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Can - Saw Delight CD (album) cover

SAW DELIGHT

Can

 

Krautrock

3.31 | 71 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Looks like not many folks saw delight (ha ha) in this incarnation and direction of Kraut revolutionaries CAN. For starters, ex-TRAFFIC members Rosko Gee (bass) and Reebop Kwaku Baah (percussion) were brought into the line-up and original bassist and visionary Holger Czukay's role was relegated to 'Wave Receiver' and minor vocal contributions. Live footage of the band from this period shows Czukay to the side of the stage with a table full of short-wave radios and microphones from where he manipulated the receptions and incorporated them randomly into the music. This is definately a wildly different approach to their art, but it holds originality, even though the music itself is no longer a lurching beast full of surprises and unpredictability. There is an immediate change in sound here and I've found it somewhat fascinating. Sure it's no Tago Mago, but it's 1977, quite a lot of ch-ch-changes happening within the music world, and it has been reputed that BOWIE enjoyed this era of Can a lot. Even Ed Wynne (OZRIC TENTACLES) has revealed a love of this release. Now the music on offer here is more upbeat and accessible, almost an Afro-Caribbean flavour at times, courtesy of Reebop's busy percussive work. Most tunes are jam-based, except for the last song 'Fly By Night', a laid-back 4 min ditty with vocals from Michael Karoli and tasteful keyboarding. The best piece is side two's 15 minute + jam/improvised track 'Animal Waves'. Keyboardist Irmin Schmidt spends a lot of time on his Alpha 77 Synth here, creating an almost KLAUS SCHULZE-like atmosphere utilising unusual chords along the way, with some eastern sounding violin lines from Karoli, who switches to his trademark guitar soloing half-way through, which is always a treat to hear. And I've never heard any other guitarist like him. Jaki Liebezeit's impact on the rhythmic side of things is no longer as monstrous as previously, but listening to this, it's not hard to see why he is known as a 'human drum machine'. Reebop's percussion playing a large part in the sound too. Gee supports all this with some highly inspired, great sounding bass guitaring. Holger's 'wave receiving' can be noticed as weirdo gibberish sounds in the background, never-the-less adding a strange air to the song. Repetitive maybe, but it's bright and lively, like the attractive Yantra on the back cover of the LP (or centre of the saw blade). The remaining tracks are all very good with special mention to 'Call Me'. 4 stars.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |

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