Best New Music

German Progressive At Its Best: Irwin Schimdt & Kumo – “Beauty Duty”

  • November 22, 2015
  • 2 min read

irwin schmidt

Irwin Schimdt & Kumo

“Beauty Duty”

Electric Violet

If you’re a fan of progressive rock or electronic music, you probably are familiar with Can.  If you’re not, shame on you.  Can was the definitive German progressive band along with Einsturzende Neubaten and Kraftwerk.

Irmin Schmidt is a founding member of Can, the German band whose unparalleled genius remains unquestioned, timeless and immeasurably influential. When all Can members decided to part and explore new sounds, Irmin teamed up with Swiss jazz and electronics musician Bruno Spoerri to make his first post-Can album, Toy Planet. The collection travels through his Gormenghast opera, solo albums, collaborations with Kumo (Jono Podmore) and Duncan Fallowell, plus his extensive and award winning film soundtrack work.

After a classical education as pianist, conductor and composer, Irmin Schmidt – who studied under Stockhausen and Ligeti – established Can in the late 60s combining classic new music with rock and jazz. The band’s powerful influence has never diminished and recently Irmin Schmidt was awarded a Knighthood – the Chevalier De L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres – for his contribution to arts and culture by the French Ministry of Culture.

Irwin Schmidt is a genius.  So many of progressive/ambient/electronic/jazz you name it musicians owe so much for Schmidt.  The fact that Mute Records is putting out a 12 disc history of his solo work just makes me wet.  I love Schmidt so much.  Thank you, Mr. Schmidt and Mute records for everything.

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Phil King

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