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Can - Future Days  CD (album) cover

FUTURE DAYS

Can

 

Krautrock

4.00 | 366 ratings

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Shakespeare
4 stars The music of Can, and, generally, the music of the Krautrock scene had intrigued me for a very lengthy time. It was long after expressing my interest in this genre that I finally purchased my first Krautrock album: Can's Future Days. Though I was set in search of Tago Mago, the genre's defining moment; its magnum opus, so I'd heard, the store was then out of stock. I bought this, without even considering what it might be like, in its stead. Had I known I had just purchased one of the finest psychedelic treks ever recorded; one of the classiest and most polished pieces of astral mush: the initial wave of excitement and perplexity would likely have been weaker. With Tago Mago, I expected nothing more than an avant-garde album centering on improvising. With Future Days, I expected nothing less general than music.

Indeed, this is an album with extraordinary powers of cleansing and renewing. It can be clearly heard in the less structured sections, often bordering ambient, where the smooth sound effects, generated by tape manipulation, numerous overdubs, and early electronics, simply wash over the spirit, in a gentle and tranquil caress. It can be felt through the whole album, in the laid back jams, propelling in circles eternally, installing the illusion of the removing the listener's spirit from its human shell. (Is it just an illusion?) This sense of purity that gravitates around this album had me think the name Future Days may merely be an urban or neo Tabula Rasa. That guess may not even so far off as you think, whether it was intentional or not. At the time of Future Days' recording, the band had just released two popular, stellar records: Tago Mago, and Ege Bamyasi. During the recording and subsequent gigs of these two albums a good deal of inner-band tension had arose. During the break Can had taken right before Future Days' recording, they had addressed the differences in the band and settled them, easing the atmosphere they were to work in.

This settling of differences accounts for the sense of liberation, peace, and renewing, but also for timbre of relaxation and apathy throughout the album. It may also account for Damo Suzuki's withdrawn effort on the album. Although, most will agree the primary reason for Damo's conservative vocal work was the shadow of his parting from the band after the album was released. In either case, his singing is more melodic and subdued, but in a pleasant way. In blends with the music. Each instrument both contributes to the perpetually shifting sea of sound, and morphs with it, swims in it, paints upon it. It's a process that feels so intuitive and simple, yet it's rare to find. And never has it been executed in such a natural, organic, trance-inducing way. Unlike Ege Bamyasi and Tago Mago, both very intense, and adventurous albums, Future Days is a great starting place. In fact, I would personally say that it is the best of the three, though that may be caused by my memory of that initial shock. Future Days is a flawless masterpiece of psychedelic music.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |

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