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Holger Czukay


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Holger Czukay Movies album cover
3.84 | 46 ratings | 8 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cool in the pool (4:59)
2. Oh Lord give us more money (13:20)
3. Persian Love (6:22)
4. Hollywood Symphony (15:02)

Total Time: 39:43

Bonus track on 2007 & 2016 reissues:
5. Cool in the Pool (Instrumental) (4:57)

Line-up / Musicians

- Holger Czukay / vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, bass, French horn, producer

- Rebop Kwaku Baah / organ ? (1)
- Michael Karoli / guitar (2)
- Irmin Schmidt / grand piano (2)
- Jaki Liebezeit / drums, congas

Releases information

Artwork: Herman Schulte (photo)

LP EMI Electrola ‎- 1C 064-45 7 (1979, Germany)

CD Spoon Records - SPOON CD 35 (1998, Germany)
CD Revisited Rec. ‎- REV 083 (2007, Germany) With a bonus track
CD Grönland Records ‎- CDGRON158 (2016, Europe) Remastered (?) w/ bonus track and new cover

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HOLGER CZUKAY Movies ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HOLGER CZUKAY Movies reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Welcome to Czukay's unique and fantasist musical universe. Czukay's first solo album after his departure from Can. Recorded with the collaboration of Can's family members (Irmin Schmidt, Michael Karoli) this album features 4 original, very distinct, intriguing songs which develops Czukay's aptitude to combine alternative sounds to synth / guitar experimentations (from world to a funk, jazzy felt). Taken from diverse sources (TV, radio...) many electronic collages & samplings enrich the compositions and give to them something special, rather unconventional. Discreet, floating pop vocals accompany the instrumental sections. The sound of the album is still fresh & modern. All tracks include a lot of changes and progressions in themes and materials. A few of them have a nice, satiric, hilarious flavour as in the funkadelic & rhythmical "Cool in the Pool" . "Oh Lord give us more money "is my favourite song on this one; a personal, fuzzy, detached and jazzy tune. "Persian Love" is directly influenced by Arabic music with traditional vocals and percussions augmented by different electronic samples. A complex album which needs several listenings before giving a proper judgement! Just be careful, this recording has its soft moments. For prog-heads I warmly advise the revolutionary "Canaxis".
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars On Hoger Czukay's solo albums you can hear the elements that he brought to Can. With his departure, most of the interesting embellishments seemed to vanish from their recordings. this was Czukay's first album after leaving the group, and the Can sound is still quite evident (it helps that Jaki Liebezeit plays drums throughout and Michael Karoli and Irmin Schmidt play on Oh Lord Give Us more Money.

Cool In The Pool would almost be pop, if it wasn't for all of the odd sounds Czukay throws in. The above mentioned Oh Lord Give Us more Money is a spacy little piece. Persian Love is a pleasant little song that manages to mix Middle Eastern themes with what sounds like a Carribean inspired guitar. And Hollywood Symphony is a laid back but typically weird groovy song.

So if you're a Canatic, I'd recommend this album

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A sprightly and bouncy little album by 'Can' front-man Holger Czukay. One thing you certainly can't call this is minimal. 'Movies' is jam packed with early sampling techniques, some Holger vocals, a very 'Can' like bass and multiple guitar sounds provided by Michael Karoli.

This is the most 'Can' sounding of all the solo efforts by the legendary band. 'Cool in the Pool' is quite eccentric and funky, but sounds really odd with vocals that are occasionally sped up where Czukay sounds like a garden gnome on speed.

'Movies' is a colourful album with a lot going on and is very well recorded, hitting off that most difficult of tasks - making everything sound controlled and spacious amidst the variety of sounds thrust in your face.

On the down side many may find it a bit lame with a lack of tension after hearing the wild approach that 'Can' held in the early 70's. However, this is made up for with his multiple radio snippets and continually morphing non linear background effects. There's an array of eclectic sounds that just pop up out of the blue for a few seconds before disappearing for good. It's this kind of approach that makes me return to this album again and again.

A good 'sunny' album that is really quite uplifting, sometimes disjointed, but unusual at the same time.

Review by stefro
5 stars An extraordinary and virtually unclassifiable piece of work, the second solo effort from Can bassist-and-founder Holger Czukay positively brims with technical assurance and a luminous, multi-genre vibrancy rarely found in modern popular music. Essentially a mixture of samples and beats combined with a world fusion aesthetic, much studio fiddling and a genial dash of welcome humour, 'Movies' proves a spectacular fusion of stylesa nd arguably the key work of its creator. Already partly-responsible for creating some of the most original and brilliant music of modern times during his time with Can, 'Movies' was actually Czukay's second solo effort, coming a full decade after 'Canaxis', his bizarre and occasionally beautiful debut from 1969. Whilst that album - which was also pieced together from various scraps of samples and radio recordings - proved a somewhat difficult listen, 'Movies' is anything but. Humorous, catchy and utterly fascinating, this the kind of album that showcases the right kind of curious experimentation, with Czukay leading the listener through a merry dance of sounds, textures and styles without ever forgetting the key rock music ingredients. Featuring four tracks - including the seminal ethnic electro-swirl of 'Persian Love' - 'Movies' is that rare beast: an album that truly lives up to all the hype. Outstanding. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
Review by Lewian
5 stars This album is an absolute landmark. Never before and rarely after has sampling been used on such a scale in a rock music context, and of course this is 1979, samples were not yet available to everyone at the tip of a button. Holger Czukay by the time had build up a huge private archive of recordings from all over the world which he was harnessing here, and after having left Can he spent about a year pretty exclusively working on this if I'm well informed. The songs are packed with such samples hand-woven in, mixed and remixed several times; in "Persian Love" he even creates a totally new melody from an Iranian (?) love song picked up on the radio. The influence of this album was immense; 5 years later samples would be all over the place. In 1980 Brian Eno and David Byrne did another groundbreaking album in this direction, "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts", which got much wider knowledge and can be seen as the point from which this stuff became really cool and thousands of musicians got into it, but Eno and Byrne had by the time heard Czukay's one and Eno has credited him as a major influence on theirs.

"My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" was certainly easier to access in the late seventies/early eighties trend to more compact, transparent and shorter compositions, and in this respect "Movies" is still a proper work of the prog era with four tracks, two of which are substantially longer than 10 minutes, with many different parts, twists and turns. Apart from the pioneering use of samples, this album is unique and special in many respects. "Cool in the Pool" is a fun opener, something of a joke actually, but hardly ever has a joke been produced with so much depth, attention to detail and musical innovation. Apart from its easy going (but not simple) melody it is an absolute showcase for how to use sampling effectively, they spring out left and right around you, such a joy! "Oh Lord Give Us More Money" has Irmin Schmidt, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit on it (the latter ennobles all four tracks with his unmistakeable drumming and percussion), and is a 1979 version of Can that is far more convincing than what was produced under the band name after Holger left, or actually since their strongest period ending with "Soon Over Babaluma". The use of samples is more restricted here than elsewhere (mostly concentrated in the middle part that has something of a "sampling solo") and instead we get an intricate progressive piece of music; some of the sampling is probably a re-working of the recording sessions and therefore not quite as "in your face" as on the other tracks. Holger was always obsessed with mixing and the whole piece sounds just marvellous, a multilayered feast of keyboards and guitars with bass and drums swinging as ever in Can. Then the already mentioned "Persian Love", which could be something of a romantic ballad, as which it works to some extent, were it not for the striking effect of the short wave singing hacked to pieces and pieced together again in a totally different way. And once more the chord changes are not a trivial matter either. "Hollywood Symphony" is the longest track, its style and effect are somewhat similar to "Oh Lord...", a bit slower and more contemplative (over most of its distance) with some more focus on the sampling, the variety of sounds, and also with more contrast between the different parts.

Holger himself sings on all tracks but "Persian Love" and he is certainly not a singer, however his humorous and enthusiastic rendering fits the material well. Another aspect that I love about this album and that I have hardly seen mentioned anywhere is that apart from his well known abilities as a bassist his keyboard and guitar playing are not virtuoso but very inventive and original and the mix makes sure they sound great.

Apart from it being such an influence on music as a whole, I have loved this album from the beginning, and after hundreds of spins still I discover new things on it every time. The richness of details is just stunning. Overall, mood-wise this is rather light and positive music that gets its weight from the plethora of things going on rather than from trying to sound serious. In any case it also has an emotional depth that speaks to me, although this maybe requires some digging for all the light-hearted humour. This is my default nomination as a "favourite album of all time". Despite this, one may find things to criticise, particularly (if as a listener not enough obsessed with appreciating all the tiny details) the odd part may seem overlong; and I would have loved loved loved to hear this one with vocals by Peter Gabriel, but you can't have it all, can you?

Still this album is a living creature that continues to grow still 40 years later. It has been number one on my personal list pretty reliably throughout at least 30 of these years.

I should note that Groenland records has published a reissue under the title "Movie!" in 2016 and I haven't checked that one out. You may call me an ignorant but I am hardly ever motivated to check out reissues of albums that I already have and love as they are, and be it my number one album of all time. However, Holger once said that reissues bore him, and that all his "reissues" are actually reworkings with some (at least in his obsessed sound perfectionist view) substantial improvements. So I probably should listen to it to spot the differences and see whether it's even better in some sense. Not sure how much reworking was done on this one, though, because this came at a time when Holger had already largely stopped working as far as I know, and sadly only about one year more to live.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Holger Czukay the CAN bassist has released a lot of solo albums over the years, this happens to be the third one I've reviewed and my least favourite by far of those three. Loved his "Canaxis 5" release from the late 60's and to a lesser extent "Full Circle" from 1982 but this particular album goes places I do not like. Lots of humour and of course sampling. Everyone from CAN but their vocalist is involved on one track here while Jaki Liebezeit does play drums and congas throughout. Holger thanks John Foxx of ULTRAVOX for pushing him to finish this album when he wanted to give up. This was released in 1979.

Up first is "Cool In The Pool" a poppy and humerous tune that I cannot hardly stand(haha). Catchy but lame especially the vocals of Holger and the lyrics. Oh my! Lots of silliness late. So yes this is getting off on the wrong foot big time. "Oh Lord Give Us More Money" has all the CAN guys helping out but Damo. Sadly Holger's vocals really disappoint. Lots of repetitive beats, synths and guitars. It kicks in loudly after 3 minutes with vocals almost shouting the words. Samples before 4 1/2 minutes go on for some time then more vocals. We get an extended instrumental section late.

"Persian Love" actually does work sounding very much like a Persian love song with male and female vocals. It's kind of cool actually and my favourite from the album. "Hollywood Symphony" is the longest tune at 15 1/2 minutes but I'm not convinced. We get vocals in a strange soundscape and synths give us this orchestral vibe. Suddenly before 2 1/2 minutes we get random snippets of Hollywood movies. This is all over the place though and I'm just not into it at all.

So I would recommend "Canaxix 5" and "Full Circle" to anyone wanting to check out Holger's solo stuff but for my tastes this was a disappointment. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Oh, my God, this is Heaven, which has nothing to do with 7-11. This is a 4.5 kind of deal, but five stars is just as fair, especially since I don't see my calculator having a 3 in the integer part. So, basically, we have this veteran bass guitarist/sound painter and a bunch of guys who altoge ... (read more)

Report this review (#699141) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very good krautrock-experimental album with a strong use of electronics. All familiar with Can's discography may notice some similarities (Schmidt and Karoli are involved here), but it's not dominant and here is a unique work. Moments from Future days album, or "Animal Waves" song from t ... (read more)

Report this review (#503325) | Posted by dr.oblivion | Monday, August 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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