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Can - Unlimited Edition  CD (album) cover





3.55 | 51 ratings

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4 stars All of Can's albums were recorded in their own studio, Inner Space, initially located in an old castle and subsequently in a disused cinema. When they weren't touring, they worked in the studio every day, with bassist Holger Czukay acting as producer and engineer. Their first few albums were recorded on 2-track equipment, and it was not until they were well established that multi track recording became available to them. Unlimited Edition is drawn from something like 7 years worth of work, some of it material left off mainstream releases, some of it work in progress, some of it apparently recorded for the band's own amusement and all of it fascinating.

Both of Can's lead vocalists, the American Malcolm Mooney and the Japanese Damo Suzuki, are represented on this album, and there is also plenty of instrumental work. Tracks 1 - 13 were originally released as Limited Edition a couple of years prior to this, and were combined with the remaining pieces to make an excellent value double album in 1976. Despite the hopping around betwen different line ups and different styles of music, the whole thing flows along almost seamlesly, largely because of the metronimically precise drumming of Jaki Liebezeit - no matter how far out Can went, their remarkable drummer always anchored them to the earth. The album also displays an eccentric sense of humour.The EFS (Ethnological Forgery Series) were Can's attempts at imitating various brands of world music at least a decade before the idea of world music even existed in the mainstream music industry. Not all of them work, but the sense of adventure and exploration is palpable Malcolm Mooney's darkly humorous lyrics and vocals on Mother Upduff and The Empress And The Ukraine King are also a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes. Cutaway is an 18 minute sound collage from 1968 that sees the band (particularly Czukay) fusing psychedelia with dub reggae, with some odd snippets of studio dialogue thrown in for good measure. The early years are more strongly represented, but the opening and closing tracks are good examples of the kind of icily beautiful music Can made after 1973.

This is not a great album for the Can newbie, but for anybody interested in Can or in German progressive music generally it's highly recommended.

Syzygy | 4/5 |


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