Gudrun Gut – Wildlife
Submitted by Richard Foster on Sat, 10/13/2012 – 16:17
Musically though, as ever, there’s a lot to enjoy. She’s absolutely brilliant at giving the most simple beat a resonance or weight; her current sound, for all its roots in (classic German) minimalist electro-pop is a rich and emotive one.
A brilliant record, I suppose I shouldn’t really be too surprised coming as it does from Gudrun Gut, but sometimes you can be pulled up by the quality of some releases, and this is one. Don’t expect the gates of heaven to open just like that, as Wildlife is an essentially quiet release; it works its magic slowly and you may need a few listens, as a lot of the message is hidden under the most muted of beats and subtlest of aural hints. But there’s a lot going on here: Ms. Gut seems pretty down – there a lot of references in the beautiful Erinnerung (Experience) to things like divorce and unhappiness. And with lyrics like “I was this but I am not this” in Erinnerung and titles like How Can I Move or Leaves Are Falling you can’t help but wonder precisely what conflict or emotional upheaval she keeps hinting at. But be warned, she’s not content with keeping it to her own sonic back yard, oh no: the cover of Simply The Best is possibly the darkest, most sardonic cover this side of Billy Mac’s Gloomy Sunday. And I’m not really sure what we should think with the dark emotional mining going on in Frei Sein…
Nope, Gudrun seems to have “downsized her emotional side” – concentrating on sorting out her making her garden grow and “protecting her wildlife”, watching snowflakes and pretending she’s a tiger. It’s a rum old do, and no mistake.
Musically though, as ever, there’s a lot to enjoy. She’s absolutely brilliant at giving the most simple beat a resonance or weight; her current sound, for all its roots in (classic German) minimalist electro-pop is a rich and emotive one: Erinnerung and Leaves Are Falling beautiful mood pieces as well as heartfelt songs. Elsewhere, Garten is a simple plod that has a whole host of warm textures and quirky prompts to give it that something extra. The subtle bird sound in Protecting My Wildlife is typical too; you could miss the chirrups of the sparrows but they add a typically playful element to this gloopy, warped track. To quote a line from the song: “little things are big” indeed. Gut’s never been afraid at cutting tracks up mid song; making it sound that there’s some kind of access to another timespan via her music: this was a technique that worked brilliantly on Baustelle and on here How Can I Move the stompy, earth-bound instrumental, Mond and Little Nothing, (the latter a veritable cornucopia of emotional inner wrangling set to music), carry on that particular legacy.
It’s fabulous, like pretty much everything she does.