Following their eponymous debut on Durian in 2000 and the excellent Boogie on Grob in 2002, Würm is the third album by Efzeg, a quartet consisting of Boris Hauf (electronics and occasional saxophone), guitarists / electronicians Siewert and Burkhard Stangl and turntablist (amongst other things) dieb13. Quintet, actually, as the work of computer graphics whiz Billy Roisz, who accompanies the group in their live appearances, is also featured here in a Quicktime movie, "Schicht". The group's sound palette has broadened considerably since their first album, and there's more room than there was before in Efzeg's music for non-abstract sound sources. A cymbal crash - heard both forwards and backwards - and a car engine stuttering into life are all seamlessly integrated into the music, and as sonic metaphors of motion they're significant. Towards the end of "Günz dus", while a gently thudding heartbeat marks the passing time, the guitarists' melancholy pitches alternate with bursts of crackling static, both hanging in the air like question marks, as if the music is questioning which way to look - over its shoulder, to a time where pitch was the key parameter of music, or forward into new territory. Without the guitars the music would sound chilly and unprepossessing (rather like Cremaster, one imagines); without the electronics the guitars would wander and noodle aimlessly (like they did on the SSSD Grob outing Home a while back). Efzeg's music reminds us that the present moment - for this music as well as for us listening to it - sits squarely and eternally between the past and the future, between nostalgia and anticipation, between the memory of desire long gone and the desire of memory to come. It's a moment to savour.

Dan Warburton,