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Gut und Irmler, "500m"

500m beautifully combines Gudrun Gut’s programmed percussion and editing discipline with Jochen Irmler’s meandering organ playing and natural spontaneity.

Bureau B

This album comes from two sessions recorded in the autumn of 2013, at the Faust studio in Scheer. These consisted mainly of Irmler leading, by improvising some tracks for as long as thirty minutes, with Gut providing basic beats and a rudimentary framework and mood. Later, in her Berlin studio, she reassembled, deconstructed, and refined the session tracks into shorter pieces. Irmler kept his distance, hearing the progress of her work via file sharing. This creating-at-a-distance should not have been a problem for him, not at least if the story is true that in the early days of Faust he had a cable run from his bedroom so he didn’t have to come into the studio, and could even play while in bed. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Gut appears to be wearing pajamas on the cover artwork. In any event, the splendid contrast between her whispered, breathy, vocals, and shards of drum programming, echo, clipped and spliced or untreated keyboards, all combine to produce a landscape suggestive of darkness and twinkling stars.

Searching for clues to 500m through attempts to translate the German names of some individual tracks into English, threw up such titles as "Perfume," "Noah," "Chlorine," "Fracture," and the amusing chronology of "Tangerine," followed by "Dream." Listening to the record made me feel as if I were dreaming of walking alone through a series of rooms in a huge deserted factory, hearing the sound of echoing footsteps and machines briefly bleating into life or fade into silence. The title relates to the fact that Gut reported feeling dizzy the whole time - which Irmler explained may have been due to them being 500m above sea level.