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Can - Soon Over Babaluma CD (album) cover

SOON OVER BABALUMA

Can

 

Krautrock

3.60 | 141 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars An album to appreciate, but not necessarily enjoy

Can's 1974 follow up to "Future days" was this intriguingly titled album consisting of just five tracks. This album was the last Can release to be recorded on two track equipment, on subsequent albums the band finally utilised the technical advances which had been made in the studio environment. With the departure of Damo Suzuki after the release of "Future days", the lead vocalist slot became rather unsettled, with Michael Karoli singing on two tracks here and Irmin Schmidt on one. Who is the vocalist is however largely academic as there is virtually no singing as such, the voices generally being used as a percussive instrument.

"Dizzy dizzy", which opens the album has an odd, reggae like beat backing floating violin and mumbled chanting. Such a description may sound confused and unattractive, but the results are reasonably captivating. "Come sta, La Luna" continues the odd rhythms, but this time with more of a rock orientation. Guitar is the lead instrument here, the repetitive vocals being a bit more orthodox but still not sung by any means.

"Splash", the third and final track on side one is a straightforward jazz fusion type improvisation featuring guitar then electric violin. The rather sparse rhythm section focuses on the frantic drumming of Jaki Liebezeit, Holger Czukay's bass being all but inaudible.

The 11 minute "Chain reaction" is the longest track on the album. The pulsating, disco like rhythms lay the foundations for a lengthy, rather unstructured improvisation based once again around violin and guitar. "Quantum physics" segues straight from "Chain reaction", effectively forming a side long piece. The mood however changes to a softer ambient atmosphere with little overt music as such, just waves of sound.

For an album released in 1974, "Soon over Babaluma" is an astonishingly forward looking and imaginative album. That however does not necessarily make it either good or enjoyable. Personally, while I admire the band's creativity, in musical terms the album leaves me cold.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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