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Can - Tago Mago CD (album) cover





3.97 | 680 ratings

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5 stars I have not always though that Can's "Tago Mago" was a masterpiece. At first, i didn't even like it. However, i did not give up on it, and when i finally came around, it changed my view on music completely. First of all, there is not a lot of emotion going on in Can's music. Can is not about lyrics, they're not about melody, not guitar solos or keyboard runs. If you expect an atmospheric piece of ambient music for relaxation la Agaetis Byrjun by Sigur Ros, then Tago Mago is as far from what you're looking for as possible. Can is about rhuthm. Hard, pounding rhythm, which will knock on the door to your mind with such might that you will eventually have to let it in, and then it fills you up completely with its infectious drum grooves, japanese backwards-singing, slowed-down mantras and all other psychedelic madness packed into the krautrock masterpiede which is Tago Mago.

The first halv of the album is easily the most accessible, and pretty straight-forward (by Can standards). Four songs for both mind and body (prog is not always the most danceable music genres, but Oh Yeah would fit like a glove on the dance floor). Heavy, repetitious drum grooves, schizofrenic singing, electronic sound effects and floating guitar are the common denominators for songs 1 through 4.

Disc 2, that's where it gets really interesting, and also where most people give up on the album. I understand that. There's no denying that Aumgn and Peking O are two highly experimental compositions, with almost none of the danceability or almost-melody which were present previously. I would not blame anyone for thinking they are a waste of time and album space and take away a star or two from their rating, or simply choose to skip them completely every time they listen to the album. I myself almost never listen to the whole thing at the same time, it's always either disc 1 or disc 2 depending on my mood. A while ago, however, i was almost never in the mood for disc 2 and it took me some of Godspeed you! Black Emperor's more "noisy" compositions for me to get the hang on the unmelodic behemoth that is Aumgn. I don't think that i would have bothered, however, if it wasn't for the return of Jaki Liebzeit (drummer) during the last 5 minutes of the track, when he delivers a drum "solo" which is enough to make you wonder if the world is still outide your window. And then, of course, Peking O is even more experimental. A hilarious track, with a drum machine on speed and Damo Suzuki on a sugar rush. Has to be experienced to be believed.

In short, not an album you go round humming all days, but if you're ready to take your mind for a ride, you will HAVE to check this one out. Plus, the sound on the remasterd SACD-edition is really great.

Evans | 5/5 |


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