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Ex Canix - Primi CD (album) cover

PRIMI

Ex Canix

 

Krautrock

3.69 | 10 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars This Swedish band began under the rather ghetto, even hip hop sounding name n Dogz but somewhere along the line since their formation in 2015 changed it to EX CANIX. While emerging from Linköping, Sweden and from the land where prog behemoths like Änglagård, Samla Mammas Manna, The Flower Kings and Anekdoten made their impressions in the prog world, EX CANIX found their inspiration not in the home grown symphonic sounds or even avant-prog but rather looked to their German neighbors in the Krautrock world of the 70s for their primary canvass to paint upon.

Krautrock was of course, the German movement that took British 60s psychedelic rock to even greater extremes but it should be remembered that Sweden was well ahead of the curve with bands like Pärson Sound capturing the same cosmic vibes as far back as 1967-68 long before Amon Duul II and Can were cranking out their own wild and tripped out sounds in Krautrock's heyday of 70-75. EX CANIX takes a lot from the playbook of this era by implementing familiar backbone rhythmic pulsations of Can, the detached spaced out grooves of Amon Duul II and even the jazzier aspects of Kraut emulating Embryo.

The opener "Can You Take Me To Tay Umago" flaunts the Can influences right off the bat. Not only with the clever reference to their famous "Tago Mago" as well as the band's name even included in the title but delivers a Can-esque percussive groove with the same sort of koschmische vibe on their trippiest releases. Add the rather aloof double electronics of Both and Håkke Müller to the mix which brings a rather early Tangerine Dream vibe along for the ride and it seems like a veritable classic German prog tribute right from the bat.

This continues with "Feed The Monster" which continues the freeform groove of bass, rather tribal percussive effects, guitar and electronics but adds special guest Shadow's sultry saxophone to the roster which brings an immediate classic Embryo vibe to the mix. Somewhat unique though is their extensive use of polyrhythms and counterpoints with the keys taking a firm independence streak by creating some off-kilter runs that find themselves in more an avant-prog or Rock In Opposition mood than gently flowing with the rest of the band.

"Slow For You" is a very ominous track as it begins with a spooky mellotron that simulate voices which brings more ethereal King Crimson to mind more than the aforementioned German influences. This one is slow and plodding. Dark and menacing with a dramatic slow doom filled percussive drive. Just add distorted guitar and perfect doom metal! There are also tinges of exotic musical scales lurking in the background. Very spaced out this one which never turns into rock at all but remains a rather airy journey through an electronic creation with a little percussive oomph.

"Out There" changes gears and enters jazz-fusion territory with very jazzy piano chords that quickly become more freeform and atonal while swarms of percussion begin to overtake it. I'm talking an irregular bombast of purposefully misdirected pummelation. It subsides and fades out. "Minetta" sounds like another jazz inspired Krautrock track from the Embryo camp whereas the lengthy ten and a half minute "Dreamland" takes the jazzy aspects of Embryo and marries it with oscillating electronica and tribal Can-like percussive drive. "In The Can," another Can reference, brings some xylophone sounds and jungle animal replications to the forefront with a steady bass groove and tropical island feel.

EX CANIX isn't just a retro prog album of youngsters worshipping their heroes but rather a collection of seasoned musicians who have been playing in different scenes since the 70s therefore a lot of what came from the golden era has carried on to the present. While EX CANIX doesn't really reinvent the wheel in many ways, they managed to create a nice supplemental fix of 70s psychedelia. This is totally instrumental so the cosmic journey throughout the sonic sphere is unimpeded by human linguistics. PRIMI shouldn't be considered cutting edge in any possible way, but it is a great album to simply get lost in and just let the music flow without expectations. Appreciation for the subtleties is what makes this worthy as the tiniest details are what animates this one.

3.5 but i'll round up for this one

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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