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Can - Tago Mago CD (album) cover





3.94 | 595 ratings

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4 stars This is one I play half of at work all the time - guess which half.

"Paperhouse" through "Halleluwah" is simply fantastic, possibly the best contained suite of songs I've heard on any recording. Everyone really shines here, especially Jaki Liebezeit, the "human drum machine." Not that he's mechanical - he's simply that precise. I even like Irmin Schmidt's contributions, and Damo Suzuki sounds like he's having fun. Holger Czukay's not really a bass player, but he's got the Motown moves down, and Michael Karoli plays "sissy" guitar with the best of 'em (plink, plink, plunk). His violin sawing on "Halleluwah" adds a lot to the song as well.

"Aumgn" and "Peking O" though... I can see how experiments like these got them to the point where they could do the rest of it, but that doesn't mean I really have to listen to them. I can't, honestly - not because it's random, aharmonic, amelodic, arhythmic, and flat-out ugly much of the time, but because it's so humorless. I can listen to, say, Faust's "Miss Fortune" over and over, and it's all of those things, but it's also aware that its Stockhausen/musique concrete/Cage moves are, at some level, completely absurd. (Yes, that's unfair - the only band I've ever heard sound as gleefully unhinged as Faust is mid-70s Gong, and with them you can tell most of the time that everyone besides Dider wished that Daevid and Gilli would just shut up so they could jam.) Can sounds deadly serious about their expermentation on these two songs, and they're a bore. I never bother with "Bring Me Coffee Or Tea," though I remember liking it. It's just too much effort after skipping nearly 29 minutes of sludge.

The four stars says how good the first half is - if it were anyone else, this would be a 1 or 2.

| 4/5 |


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