Ngan! Tschak! MU! Such has been the trajectory of Gnoomes, each exclamation point denoting one of three releases thus far. Collectively, they read as an onomatopoeic sequence, a comic book fight scene. Appropriate, given Gnoomes’ journey into Europe as exiled heroes was beset by turbulence. The other referent, especially in the case of latest instalment MU!, is more directly related to the motorik-ish post-kraut sound therein. MU!? More like Neu!
This, Gnoomes’ most confident release to date, sounds especially jubilant in the way of later Krautrock, the grainy guitars of ‘Sword in the Stone’ and ‘Ursa Major’ ebullient with skyward electricity. But the true antecedent of MU! would prove to be the other great Klaus Dinger outfit – La Düsseldorf. The stumbling tom-toms of ‘Since Waves Are Good For Your Health’ (charmingly mistranslated in the lyrics as “good TO your health”) and ascendent fuzz of ‘Progulka’ seem almost tone for tone lifted from La Düsseldorf, accelerated by a bit of psych rock welly. Fortunately, it’s been a long while since we’ve heard anyone restart that vehicle quite so well.
The implicit project of Krautrock was a sort of fantastical European utopianism through sound, where an ongoing motorik beat was tantamount to humanitarian progress. Even if the dream has long since faded into dull and unending copycat psych rock today, the Gnoomes of MU! are still happy to thrive in it, re-assessing and extrapolating on its sonic boundaries.