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Can - Future Days  CD (album) cover

FUTURE DAYS

Can

 

Krautrock

4.01 | 377 ratings

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Midnight Lightning
5 stars As much as I love Tago Mago, which was my first Can album, Future Days is now my favorite, and it's one of my favorite Krautrock albums. It's largely very relaxing and meditative, with lots of hypnotizing rhythms, floating guitar lines, soothing vocals and atmospheric synths. I guess it's fair to cite early Pink Floyd as an influence, but it takes the spaciness even deeper than the Floyd would dare go. Jaki Leibezeit shines on this album with some of my favorite drumming ever, but really the interplay between all the musicians is superb.

The title track is a great album opener, it sucks you into a special experience from the start. Water sounds, faux violins, birds, a strange voice as if through a PA system, static and other assorted noises slowly introduce the listener to the intriguing laid-back groove, which keeps chugging along throughout the track. I love the building of tension and then it's release before the six minute mark.

Spray has some slightly scarier and darker moments, and the ending is a lot like a gentle rain while you're taking a walk out at night.

Moonshake is a bit different from the other songs, with verses, a chorus, an instrumental bridge and a funky groove that invites you to dance along, or at least bob your head a little.

Bel Air is my favorite track, beautiful from start to finish. I love how In the middle section they get into these exchanges between the drums and the bass while the keyboard, guitar and Damo's vocals are floating above them. At times they even remind me of drum 'n' bass music, and at other times of something Steve Roach or Shpongle might have done, showing how much Can were ahead of their time. And I find the verses, if you could call them that, surprisingly uplifting, like lying on a beach watching the sea or staring up at a starry sky and getting lost in thought.

Some people might be put off by the lack of normal melodies or acoustic instruments etc. Future Days has very little in common with most of the music you would find for example in the Symphonic Prog, RPI or Folk Prog genres, but I would say in it's own way it's no less beautiful than the best of those. To me, it is such a gift. It's relaxing and meditative, without ever being boring or anaemic. I can't call it anything less than a masterpiece, so five stars.

Midnight Lightning | 5/5 |

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