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Can - Ege Bamyasi CD (album) cover





3.90 | 408 ratings

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4 stars Ege Bamyasi is much more accesible than Tago Mago. Here they focus more on grooves than freak-outs. Holger Czukay's tape-editing is not as noticeable here, but the music would not be the same without it. Generally more funky and precise compared to what came before. The cover art is a pun on the band's name. Supposedly Can is pronounced "khan", but in the English-speaking world it was pronounced "kann", hence the cover.

"Pinch" starts the album off sounding like what Miles Davis was doing at the same time. Except Japanese-born singer Damo Suzuki is doing vocals. As usual with his singing, you can't understand most of what he is saying. The bass and drums stay the same pretty much for the whole song. All the other instruments are all over the place. The music stops at the end and Damo says "pinch". "Sing Swan Song" starts with water noises. Then goes into the main part of the song which is fairly laid-back and melodic. Some acoustic guitar in this song.

"One More Night" is a catchy upbeat song. Sounds sunny and tropical. "Vitamin C" is a very funky song but the funkiness mainly comes from the drums. Great drumming by the way. The bass is very minimalist and not very bass-y. I like the chorus part of "you're losing...your vitamin C" and the fast guitar during it. I love the melodic organ over halfway through. Ends with dissonant sequencers which segue into "Soup", the longest song. After a bare minimalist section with drum rolls comes a very funky rocking part. Some synth noises and the drumming gets more jazzy. Halfway music stops and then distorted slowed down noises with Damo talk/singing.

The last half of "Soup" is the only part of the album comparable to the freakier stuff on Tago Mago. Some drums and guitar later. Music stops again, then weird drumming, keys and sax (?). Along with Damo's gibberish vocals. "I'm So Green" has a good beat and drumming form Liebezeit. This actually has key/chord changes in it. Fairly melodic and catchy. Goes into a jammy section in the middle. Nice cymbal work near the end. "Spoon" was actually a hit single in Germany. Begins with drum machine and organ before full band comes in on a five note vamp. Damo's double-tracked vocals sound good during the 'chorus'. Nice organ work here.

Czukay's production and bass playing is good. Unlike other albums, Michael Karoli doesn't play his violin here. His guitar playing here is typical of early Can: bluesy and psych rock influenced; not much for riffs or solos, rather creating texture. The keyboard work of Irmin Schmidt blends in with the other instruments. Nothing really stands out but the music would sound a lot different without him. The drumming of Jaki Liebezeit is excellent. His playing is what you notice the most here. Equal parts funky and jazzy. And then there's Damo; his vocals go from talking to yelling to almost singing in a 'normal' style.

A great place to start with Can, as is the follow up Future Days. Not quite representative of Krautrock, Ege Bamyasi would appeal to those who enjoy some of the funkier Miles Davis stuff from 1972-75. Not a masterpiece but an excellent album for your collection. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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