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Can - Delay 1968 CD (album) cover

DELAY 1968




3.60 | 155 ratings

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4 stars Listening to Can's Delay from 1968 is a strange experience. As soon as the opening Butterfly sets off you're quite sure there must be a mistake. First of all, this anarchistic and uncompromising stuff can never be from 1968, secondly, this is obviously a lost song from Sonic Youth around 1986. So you listen again, and again, and you turn the album cover around and stare at the album credits for 10 minutes, you start an encompassing search on the internet but everything proves you wrong. This was released in 1981 but it is not something from the American underground from the 80's. It's a bunch of Germans from 1968. Unbelievable. The artistic vision is beyond anything released till then. CAN = Communism, Anarchism, Nihilism. Very much so if you hear this.

After the nice 30 seconds of Pnoom, Nineteen Century Man continues the atonal, repetitive droning and violent attitude of the opener. Although here you might discern some influences from existing music, something between raw blues from the 50ties and Velvet Underground maybe? I like the rough delivery of Malcolm Mooney here. I sometimes find Suzuki too excessive, Mooney's vocals here are just spot on for this kind of music.

Delay was not the real debut but was released later comprising of 1968 recordings. So obviously it contains some weird stuff like Man Named Joe, an acquired taste to say the least. Compositions like Butterfly and Uphill are essential though. They are impressive testimonies of how this band got their act together right from the start. They would have to wait a good 10 or 15 years till their vision was really picked up and elaborated by the great bands of the 80's; Tuxedo Moon, PIL, Joy Division, Siouxsie, Sonic Youth,... To name just a few that come to mind. Not easy to get into, but once you're hooked this stuff gets under your skin.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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