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CAN

Krautrock • Germany


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Can biography
Formed in Cologne, Germany in 1968 - Disbanded in 1979 - Reunited on several occasions (1986, 1991 & 1999)

CAN is one of a few internationally known "Krautrock" groups; they are famous for their repetitive and hallucinatory sound. CAN was founded in 1968 by Jaki LIEBEZEIT, Irmin SCHMIDT and Holger CZUKAY, and in their early days they also included American singer Malcolm MOONEY or Japanese vocalist Damo SUZUKI. They transformed progressive-rock into a science. By bridging classical music, jazz music and rock music of their times, CAN accomplished the first organic study on rhythm and texture. Their hypnotic and glacial instrumental jams straddled the line between free-jazz, acid-rock and chamber music. CAN's music can be difficult to appreciate, yet their albums offer some of the best experimental rock ever recorded. Then there are always the myths, the legends and the fascination.

Here's a synopsis of most of their albums. I can recommend "Delay" through to Soon over Babaluma. "Delay" was the first album recorded although it was not released until 1981. Most of their albums are great, particularly "Monster Movie", "Soundtracks", "Tago Mago", "Future Days", and "Ege Bamyasi". After "Soon over Babaluma" I'd say forget it as CAN loose there fresh approach for which they were reknown. 1997 becomes the year where other musicians show the timeless aspect of CAN's music in the new remix album "Sacrilege". And this is the Sound of CAN in the nineties.

"Limited" and "Unlimited Edition" are a collection from 1968 to 1974. In the autumn of 1978, a double CD retrospective "Cannibalism 1" was issued on United Artists, and, for many, still stands today as the definitive CAN collection. It drew from the band's first six albums, but a tremendous sampling of songs from their essential early albums. "Cannibalism 1" is the best CD to buy to first experience the incredible music of CAN.

CAN's legacy still resounds clearly across the landscape of contemporary music. As Julian Cope concludes, "CAN will be remembered as one of the great 20th century bands. I've listened to their music for over 23 years, and I still freak out at their staying power... Every one of CAN's members is a hero, and a true star."

With due acknowledgement to Piero Scaruffi's book "A History of Rock Music" for some of the information and text quoted.

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Buy CAN Music


Tago MagoTago Mago
Mute 2014
$23.96
$17.05 (used)
Ege Bamyasi (Limited Edition Green Vinyl)Ege Bamyasi (Limited Edition Green Vinyl)
Mute 2019
$19.46
$20.87 (used)
Future DaysFuture Days
Mute 2014
$18.24
$21.14 (used)

More places to buy CAN music online Buy CAN & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

CAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 344 ratings
Monster Movie
1969
3.83 | 280 ratings
Soundtracks
1970
3.96 | 655 ratings
Tago Mago
1971
3.91 | 443 ratings
Ege Bamyasi
1972
4.10 | 572 ratings
Future Days
1973
2.97 | 15 ratings
Limited Edition
1974
3.69 | 219 ratings
Soon Over Babaluma
1974
3.52 | 138 ratings
Landed
1975
3.60 | 54 ratings
Unlimited Edition
1976
2.96 | 111 ratings
Flow Motion
1976
3.34 | 104 ratings
Saw Delight
1977
2.40 | 78 ratings
Out Of Reach
1978
2.69 | 82 ratings
Can [Aka: Inner Space]
1978
3.58 | 133 ratings
Delay 1968
1981
3.02 | 64 ratings
Rite Time
1989

CAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.16 | 49 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1995
4.08 | 33 ratings
Box Music (Live 1971-1977)
1999

CAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.02 | 30 ratings
Can
2005

CAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Classic German Rock Scene
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Opener
1976
2.91 | 4 ratings
Cannibalism
1978
2.91 | 16 ratings
Cannibalism 1
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
InCANdescence
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Onlyou
1982
4.12 | 8 ratings
Cannibalism 2
1990
4.58 | 24 ratings
Can Anthology
1994
3.60 | 5 ratings
Cannibalism 3
1994
2.93 | 18 ratings
Sacrilege
1997
2.33 | 3 ratings
Inner Space / Out of Reach
1998
2.31 | 4 ratings
Box (Compilation)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Legendary Can
1999
4.12 | 56 ratings
The Lost Tapes
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Can
2013
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Singles
2017

CAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 2 ratings
Soul Desert
1969
2.00 | 1 ratings
Turtles Have Short Legs
1971
4.00 | 3 ratings
Vitamin C
1972
3.50 | 2 ratings
I'm So Green
1972
3.29 | 9 ratings
Spoon
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
Moonshake
1973
2.00 | 1 ratings
Big Hit
1973
3.00 | 2 ratings
Dizzy Dizzy
1974
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hunters And Collectors
1975
2.25 | 3 ratings
Silent Night
1976
2.50 | 2 ratings
I Want More
1976
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don't Say No
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Can-Can
1978
2.00 | 1 ratings
Spoon / Silent Night
1980
2.00 | 2 ratings
I Want More
1981
2.00 | 1 ratings
Moonshake
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hoolah Hoolah
1990
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sacrilege
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Remixes
1997
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Want More
2006

CAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Unlimited Edition  by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.60 | 54 ratings

BUY
Unlimited Edition
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars NOTE: "Limited Edition" is the first release of "Unlimited Edition" which offered six other tracks.

The former featured 13 tracks whereas the second reissue featured 19.

CAN was formed in 1968 and released five albums with two distinct vocalists, US born Malcom Mooney and the Japanese noisemaker Damo Suzuki. After the release of the band's fifth album "Future Days," Damo Suzuki left the band so he could both marry his girlfriend and to become a Jehovah's Witness. While the band carried on without a new lead singer as it was becoming more focused on the instrumental workouts, CAN decided to unleash some of the more experimental tracks from the vault before taking things to the next phase. In May of 1974, the compilation of unreleased tracks LIMITED EDITION emerged with a limited release of 15,000 copies that featured oddball tracks ranging from the band's inception in 1968 to the "Future Days" sessions in 1973. It featured 13 random tracks with both lead singers as well as a wide range of styles and sounds not heard on the official albums.

These tracks were culled from thousands of hours of recording time and showcases the wide range of styles and sounds that CAN covered outside the context of the five album run. While the original LIMITED EDITION was released just prior to the band's next album "Soon After Babaluma" released in the following November 1974, after the band signed to Virgin Records in 1976, the album was released a second time as UNLIMITED EDITION shortly after the release of the "Flow Motion" album. The new edition hosted an additional six additional tracks including one of CAN's most eclectic and freaky collage giants in the form of the near 19 minute "Cutaway." Other than the original pressing titled LIMITED EDITION which donned the rather unflattering cover art of several mice in a tiny house (what it represents we may never know), the album has been released as UNLIMITED EDITION ever since and given that all the tracks of the original are on the newer editions, there is really no need to track down the mousy version unless you are the most rabid collector.

While often skipped over in CAN's discography due to its status as a collection of so-called throwaway tracks, (UN)LIMITED EDITION actually contains some of CAN's wildest and most experimental cuts taken from its massive run of recordings and offers a sneak peak into the band's strategy for crafting its unique blend of Krautrock that stood apart from virtually every other German band of the same era. While some tracks like the opening "Gomorrha" may evoke a familiarity as heard on some of the weirder tracks on album's such as "Tago Mago" which are entirely instrumental and host a unique mix of heady keyboard and guitar workouts laced with a funk laden bass groove and busy percussive section, other tracks strip bare the piling up of effects and expose the true nature of CAN's secret weapon, namely a diverse palette of world ethnic sounds that were twisted and coerced into performing psychedelic mind tricks and created repetitive looping effects and oscillating swirls of sound. Of these, the "E.F.S." series of tracks which referred to the "Ethnological Forgery Series" featured many world music sounds that more resembled the African, Asian and Middle Eastern folk genera that they were borrowed from. These were some of the band's earliest experiments.

The album hosts many unique features that would never fit on any given album. For example on "Doko E" Damo Suzuki sang in his native Japanese and "Mother Upduff" featured Malcolm Mooney's impromptu storytelling in spoken word vocals along with an uncharacteristic jazzy musical accompaniment. There are also other examples of instruments such as the violin and shehni, an Indian reed instrument that give many tracks a completely different flavor than most of what CAN offered however despite the wildly experimental improvisational flavors that seemed somewhat random in freeform, Jaki Liebezeit still maintains firm control of the rhythmic drive with his distinct percussive style that never deviates too far from his status quo however on some tracks he has more of a license to incubate some exotically technical drum rolls that are allowed to wander off the leash. Another unusual instrument featured is the schizophone on "The Empress And The Ukraine King" which sounds like a xylophone if it's the exotic instrument that i think it is.

Many tracks such as the aforementioned also deliver a much more progressive rock oriented sound with more angular instrumental workouts that develop more intricate melodic counterpoints. The instruments also play off of each other in different keys and tunings which offers distinct bouts of dissonance and complex harmonic interplay. While CAN's albums can sound uniform in stylistic approach save the bizarre nature of "Tago Mago," on (UN)LIMITED EDITION, each track is completely unique and that's the beauty of this grab bag of disparate ideas that displayed the band on creative highs that for whatever reason were deemed to alienating to appear side by side with the more distinguished tracks that made it onto albums. Some of the tracks, especially the "E.F.S." series sound like a completely different band while some of the early tracks like "Connection" show a gestating band still connected to the 60s psychedelic scene but hadn't quite found its own distinct way.

The highlight of the album is one of the extra tracks on UNLIMITED EDITION. The lengthy powerhouse "Cutaway" was recorded all the way back in March 1969 during the "Monster Movie" sessions and is by far one of CAN's most interesting tracks. Unlike many behemoth monstrosities that veer toward the 20 minute mark (this one is just over 18), this track is in reality several shorter tracks stitched together in seemingly random ways and is in effect a collage of various experiments that fit in quite well with the wild and crazy creative uptick that was exploding in 1969. Overall the tracks on (UN)LIMITED EDITION are excellent with only a very few throwaway tracks ("Blue Bag" is rather pointless for example). This album is not just a collection of substandard tracks at all but rather tracks that were just too far outside the context of what the album's were going for as these standalone tracks are really bizarre for the most part. This is highly recommended for those who cherish the most experimental aspects of CAN. While not an "official" studio album per se, this one is chock full of entertaining musical tidbits and the wide range of styles makes this THEEEE most diverse CAN album that has seen the light of day.

It's most likely you will encounter the UNLIMITED EDITION version since every reissue has appeared in that format.

It's also more fruitful in that it offers six extra tracks that are well worth it so unless you are a collector of all things CAN, the remastered version of this CD is the way to go.

 Limited Edition by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 15 ratings

BUY
Limited Edition
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars NOTE: "Limited Edition" is the first release of "Unlimited Edition" which offered six other tracks.

The former featured 13 tracks whereas the second reissue featured 19.

CAN was formed in 1968 and released five albums with two distinct vocalists, US born Malcom Mooney and the Japanese noisemaker Damo Suzuki. After the release of the band's fifth album 'Future Days,' Damo Suzuki left the band so he could both marry his girlfriend and to become a Jehovah's Witness. While the band carried on without a new lead singer as it was becoming more focused on the instrumental workouts, CAN decided to unleash some of the more experimental tracks from the vault before taking things to the next phase. In May of 1974, the compilation of unreleased tracks LIMITED EDITION emerged with a limited release of 15,000 copies that featured oddball tracks ranging from the band's inception in 1968 to the 'Future Days' sessions in 1973. It featured 13 random tracks with both lead singers as well as a wide range of styles and sounds not heard on the official albums.

These tracks were culled from thousands of hours of recording time and showcases the wide range of styles and sounds that CAN covered outside the context of the five album run. While the original LIMITED EDITION was released just prior to the band's next album 'Soon After Babaluma' released in the following November 1974, after the band signed to Virgin Records in 1976, the album was released a second time as UNLIMITED EDITION shortly after the release of the 'Flow Motion' album. The new edition hosted an additional six additional tracks including one of CAN's most eclectic and freaky collage giants in the form of the near 19 minute 'Cutaway.' Other than the original pressing titled LIMITED EDITION which donned the rather unflattering cover art of several mice in a tiny house (what it represents we may never know), the album has been released as UNLIMITED EDITION ever since and given that all the tracks of the original are on the newer editions, there is really no need to track down the mousy version unless you are the most rabid collector.

While often skipped over in CAN's discography due to its status as a collection of so-called throwaway tracks, (UN)LIMITED EDITION actually contains some of CAN's wildest and most experimental cuts taken from its massive run of recordings and offers a sneak peak into the band's strategy for crafting its unique blend of Krautrock that stood apart from virtually every other German band of the same era. While some tracks like the opening 'Gomorrha' may evoke a familiarity as heard on some of the weirder tracks on album's such as 'Tago Mago' which are entirely instrumental and host a unique mix of heady keyboard and guitar workouts laced with a funk laden bass groove and busy percussive section, other tracks strip bare the piling up of effects and expose the true nature of CAN's secret weapon, namely a diverse palette of world ethnic sounds that were twisted and coerced into performing psychedelic mind tricks and created repetitive looping effects and oscillating swirls of sound. Of these, the 'E.F.S.' series of tracks which referred to the 'Ethnological Forgery Series' featured many world music sounds that more resembled the African, Asian and Middle Eastern folk genera that they were borrowed from. These were some of the band's earliest experiments.

The album hosts many unique features that would never fit on any given album. For example on 'Doko E' Damo Suzuki sang in his native Japanese and 'Mother Upduff' featured Malcolm Mooney's impromptu storytelling in spoken word vocals along with an uncharacteristic jazzy musical accompaniment. There are also other examples of instruments such as the violin and shehni, an Indian reed instrument that give many tracks a completely different flavor than most of what CAN offered however despite the wildly experimental improvisational flavors that seemed somewhat random in freeform, Jaki Liebezeit still maintains firm control of the rhythmic drive with his distinct percussive style that never deviates too far from his status quo however on some tracks he has more of a license to incubate some exotically technical drum rolls that are allowed to wander off the leash. Another unusual instrument featured is the schizophone on 'The Empress And The Ukraine King' which sounds like a xylophone if it's the exotic instrument that i think it is.

Many tracks such as the aforementioned also deliver a much more progressive rock oriented sound with more angular instrumental workouts that develop more intricate melodic counterpoints. The instruments also play off of each other in different keys and tunings which offers distinct bouts of dissonance and complex harmonic interplay. While CAN's albums can sound uniform in stylistic approach save the bizarre nature of 'Tago Mago,' on (UN)LIMITED EDITION, each track is completely unique and that's the beauty of this grab bag of disparate ideas that displayed the band on creative highs that for whatever reason were deemed to alienating to appear side by side with the more distinguished tracks that made it onto albums. Some of the tracks, especially the 'E.F.S.' series sound like a completely different band while some of the early tracks like 'Connection' show a gestating band still connected to the 60s psychedelic scene but hadn't quite found its own distinct way.

The highlight of the album is one of the extra tracks on UNLIMITED EDITION. The lengthy powerhouse 'Cutaway' was recorded all the way back in March 1969 during the 'Monster Movie' sessions and is by far one of CAN's most interesting tracks. Unlike many behemoth monstrosities that veer toward the 20 minute mark (this one is just over 18), this track is in reality several shorter tracks stitched together in seemingly random ways and is in effect a collage of various experiments that fit in quite well with the wild and crazy creative uptick that was exploding in 1969. Overall the tracks on (UN)LIMITED EDITION are excellent with only a very few throwaway tracks ('Blue Bag' is rather pointless for example). This album is not just a collection of substandard tracks at all but rather tracks that were just too far outside the context of what the album's were going for as these standalone tracks are really bizarre for the most part. This is highly recommended for those who cherish the most experimental aspects of CAN. While not an 'official' studio album per se, this one is chock full of entertaining musical tidbits and the wide range of styles makes this THEEEE most diverse CAN album that has seen the light of day.

Even without the extra tracks, LIMITED EDITION is a four star powerhouse of excellence

 Future Days by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.10 | 572 ratings

BUY
Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars CAN continued its influential streak of influential recordings all throughout the early 70s as Germany's Krautrock scene splintered into myriad directions. CAN itself had crafted several albums each with distinct musical personalities but all rooted in a trimmed down version of progressive rock that focused on tight musical interplay, funk driven grooves and psychedelic, even hypnotic musical motifs. While "Tago Mago" caught the world's attention for its extreme unorthodoxies that took music based on the rock paradigm to include some of the world's furtherest out head trips, the band steered their sound to a more accessible percussive driven ambient flow on the following "Ege Bamyasi" which focused on the pulsating dynamics of the motorik deliveries of Jaki Liebezeit along with the spidery guitar playing of Michael Karoli, the alienating atmospheric keyboard playing of Irmin Schmidt and the extraordinary space funk bass grooves of Holger Czukay.

On the band's fifth album FUTURE DAYS, the band continued in the trajectory of "Ege Bamyasi" and focused even more on the ambient elements fluttering around the exotic busy percussive grooves that allow the instruments dance around while each musician creates a completely different counterpoint to the rhythmic oscillations. The change in musical direction meant a lessening role for vocalist Damo Suzuki and as a result he would depart the band after FUTURE DAYS which would continue on as a quartet with various members picking up the occasional vocal duties that found less and less of a spotlight. Unlike "Ege Bamyasi" that focused on aspects of rock music, FUTURE DAYS is a calmer effort that creates four tracks that evoke more atmospheric constructs even though the percussion remains as energetic as ever. The keyboards for example embody a floaty feel while the guitars create a form of space rock that eschews traditional 70s rock bombast.

Originally FUTURE DAYS consisted of three tracks on side one of the vinyl LP; the title track, "Spray" and "Moonshake" with the second dedicated to the side long magnanimity of "Bel Air" which just shy of the 20 minute mark resulted in one of CAN's most memorable and well-crafted tunes of its entire career. The title track begins the album with an immediate airier sound than the band's previous albums. Starting out with a fascination for water sounds and a tumult of ambient sounds that engage in an eerie procession before the expected motorik drumming leads the way accompanied by an oscillating "shaker" sound and a series of cyclical loops that have proved to be inspirational for all types of musical genres of the modern age including post-rock, industrial and various other experimental musical forms. While clearly rooted in the Krautrock scene, CAN stood out even amongst its peers in that its deconstructive approach was much more radical than any other act of the entire era.

"Spray" perhaps displays Czukay's importance as a bassist more than most tracks as his uncanny fretwork finds the bass implementing as important roles in the musical flow as the percussive drive. Also notable are Schmidt's amazing organ runs on this one with the guitar taking a lesser role. Perhaps the busiest sounding track on the album, the incessant percussive drive and organ heft are supplemented by the space funk bass and guitar counterpart that offers only occasional heft that can be heard distinctly from the dominance of the drumming. Suzuki is demoted to merely throwing out a few vocal utterances every now and again which sound rather patronizing as the musical flow is not dependent on him at all. The ultimate case of creating a need where none is needed. No wonder he would leave as the band developed such a full sound that the vocals were actually becoming a distraction. "Moonshake" takes on the strongest motorik percussive drive of all and reminds me of "Neu!" on its 1972 debut. This is also the only track that really allows Suzuki to stand in the limelight but even on this one there are vocal-free moments that allow the bizarre antics of the guitar and keys to dominate.

The strongest track by far is the side long "Bel Air" which displays the band in full effect. Whereas the shorter tracks showcased various trends in the band's developing fascination with ambience, this closer is the one that allows the subtle differences to organically unfold and also finds each musician slowly ratcheting up the tension since there is no time limitations. It also successfully implements Suzuki's vocal style to fit in with the developing motifs and doesn't sound like his contributions are wasted. In other words, this is the most convincing band effort on this one and the last gasp of Suzuki's involvement in the band before its consistent flow of strong albums would end before the hit and miss era that followed FUTURE DAYS. "Bel Air" is divided into sections although it's connected by a thematic flow of rhythm and melodic drive however after every few minutes, the song changes up a bit and engages in a new procession of variations. All the parts are equally enthralling and are stitched together quite beautifully.

While i prefer the much more experimental "Tago Mago" to the more sedate following albums, there's no doubt that FUTURE DAYS is one of the strongest album's in the CAN discography and is a close second for its consistency and ambient charm which is more focused than its predecessor and shows CAN at a creative peak before the inconsistency of the FUTURE DAYS would be the norm. In short, FUTURE DAYS is utterly infectious with tight interlocking grooves that display one of the most unique mixes of funk, rock, psychedelia and ambient. No musician steals the limelight here and CAN exhibits the qualities of a true democratic sound performance where every member's contributions are a vital aspect of creating a greater sum of the parts. True that Suzuki's vocals have been tamped down for the majority of the album but all is redeemed on the ending "Bel Air" where his presence is fully integrated into the CAN paradigm. Only slightly weaker than "Tago Mago" in my book but overall the second great masterpiece of CAN.

4.5 rounded up

 Ege Bamyasi by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.91 | 443 ratings

BUY
Ege Bamyasi
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Although CAN had been active since 1968, the German band that blended together avant-garde jazz, psychedelic rock, funk and experimental noise techniques had mostly been an underground act that while having been cited as a major influence by future generations was still largely unknown to the German public. However that all changed after the band's third album 'Tago Mago' when CAN released the single 'Spoon' which proved to be a major hit that peaked at #6 on the German singles charts due to the fact it was used as the theme of the German TV series called 'Das Messer' (The Knife). The single sold over 300,000 units and in the process CAN was able to upgrade its situation to a much better recording studio where they commenced to record the band's fourth album EGE BAMYASI, which is Turkish for 'Aegeon Okra,' an odd title that was adopted spontaneously after a quick glimpse on the shelf.

While the band's studio was state of the art and ready for recording, the band was going through a creative slump and it took considerable effort to record enough material to release a followup album. The lack of material also mean that the supposed non-album single 'Spoon' was attached to the end of the album. Musically CAN followed in the footsteps of 'Tago Mago' minus the most tripped out parts as heard on 'Aumgn' and 'Peking O' but instead excelled in crafting the unique hybrids that deconstructed rock and roll and infiltrated the rock energy with various styles of ethnic music. Bassist Holgar Czukay was always fascinated by Vietnamese music and the rest of the band members were equally enthralled with Middle Eastern percussion as well as music from Morocco and Bali. The results were a unique sound that continued in the making of EGE BAMYASI.

Like much of 'Tago Mago,' EGE BAMYASI's focus is on the varied percussive styles of drummer Jaki Liebezeit whose techniques corrupted the jazz world and teased them into hypnotic groove driven loops that allowed the guitar, bass and keyboards to free float around. Once again vocalist Damo Suzuki delivers a deranged lead performance with mostly unintelligible lyrics that add to the mystique as well as insinuate exorcisms on tape. The final moments of 'Soup' for example exemplify his most erratic behavior where he screams and delivers vocal anguish in the first degree. For the most part EGE BAMYASI is a more even keel release than its predecessors with a constant percussive drive leading the way and other instruments and vocals going along for the ride. The rhythms are beefier as are the diverse percussive grooves. The bass remains in a psychedelic funk mode and the guitar and keys are implemented to provide musical textures rather than develop intricate melodies.

The band also performed free concerts in order to raise awareness of its music which was met with critical acclaim and delivered the promised results. The album while not as experimental and daring as 'Tago Mago' nonetheless delivers a ceaseless supply of hypnotic Krautrock that provided danceable funk grooves that also offered the perfect psychedelic respite from the status quo of blues based rock of the era. 'Vitamin C' is an interesting track as Suzuki has moments where he screams 'Hey You' that sounds a lot like what Pink Floyd would shout out on future albums like 'The Wall.' It seems that CAN has been one of the most influential Kraut bands in all of Germany. The indie rock band Spoon took its name from the CAN single and countless artists such as Public Image Limited, Sonic Youth and even Portishead learned a thing or two from EGE BAMYASI. The album has also been a rich source of sampling.

Initially i was disappointed by EGE BAMYASI as it wasn't as freaky as 'Tago Mago' but after several listens over the years my appreciation has grown although i prefer the albums that sandwich this release. While not the most innovative CAN release, it certainly is consistent in its delivery and offers its most psychedelic deviancy in the form of the multi-part 'Soup' which offers a break from the groovy beats at key moments. The single 'Spoon' actually works quite well as the most accessible track on the end as it allows a nice comedown from the frenetic percussive rich tracks that precede it. Overall, EGE BAMYASI is a solid CAN release that may take a few spins to sink in but once it finds its foothold, it's actually quite infectious.

 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.96 | 655 ratings

BUY
Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I first encountered Can on the various-artists compilation Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era, which included "Oh Yeah" in its entirety. It wasn't the kind of song I'd skip when listening to Disc 2 of that collection, but unlike songs on that same disc by Aphrodite's Child, Van Der Graaf Generator, and Caravan, it didn't inspire me to look further into the group's music.

I'm glad that I finally listened to Tago Mago, if for no other reason than to hear "Oh Yeah" in context. The track begins with what sounds like a single thunderclap, followed by rain. But as the song follows "Mushroom" - - whose lyrics appear to refer to the atomic bombs dropped in 1945 on singer Damo Suzuki's homeland of Japan - - the rumble takes on a darker meaning. And, although they were on opposite sides of the original vinyl record, "Halleluhwah" makes perfect sense after "Oh Yeah" as a bridge between the more songlike songs on Side One and the more experimental structures of the third and fourth sides. Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, "Halleluhwah" name-checks its predecessors: "she asked me Thursday for her name / so she was to go where I was singing 'Mushroom Head,' 'Oh Yeah,' 'Paperhouse" / I wonder what I should do."

Indeed, those are the most accessible songs on Tago Mago, and along with "Halleluhwah," they contain the only accessible passages on the album until the final song, "Bring Me Coffee or Tea." That's not to say Tago Mago is mainstream, though. As a pastiche of Electronic Meditation, American funk, and Stockhausen, it's not exactly radio fare. In a classic illustration of the necessity to far exceed existing norms in order to discover how much is too much, the two remaining songs, "Aumgn" and "Peking O," constitute nearly thirty minutes of avant-garde sound, most of it nonmusical.

Tago Mago is also a textbook example of the overdone double album which would've made a good single album. But it's not padded throughout la Tales from Topographic Oceans; like Ummagumma, Tago Mago has a very good first disc and a weak second one.

Any discussion of the strengths of the album, and the first disc in particular, has to include Jaki Liebezeit's drumming, which has to be some of the best drumming on any Krautrock record of the period. Suzuki's vocals include mention as well. Although they're not great per se, they form a great musical and rhythmic component of the music on Disc One. They're well-arranged and are treated and mixed in a way that integrates them perfectly into the overall sound. I get the sense that much of the innovative production here is the work of bassist Holger Czukay, whose tape editing transforms such songs as "Oh Yeah" from rambling rock jams into serious pieces of music.

In all, a good album; the first disc is on a par with the debuts of Tangerine Dream (Electronic Meditation, 1970) and Ash Ra Tempel (self-titled, released in 1971 after Tago Mago).

 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.96 | 655 ratings

BUY
Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars .

.

.

.

CAN was a band not bound to be bland but the German Krautrock band that should,

it didn't take too long to find sounds that were strong and they rocked them as hard as they could.

The wildly surreal was like taking a pill and the CAN was the band with a name,

that never sat still, the true anti-chill and the world would never be the same!

CAN - Tago Mago (1971)

When perusing the history of Germany's pioneering Krautrock bands it's almost a given that the Cologne based CAN will be perched at the top with the band's third album TAGO MAGO topping the list of not only Krautrock lists but the progressive rock album lists as well. The core quartet of two disciples of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Holger Czukay (bass, tape editing) and Irmin Schmidt (keyboards) found an unlikely chemistry with free jazz drummer Jaki Liebeszeit and guitarist Michael Karoli whose disparate musical resumes conspired to morph into a refreshing new explosive burst of creative uninhibitedness when the band was founded in 1968. Soon another unlikely candidate for lead vocalist joined the ranks as American soul and funk bro singer and poet Malcom Mooney joined the team for the band's first three recordings: "Monster Movie," "Soundtracks" and the archival release "Delayed."


Due to the bizarre direction of CAN's musical evolution, Mooney was suffering nervous breakdowns and was advised by his psychologist to run far away from the mind bending sounds that CAN was crafting. He agreed and parted ways and left a huge gap in the band's developing stylistic stamp on the German scene. Never afraid to explore new territories, the band not only reveled in musical unconventionalities but found Mooney's replacement by spontaneously inviting a Japanese busking musician named Damo Suzuki to join the band merely by hearing him perform while sitting at a street cafe in Munich. With Suzuki's Japanese eccentricities added to the lineup, CAN was poised to become one of the best known bands of the Krautrock era and would soon release a string of some of prog's most critically acclaimed and experimental albums of the entire 70s scene. The newly complete band headed off to a castle in Cologne to record the third album TAGO MAGO, named after a tiny island off the coast of Ibiza, Spain.

TAGO MAGO is an album of extremes. Originally released as a double LP in 1971 the album covered all grounds ranging from rhythmic funk infused rhythmic space rock to pure avant-garde noise fueled by insane jazz improvisation and hitherto unheard sounds emerging from the most sophisticated electronic tape editing techniques set to an album with the genre of rock music. TAGO MAGO was one of the most extreme albums of the era and remains so even within CAN's own long lasting career. To give the album some context, some band members were obsessed with occult themes and Aleister Crowley as if using sound to perform sonic rituals of sort along with a slew of ethnic influences such as Western African percussions and bizarre atmospheric hypnotic weirdness cohabiting with more digestible musical structures such as rock, funk and jazz.

The album begins rather innocently. Avant-funk for sure but easy enough to grasp hold of. "Paperhouse" starts off with some weird noisy reverberation but quickly snaps into a funky groove based melodic bluesy rock number that sounded somewhat like an intoxicated version of The Rolling Stones with a really adventurous keyboardist along for the ride! "Mushroom" starts to take on new personas where Suzuki finds a bit more room to shift his vocals around the more structured tight jam of the bass and drums however the guitar creates some trippy weirdness and it's easy to hear why TAGO MAGO has been cited as a major influence for post-punk and more adventurous alternative rock bands like Radiohead that would take the world by storm in the future. "Oh Yeah" begins with an explosive thunder and lightning storm but continues the hypnotic avant-funk based grooves and continues the tight jam with the keyboards offering the psychedelic freakery in the form of bizarre sounds emerging.

The original side 2 consisted solely of the 18 minute and a half monstrosity "Halleluhwah" which provided a bridge between the "normal" part of the album and the inter-dimensional freakery that followed. Beginning something like a mix of the proto-punk psychedelic nonchalantness of the Velvet Underground only with a more bluesy funk groove, the track finds the band slowly but surely escaping the gravitational pull of conventionality and culminates with the incessant drum bombast at full power and the melodic and atmospheric elements reaching full tempest-tossed furor. And then the acid kicks in. Yes, that's the only way one can describe TAGO MAGO. Sides 1 and 2 are like a ritualistic precursor that summons the entities from who knows where. In preparation the band seemingly took peyote, LSD, ample amounts of booze, cocaine and who knows what else. Somewhere during "Halleluhwah" the drugs kicked in but by the time TAGO MAGO reaches the 17 and a half minute "Aumgn," the band seemed to have astral planed on a true shamanic journey into a seemingly alternative universe where all the rules had been thrown on their head and all one can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

"Aumgn" begins the psychic detachment from reality with a series of reverberating echoey sounds offering a multi-layered sonic structural approach that is freaky as hell yet retains just enough of the rest of the album's underpinnings to latch onto well at least after the proper training has been learned. Yes, this track retrains a latent rhythmic pulse of the avant-funk grooves however it has been buried underneath a parade of freaky ambient sounds, overlaying counterpoints, hypnotic weirdness and eerie vocal moaning as well as avant-garde violin scratches and a never ending supply of eldritch disconnect that will either make you have the worst trip of your life or find the true divine oneness with the universe. "Peking-O" continues the freakfest as the astral plane journey takes on a shamanic approach with ritualistic vocal styles that culminate in horror movie type screams to sinister organs fit for the best Satanic rituals for blood sacrifice parties. Like all good party hosts, after the seemingly never-ending freakery of the album's second half, the guests are comforted to the final "Bring Me Coffee Or Tea" which ushers everyone back to the real world before the psyche-splitting wild ride began. Damn. What did we just here?

TAGO MAGO is like an initiation into a strange cult. Instead of slapping you in the face with a strange new world, it gently nudges you in as it seduces your freewill to jump on the roller coaster that doesn't tell you that it's on its way to the caterpillar's party in Alice In Wonderland. To create such an experience like TAGO MAGO required the most dedicated team of musicians, editors and producers that were available in 1971 because the scope of the sounds and styles on this album are off-the-charts. This is an album that requires the proper time to fully digest as it is like soaking an entire mystery school's worth of occult knowledge in it's 73 minute plus playing time (true these days it could easily fit on one CD but feels like four albums really!) Personally i have only heard this on the remastered modern day editions but i find the production was literally off the chart for the time it was recorded. The sounds are so carefully crafted and woven into a psychedelic tapestry that it still comes off as fresh as it must have been nearly five decades ago. TAGO MAGO surely isn't the easiest listening experience for newbies to embark upon but sooner or later any serious stalwarts of progressive rock will find themselves at the gates of this sonic amusement park and have their s.h.i.t. freaked out big time and if they're lucky they'll come back for seconds!

MASTERPIECE!!!

 Soundtracks by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 280 ratings

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Soundtracks
Can Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Generally when thinking of Can's early discography, Soundtracks is that one that is often forgotten, to the point where even Damo Suzuki himself claimed that the first real album by the band was Tago Mago, which makes some amount of sense given how this is a compliation of various tracks to be used for silm soundtracks. The album has less of a focus on the repetitive, hypnotic groove of Can's other albums and instead possesses a more psychedelic, conventional approach, although still with heavy kraturock leanings, especially on the 14 minute Mother Sky. Definitely underrated overall however, and an album that I count as a 'real' Can album, especially given the prominence of vocals in it making it not feel unlike a studio output.

Even the opening track, Deadlock shows a more rock oriented approach to songwriting, beginning with a powerful wail of a guitar, the vocals sounding more conventional in terms of melodic structure, compared to the more repetitive, rhythmic approach taken on albums such as Tago Mago and Ege Baymasi. Tango Whiskyman is frankly amazing, with Damo's vocals going beyond the usual weirdness they have and sounding straight up beautiful in parts, all around being a very subdued song, with even the louder parts maintaining an overarching sense of restraint. The drumming is also to be commended here, being wonderfully groovy and subtle, yet maintaining the rhythmic focus the band has. Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone is a more freeform composition, having some form of direction, but largely sounding all over the place, with each instrument seemingly going back and forth in the mix, occasionally following some sort of pattern, other times more sticking to a general tone, with the Suzuki's voice having much more of a drawl to it. The 2 songs containing Malcolm Mooney on vocals stand as the weakest on this album, Soul Desert being honestly extremely boring, with the vocals being mixed badly, and just all around sounding obnoxious, having that extremely loose quality to them that was there in Monster Movie, but without the almost manic edge to it that made them so entertaining there. The main problem with She Brings the Rain, despite the fact that it is a much better song that all around sounds lovely, is that it feels extremely out of place, not just on this record, but by this band as a whole, although I do enjoy it enough to be able to forgive this, at least to some extent. Mother Sky is easily the best song on Soundtracks, continuing Can's trend of having their long, extended jams being by far the best parts of their discography, being incredibly hypnotic and sounding as if they could go on forever. Mother Sky is no exception to this, starting off with a 2 minute guitar solo while a repetitive bassline and drum beat dominate the song, being almost constant throughout the entire song, rarely ever changing, instead throwing me into a deeper trance. This song is one of the more varied of these imporvisational, extended jams, featuring a plethora of guitar solos, stronger focus on groove, cool, memorable, catchy vocal lines, and an ever increasing intensity and sense of urgency, especially with that bassline. As said at the start of my description for this song, I feel like it could go on for ages without it losing any enjoyment from me, it's just a krautrock masterpiece, and one of Can's better songs.

While a less focused album than the three that were to come directly after this, and having a less formed identity compared to the absolute powerhouse that was to come, I enjoy this album greatly. The more rock oriented approach Can took here led to there being some killer guitar moments strewn throughout, especially on Deadlock and Mother Sky, and also meant that you got some looser moments such as Tango Whiskyman, which is undoubtedly an absolute gem. I'd recommend listening to this album after the next 2, as this is less memorable and less cohesive, but this is still undoubtedly a must hear if you enjoy Can, or just krautrock in general.

Best songs: Deadlock, Tango Whiskyman, Mother Sky (this one especially)

Weakest songs: Soul Desert

Verdict: Another great album in the discography of one of the greatest krautrock artists of all time, with shorter songs with more of a traditional structure to them, despite still being far from that, and then the absolute masterpiece of Mother Sky. Listen to Tago Mago and Ege Baymasi before this, but don't miss listening to this album.

 Monster Movie by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.81 | 344 ratings

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Monster Movie
Can Krautrock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars For those who listened to Can's later work and admired their amazingly groovy repetition in places, I feel like you'll enjoy this album greatly. While Tago Mago and the like may have had hypnotic, repetitive beats throughout the songs, this album takes it to another level in that regard, with each song almost solely being dedicated to a single rhythmic pattern and hook, and then repeated ad nauseum throughout the length of the song. As well as its extreme simplicity which ends up working wonders due to the highly groovy, hypnotic nature of the tracks, there is also a certain energy and manic quality to the songs, the latter definitely provided by the bizarre, unhinged nature of Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance.

Father Cannot Yell immediately sets the precedent for the kind of music thi album will consist of, starting off with a high pitched beeping noise while the instruments are all quickly introduced, with a creeping bassline, drumming like clockwork, and simplistic guitars. The aspect of the song that most catches my attention is the extremely irregular vocal rhythm that's present, seemingly going all over the place with little regard for tempo and time signatures, which is honestly really interesting sounding here. The only majorly shifting instrumental element of the song is that of the guitar, which sometimes becomes near cacophonous at points, with a constant ebb and flow providing for an interesting listening experience further heightened by the wonderfully quirky vocal breakdown halfway through. Mary, Mary So Contrary displays an entire other side of the band's sound, still applying the simplistic, repetitive and rhythm focused songwriting approach, but being much softer and with some more melody put in. The main thing I love about this song is that high pitched wail of the guitar, as it provides a nice bit of sonic depth to the song while the metronimic drumming continues on and on, making the back half of this song absolutely wonderful. Outside My Door, while less memorable and impressive than the previous two tracks, definitely has its own unique identity, with a surf rock style as well as a harmonica, so it's far from a complete write off. You Doo Right makes up the bulk of this album, and is definitely a strange song, taking the mentality applied to the rest of this album, but then stretching it out to 20 minutes in length, essentially providing a 20 minute long jam centred around key vocal hooks. I feel like it's pulled off quite well overall, being able to remain entertaining throughout, more or less exploring the furthest reaches of this particular groove and melody.

While some of Can's later works are definitely where I would gravitate towards, especially their excellent Tago Mago, I really love the stripped back simplicity here, and find that it's executed extremely well. Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance provides a certain charm to the albums that Damo Suzuki couldn't replicate, despite him being a far better vocalist and definitely having moments of further insanity than anything that they could dream of here. All in all, I do thoroughly enjoy this album and would strongly recommend giving it a listen after hearing the Damo Suzuki material from the band.

Best songs: Father Cannot Yell, You Doo Right

Weakest songs: Outside My Door

Verdict: Extremely repetitive, rhythm focused music with great energy in parts, while also being able to make it all sound extremely enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend starting off with the peak material of Can before moving on to this, but I do find it to be an album you should definitely listen to if you enjoyed the minimalistic nature of those albums.

 Tago Mago by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.96 | 655 ratings

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Tago Mago
Can Krautrock

Review by LedDenon21

2 stars Man... this album was really a dissapointment for me when I decide to give it a try. I dig into prog and really like the songs I already heard from CAN, Vitamin C, I'm so Green and Mushroom are really likely for me, the sick percussions and basslines, hypnotic vocals were really getting into me, but Paperhouse was my jam with the trippy guitar added to all mention afterwards and a really solid structure of the song making even the "random" beeps and boops not just listenable but yet really enjoyable; it was this song and constant recommendation of this album at the internet that made me give it a listen; the first part of the album was great for me, it had the trippy and hypnotic sound I liked from Paperhouse and the recurrent electronic madness in the songs seemed to fit in good in the tracks, but them it came Halleluwah, it was too long for his own good and it was at this point were the electronic pieces started to feel more like fillers than like complements for the songs, but the song was still tolerable, not enjoyable; then Aumgn hit in and it was when all went downhill, it was a 17 minutes song which was like 90% random electronic, when I realize that it was gonna be the entire song pure electronic randomness in repetition for 17 minutes it really turn me down, then it came Peking O and it was more random beeps and boops but louder, the last song was actually ok returning to the sound from the first songs, but the damage made by the long exposition to the nonsensecical beep sounds was already done, and making worse was the fact that the band just stuck in on purpose all that on like 40 minutes and thought it was a good idea it ends up being more of a dissapointment of what could had be a great album; Krautrock isn't a genre for everyone.
 Future Days by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.10 | 572 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars A warm, Krautrockish breeze: 9/10

FUTURE DAYS is a demonstration that even ambient music can be unique and accomplished when done correctly. CAN channeled their psychedelia in a hypnotic and immersive atmosphere, built atop several layers of electronic, synthesized and unusual sonorities. The result, a relaxed melody akin to tropical lullabies, depicts a certain degree of experimentalism without sounding absurd or downright bizarre.

So much so that, initially, it might be difficult to observe its inventive quality, which is why it's important to understand said attribute is implicit and only noticeable by an attentive ear. Yet, acknowledging that is not inherently necessary to admire the album's beauty at its plenitude. This exact detail is what makes FUTURE DAYS particularly great: it is enjoyable both as background music, thanks to its soothing unpretentiousness, and as an active listen, when it is possible to unravel the surprising complexity beneath the apparent straightforwardness.

In no moment the experience seems to have a low point; from the warm, velveted melodies of the eponymous track to Moonshake's psychedelic and eerie pop or Bel Air's impressive energy and cumulative momentum, CAN surely knows how to deliver a memorable experience.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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