Irmin Schmidt, a founding member of influential experimental German band Can, is releasing a career spanning retrospective boxset titled Electro Violent, due for release on November 20 via Mute/Spoon Records. Schmidt, a classical pianist whose musical upbringing includes studying composition under Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti, founded Can in 1968 after being exposed to the New York avant-garde music scene, incorporating elements of rock, jazz, and classical throughout the years, eventually becoming labeled as one of the first Krautrock bands. Since Can’s disbanding in 1979, Schmidt has collaborated with numerous musicians and released a series of notable collaborations, soundtracks, and solo albums. All six solo albums from 1981 to 2008, including his Gormenghast opera based on Mervyn Peak’s Gormenghast Trilogy, and six soundtrack CDs are included in the Electro Violet set, as well as several previously unreleased works from across over 100 soundtracks and theatre compositions, including Schmidt’s music for Wim Wenders’ Palermo Shooting and Stephen Wagner’s Mord in Eberswalder, the latter of which earned Schmidt the “Best Film Music” awarrd from the Deutsche Akademie für Fernsehen. Electro Violet comes with an 80 page booklet with liner notes from Schmidt and Max Dax, with each album presented in an individual gatefold sleeve.
In 2015, Schmidt was awarded a Chevalier knighthood by the French Ministry of Culture for his contribution to arts and culture (L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres).