboration between FM Einheit (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust) – recorded over a four year period via a process of distended improvisation – Component (to give this its English title) is a deep, dank, and frequently impenetrable meditation on the relationship between light and dark. Constructive and destructive. Organ and percussion.
And if that description sounds somewhat pretentious, then musique concrete can often fall into that trap without context – or at least a hook for the listener to cling onto. Bestandteil is loaded with interest and intelligence; snatches of sound, spliced into and across impromptu percussion of orchestral dimensions, the ten tracks bleeding into each other to create something both vague and portentous. Yet while tracks such as M and The Taking foster a translucent quality in the manner in which they appropriate sound – a jazz pattern here, a loose and retro organ cadence there – the sheer density of this collage represents the risk of alienation for any audience that’s misplaced their avant-garde chops. [Duncan Harman]