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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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CAN discography


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

3.80 | 370 ratings
Monster Movie
1969
3.84 | 306 ratings
Soundtracks
1970
3.97 | 702 ratings
Tago Mago
1971
3.94 | 480 ratings
Ege Bamyasi
1972
4.11 | 623 ratings
Future Days
1973
2.96 | 20 ratings
Limited Edition
1974
3.68 | 235 ratings
Soon over Babaluma
1974
3.52 | 149 ratings
Landed
1975
3.59 | 64 ratings
Unlimited Edition
1976
2.96 | 121 ratings
Flow Motion
1976
3.33 | 117 ratings
Saw Delight
1977
2.41 | 90 ratings
Out Of Reach
1978
2.69 | 93 ratings
Can [Aka: Inner Space]
1978
3.60 | 145 ratings
Delay 1968
1981
3.04 | 74 ratings
Rite Time
1989

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

4.17 | 52 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1995
4.09 | 35 ratings
Box Music (Live 1971-1977)
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Stuttgart 1975
2021

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
4.11 | 9 ratings
Cannibalism 2
1990
4.59 | 26 ratings
Can Anthology
1994
3.60 | 5 ratings
Cannibalism 3
1994
3.04 | 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
4.10 | 61 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
2.14 | 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
 Future Days by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 623 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars It's not easy to talk about an album like Can's Future Days. In addition to being the fifth work of Holger Czucay & associates, Future Days is a pure concentrate of genius and experimentation, for a result that is simply unthinkable for any record of any band. At least in 1973. In short, whether they are Terminators sent back in time or simply incredible precursors, Can manage to produce a stratospheric and absolutely perfect album, at least thirty years ahead of any work of that period, and still a source of inspiration today ( and "looting") for numerous artists of the contemporary music scene.

Four tracks for thirty-four minutes of total duration, the Can recipe, apparently, seems disengaged and within everyone's reach, but a thorough analysis of their music is enough to discourage such a simplistic approach to everything. Just listen to the long initial title track, in fact, to get carried away by its explosive nine minutes, based on dance and obsessive funk rhythms, hypnotic percussion and infinite progressions with a vague jazz-fusion flavor, for which the simple definition of "rock free-form "seems to be tighter than ever. The following and short "Spray" and "Moonshake" are two pearls of rare splendor, the first characterized by a jazz-percussive delirium, the second by sonic minimalism, frenetic rhythms and by the usual engaging guitar by Michael Karoli, which almost acts as a background , a futuristic electro-funk at the service of the almost whispered voice of Damo Suzuki. From applause. But the best is yet to come, and we find it in the final and interminable "Bel Air", crazy twenty-minute suite, in which the cosmic rock of Can reaches perfection, thanks above all to the incredible performances to the skins of the superlative Jaki Liebezeit.

And so we come to the end, between supersmooth guitars, crazy rhythms and birds chirping (yes, you got it right !!), with the desire to listen to this absolute masterpiece over and over again, to discover all its nuances, even the most hidden ones. , and to try to understand what was going on in the mind of Czukay & company in the early '70s. A monumental work, in short, this Future Days, a direct development of the sonic evolutions already proposed to us with the previous Ege Bamyasi and, above all, the definitive consecration of Can in the legend, their definitive access into that history of music which, at times, it does not pay proper homage to psychotics of this caliber. Essential.

 Soon over Babaluma by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.68 | 235 ratings

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Soon over Babaluma
Can Krautrock

Review by Sachis

3 stars "Soon over Babaluma" is another product from CAN golden era (not at so high level than its predecessors ("Future days" or "Tago Mago", for example...). As a big fan of the famous krautrockers, the music from this album is rather complex, a mix between psychedelia, groove and even proto-trance music. Michael Karoli' s strange voice is a landmark on the first and the last two tracks ( I miss a little bit Damo Suzuki's voice, however- that's the situation, IMO, Suzuki had a big impact in the band!). Irmin Schmidt crying voice on "Come sta, la Luna" is another piece of art. "Splash" is a good instrumental song, very nice with a good violin and guitar work! For me, the favourite tracks are the last two "Chain reaction" and " Quantum physics". Interesting percussion work, combined with a hypnotic rhythm, everything ending in last four minutes of ambient sound and strange noise from the space! Great final of an album!

3 stars only!

 The Lost Tapes by CAN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
4.10 | 61 ratings

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The Lost Tapes
Can Krautrock

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

4 stars As one of Germany's most successful bands to emerge from the wild and crazy Krautrock scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s, CAN has endured like few others have with a never-ending interest in this Cologne based band's bizarre blend of avant-funk and electronic experimentalism. Known for recording pretty much everything they played from early morning to the wee hours of the night, CAN amassed a huge arsenal of extra material that didn't make it onto their official albums starting all the way back with 1976's "Unlimited Edition" which collected the flotsam and jetsam and forged a veritable spectrum of sonic exploration even more so than what CAN would release on its so-called "normal" albums.

But wait? there's more! If that wasn't enough CAN also found a posthumous release of its earliest inception with Malcom Mooney at the singer's helm in the form of 1981's spectacular early offerings in the form of "Delay 1968," however was it really fair to assume that CAN had even more hidden gems tucked away in the cookie jar just waiting to give the fans a sweet treat that they just couldn't seem to get enough of? Well, i would assume not but lo and behold this prolific band was relentless in the studio having crafted one musical Frankenstein after another with some to be included for film soundtracks that never came to be while others were just spontaneous bouts of weirdness that faded as fast as they were forged and forever forgotten until Irmin Schmidt's insistent wife Hildegard coaxed the band to revisit a stash of poorly marked tapes in the vaults.

To the band's surprise there were a whopping 50 hours of material lingering in those dark recesses for over three decades like fine wine gaining more character every passing year in the hopes of offering that perfect odiferous bouquet. To Schmidt's chagrin, he was strongly compelled to seek out any diamonds in the rough before time had permanently rendered them dust in the wind. And so he did with his trusted son-in-law Jono Podmore at his side reliving those magic moments that were fleeting but brought back to life with loving care and finally released as a 3-CD boxed set titled THE LOST TAPES in 2012. Who said the Mayan calendar ending was a bad thing? Part of the story includes the CAN studio Wallerswist having been sold to the German Rock N Pop Museum where every artifact was lovingly accounted for and relocated to the city of Gronau. Little did anyone know that there were treasures lurking in the Spoon Records archive and so the arduous task of selection began.

THE LOST TAPES is a veritable tribute to CAN's more experimental playful side spanning the band's entire career from 1968 to 1977 and includes both singers Malcom Mooney and Damo Suzuki along with the many band members themselves. The tracks can roughly be divided into a few general categories. Firstly there are those such as the opening "Millionspiel" and the majority of Disc 1 that encompasses the traditional expected CAN sounds that include that familiar avant-funk bass grooves along with hints of 60s rock and roll, 70s Krautrock and the deliciously wild electronic extravaganzas that took it all to the cosmos and back. Secondly are tidbits of pure escapist's bliss in electronic soundscapes such as "When Darkness Comes." These tracks are far outside the parameter of what CAN released on its albums and sound more like the bleak industrial electronica that would take off in the 1980s with bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten. Thirdly an excellent repertoire of unreleased live performances that showed CAN in its prime and was far from a studio only band.

With a playing time of roughly 196 minutes, THE LOST TAPES is a massive sprawling collection of music that proves impossible to take in on a single listen but who would really want to. Tracks range from short musical instrumentals such "Oscura Primavera", the electronic mind[%*!#]ery "The Loop" to the proto-punk outbursts in the form of the Hendrix-ish "Midnight Sky." Others such as "Graublau," "Dead Pigeon Suite" and "Abra Cada Braxas" showcase the band's lengthy jamming tendencies laced with lysergic atmospherics and tight-knit guitar / bass / drum rock heft. The tracks are displayed roughly in chronologic order from the earliest 60s material to the late 70s but various live tracks are intermittently dispersed seemingly in a random fashion as to break things up.

This should truly be considered one for the true fans except for the fact that the material presented on THE LOST TAPES is of equal caliber to just about anything CAN had unleashed on its primary albums with the possible exception of the outstanding uniqueness of "Tago Mago." While it sounds like 3 discs of unreleased CAN material could result in a rather uneventful listening experience, it comes as quite a surprise that this set of 30 tracks is extremely high in quality with really nothing standing out as substandard. After all there were at least 50 hours of music to choose from so the fact that this collection had been whittled down to a mere 3 hours plus ensured that only the cream of the crop was resurrected from its catacomb where it lay dormant for so very long. While i rarely get excited about triple disckers of archival forgotten material, THE LOST TAPES is certainly the exception as this collection not only stands up to CAN's classic material but also shows the more explorative nature of the band that was too wild even for the already extreme explorative nature of the primetime heyday of the band. An excellent treasure find this sure was!

 Saw Delight by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.33 | 117 ratings

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Saw Delight
Can Krautrock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Saw Delight" is the 9th full-length studio album by German krautrock act Can. The album was released through Harvest/Virgin Records in March 1977. It's the successor to "Flow Motion" from October 1976, so there's only 5 months between the two album releases. There have been two lineup changes since the predecessor as the quartet who recorded "Flow Motion (1976)" have now been joined by the two former members of Traffic, Jamaican bassist Rosko Gee and Ghanasian percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baa. Regular bassist Holger Czukay doesn't play bass on "Saw Delight", but has switched to performing experimental electronic effects and noises.

While Can definitely experimented with new musical elements on "Flow Motion (1976)", particularly reggae rhythms, but also the odd nod towards country music, the inclusion of the two new members results in an even more broadly embracing a world music atmosphere on "Saw Delight". "Saw Delight" is a highly rhythmic album with the drums and the percussion driving the music forward. The repetitive, psychadelic, and laid back nature of Can's music is intact, so vocals are still sparse (the lyrics are typically very few and repeated) and the focus is predominantly on the instrumental part of the music.

Other than the sporadic vocal parts the tracks mostly sounds like they are structured jams, or at least created while jamming over the organic driving beats. There are hooks here and there, but otherwise most of the music sounds like six guys toying around with various timbres, sounds, and effects. The music is certainly experimental, but not necessarily inaccessible and difficult to listen to. The main issue here is more that the tracks really aren't that memorable and that many of the sound experiments aren't that interesting, which makes most of the album go by without much to hold on to. So to my ears the main attraction here are the hypnotic rhythmic playing, and that part of the music is indeed both adventurous and powerful.

"Saw Delight" features a well sounding and nicely organic production job, and upon conclusion it's a decent quality release by Can. Compared to some of their preceding releases it pales some though, and it's hard not to think that the quality and the mind-bending psychadelic musical ideas of the past are now behind the band, and that they sound a bit like a pale version of themselves. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

 Delay 1968 by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.60 | 145 ratings

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Delay 1968
Can Krautrock

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

4 stars The origins of CAN date as far back as far as 1966 when keyboardist Irwin Schmidt made a journey to New York City and spent time with avant-garde musicians like Steve Reich, La Monte Young and Terry Riley. The experience made such an impression that once he returned back to his native Cologne, Germany, Schmidt sought out kindred spirits which resulted in his forming a band with flautist David Johnson and music teacher / bassist Holger Czukay. While these three were heavily steeped in the avant-garde world of 20th century classical music with a particular interest in Karlheinz Stockhausen, soon they would meet the more jazz oriented guitarist Michael Karoli and drummer Jaki Liebezeit. After the band name Inner Space was rejected, the members agreed upon The Can but shortened it to CAN which supposedly was an acronym for Communism, Anarchism, Nihilism.

While a legend was born in 1968 when this band officially formed, the world wasn't exactly ready for these guys' forward thinking stylistic approach so once the band acquired American vocalist Malcolm Mooney and started to record enough material for a debut album, the band had plans to release it under the album title "Prepared To Meet Thy Pnoom" which referred to a 26 second jittery track that was to appear in second place on the album. With all the material finished and ready to ship off to the market, CAN faced the dilemma that no record company was interested in releasing it and although the band would be one of Germany's biggest Krautrock successes a mere few years in the future, in 1968 the band was utterly rejected and had to scrap the idea of releasing the "Pnoom" album and started from scratch which would ultimately lead to 1969's official debut album "Monster Movie."

Having sat on the shelves for well over a decade after CAN had sailed through the 70s as Germany's greatest psychedelic export, the band revisited the idea of releasing "Pnoom" and finally in 1981 the material that was supposed to appear on that phantom debut album finally saw the light of day only under the title DELAY 1968. The material presented on DELAY includes CAN's earliest known recordings and some much needed extra performances from CAN's first singer Malcom Mooney who only stuck around for the "Monster Movie" and "Soundtracks" albums before leaving the band due to mental instability. The album actually did make the rounds as a bootleg for years under the title "Unopened" but in 1981 this official release on the Spoon Records label finally made all those crappy second rate recordings obsolete and was rightfully remastered and given the royal treatment. The efforts were well worth it.

While not quite reaching the furthest out there trips as heard on albums like "Tago Mago," CAN did establish its unique sound right from the getgo with that distinct mix of psychedelic garage rock, funk, noise and hypnotic grooviness. DELAY is a vocal oriented album and features exquisite vocal performances by Malcolm Mooney who sounded like a less stable version of Jimi Hendrix at times but added a unique edge to the band that set them apart from the competition from the very start. DELAY features the recognizable hypnotic bass grooves of Holger Czukey which worked perfectly with Liebezeit's drumming creativity. Michael Karoli also added some of the band's earliest psychedelic guitar antics with Irwin Schmidt providing the perfect spaced out atmospheric touches, however this music is more based on some kind of garage funk rock than what would be considered Krautrock in the near future.

"Butterfly" starts things off with bantering guitar heft, a trait that has earned CAN the distinction as one of the primary influences for the 70s punk sound however the grooves are repetitive and hypnotic with a touch of organ notes tweaking the overall effect and leading things into the psychedelic zone. The "Pnoom" track at 26 seconds is certainly the anomaly of the bunch and is nothing more than a jazzy drumming session with a bass groove and what sounds like horn squawks but no credits are given as to what the instrument actually is. The rest of the album is a form of avant-funk with some reminding me of what the Red Hot Chili Peppers would eventually sound like. The final track "Little Star Of Bethlehem" for example sounds exactly like what Anthony KIedis and boys would sound like on the track "Walkabout" from the "One Hot Minute" album only almost 30 years prior.

For those only into the most intense Krautrock sessions that CAN conjured up, you probably won't dig this too much but for those who can dig the avant-funk with an erratic vocal style that pretty much occupied a place on every CAN album then this one won't disappoint at all. In fact this one is really good with a unique flavor all its own and DELAY actually sounds like something from the early 70s rather from the early year of 1968. While hind sight is always 20/20 and i'm sure the record companies would've jumped all over this had they been able to predict the Krautrock years just around the corner, i can only be thankful that CAN has released a lot of these locked up gems because some of the material on not only DELAY 1968 but albums like "The Lost Tapes" is some of the best stuff the band ever did. These forgotten relics are very much a must for any true fan of CAN not only for connecting the dots to the band's origins but simply because these seven tracks are really, really good!

 Future Days by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 623 ratings

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Future Days
Can Krautrock

Review by Lieutenant_Lan

3 stars Future Days is the fourth studio album of German band Can which released in August of 1973. I find this album very interesting, it can be relaxing but it can also be dissonant, and I do not really see a point in it. The instrumentation is mostly good, but kind of boring, but I supposed I could relax to it. The production and mix is not the greatest, especially the vocals, you cant really hear the vocals at all. The album isn't bad, but I wouldn't really care to listen to it again. I can only grant it a 3/5. Not essential in any collection in my opinion.
 Unlimited Edition by CAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.59 | 64 ratings

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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
2.96 | 20 ratings

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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
4.11 | 623 ratings

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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
3.94 | 480 ratings

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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.

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

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