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Tago Mago
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Tago Mago

1 Oct. 2013 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £9.48 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 13 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This must be my sixth attempt to write a review of Tago Mago, Can's third album, which is far and away the most difficult album to write about that I have ever encountered. It's dense and confounding. It profoundly challenges the concept of music. It is the closest one can come to a sound recording of the mental processes of dementia. And it is utter, utter genius.
If Amazon would let me, I would give Tago Mago eleven stars. Never mind the fact that it's not the most accessible of Can's albums (that would be Soundtracks), or the most disciplined (see Ege Bamyasi.) I can't even say with conviction that it's their best work. But what I do know for certain is that Can's reputation for musical radicalism, avant-garde experiments, and free sound structure, is almost entirely based on Tago Mago, on which the German boys take rock music from its bases in Britain and America and launch it to Neptune.
Tago Mago is so daring, imaginative, and downright schizophrenic that it makes everything else that Can ever did seem tame and safe by comparison. It's often seen as a deliberate concept album about the path from sanity to absolute madness; I don't know how deliberate the concept was, but it certainly works. You can hear order and stability be dissected, exploded, and rebuilt completely.
The proceedings start off with "Paperhouse," a hypnotic song in a slow, bluesy groove that builds to a frenetic, almost desperate shout of sound, drums pounding with tremendous insistence, electronics offering bloopy bleeps here and there, and guitar and bass trying to maintain some sense of melody to keep the whole thing from deteriorating into mad chaos. After seven and a half minutes it dissolves into "Mushroom," a funky midtempo that is fairly consistent.
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Format: MP3 Download
Being a bit of a musical adventurer, I considered my discovery of Captain Beefheart as my zenith, perhaps the end of a journey into the true 'out there' artisans. However....

I had read in a number of magazines about the work of Can, a seminal band of experimentalists schooled on Stockhausen and musical extremes. It was not without little fear that I purchased this album and sat back expecting to have to survive its content...

And here comes surprise number one, it was not a case of surviving, it was a real example of how music with depth should be listened to, with close attention and repetition to get the full effect of a piece of work of this kind of gravity.

Through the first four tracks what you get is a kind of pumping back drum beat, always there, but never intrusive, giving the songs a dancey quality. Instruments and vocals are minimum over the top, but you feel you're on a journey into a wonderful and colourful world.

But this cannot prepare you for Halleluwah or Aumgm (excuse the spelling) which are two long pieces that at times drift off into a terrifying world of noise.

It's a work that has influenced the likes of PIL and a host of modern acts who simply could not exist without this band. THAT is how important this work is.

Arguably their best ever work, Tago Mago has a deserved place in history as a benchmark in music. Arguably Ege Bamyasi is the more accesible, but not necessarily better. IN fact both are incredible works.

So the question remains, why is this album not in your collection? You DO NEED IT.
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Format: Audio CD
'Tago Mago' advanced on the climes established by 'Delay 1968','Monster Movie' & 'Soundtracks' and remains part of a trilogy of classics when Can were fronted by Damo Suzuki (the others being 'Ege Bamyasi' & 'Future Days'). It's an epic double-album that opens and closes on similar sounding tracks, between veering off into avant-garde directions which get stranger as the record progresses.
'Paperhouse' builds and builds from a funky-jazzy groove (that would become more apparent on 'Ege Bamyasi'), prior to shifting to the paranoid 'Mushroom', which would be covered by The Jesus & Mary Chain and sounds not unlike recent Primal Scream, where Damo hollers "I gotta keep my distance!" (or is it "I gotta keep my despair"? - it sounds like both...). 'Oh Yeah' builds on the strange-electronic-inflected grooves previously found on records by Can & precursors like The Beatles & The White Noise, again feeling like an odd groove with backwards-looped vocals that disorient (Can voyaging to inner space...). This peaks with the epic 'Halleluwah', which is thoroughly hypnotic, stretching a simple-groove over & over & predicting things like Happy Mondays ('Hallelujah') & The Stone Roses ('Fools Gold 9.53').
'Aumgn' is more out there, a minimal electronic based piece that some find unlistenable- it sounds somewhere between Stockhausen and Japan's 'Ghosts' and would fit on a compilation between 'The Visitations' & 'Beachy Head.' Things get odder with 'Peking-O', which starts off with sinister ambient electronics, then a vocal "driving..." that reminds me of both Ian Curtis & Jim Morrison, before shifting into loops and babble that some may find hilarious.
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