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HJ Irmler and Jaki Liebezeit (live at Café OTO)

London 16 June 2015

HJ Irmler and Jaki Liebezeit posterThere is a German proverb which reads, “Jede Leiter fängt mit der untersten Sprosse an und nach der obersten kommt nur noch freier Fall.” We might possibly translate this as, ‘Every ladder begins at the lowest rung, but after the highest the only way is down’. Tonight, the capacity audience packed into a summer-heated Cafe Oto are treated to evidence that miraculously both confirms, and at the same time, gloriously disproves this pithy aphorism of folk wisdom.

It’s like a sardine packers’ outing in here. The only time I’ve ever seen OTO this full before – and with such a palpable sense of fevered anticipation – is awaiting the entry of the Sun Ra Arkestra. And the reason for tonight’s sense of breathless

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Irmler/Einheit/Paul/Young – Spielwiese 3/Wolfarth & Irmler – Illumination

Klangbad

The release of [post=faust-is-last text=”Faust Is Last”] a couple of years back seems to have freed up Hans-Joachim Irmler’s creative enthusiasm, his output rate suddenly jumping from Scott Walker to Acid Mothers Temple territory. These two new Klangbad releases are the fourth and fifth new projects involving Irmler since the Faust album in 2010 and there’s no sign of any let up in quality yet.

The third [post=bill-spielwiese-zwei text=”Spielwiese”] finds the reunited duo of Irmler and FM Einheit joined by Ute-Marie Paul of Nista Nije Nista and American bassoonist Katherine Young. The crash and throb of Irmler & Einheit’s No Apologies is still very much present, but on Spielwiese Drei, the soundfield is given a subtly uneasy sense of foreboding by Paul and

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FM Einheit and Irmler – No Apologies

Klangbad

Klangbad’s series of Spielwiese releases involves label boss Jochen Irmler inviting interesting collaborators to his Scheer studio and simply recording the results. This particular meeting between the frenetic engine driver of eighties period Einstürzende Neubauten and the convivial klangmeister of Faust was always going to provide rewarding results, and their debut live appearance at the 2010 Klangbad Festival was certainly a highlight of the weekend. No Apologies was actually recorded slightly before that but took a while to sneak out into the world – Swabian time bears only the most tenuous connection to the rest of us after all.

In fact the idea for the collaboration stretches back decades, to when the two were neighbours in Hamburg, Jochen running an electrical shop and Mufti involved in a local café. Some things take time though, and the two eventually met up at

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