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a mixed but mostly excellent bag, superbly remastered,
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This review is from: Soundtracks (Audio CD)
This album, featuring Can's contributions to five separate film soundtracks, was recorded in late 1969 (the two tracks featuring original Can vocalist Malcolm Mooney) and late Spring/Summer 1970 (the remainder featuring his replacement, Damo Suzuki). But in the circumstances, it hangs together quite well as an album, having all been recorded in the same place on the same equipment.
The opening three tracks from the film Deadlock include vocal and instrumental versions of a tune that, unlike everything else here, is an obvious film theme, though with Michael Karoli's exquisitely distorted guitar to the fore, along with a quite accessible song, Tango Whiskyman, which is good but not their greatest. The excellent Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone is the first Can song to feature the four descending semitones that they returned to on many occasions throughout their career, both live and in the studio, and features some superb latin-inflected drumming from Jaki Liebezeit. Soul Desert is a terrifyingly bleak, minimalist howl of anguish from Mooney and clearly foretells the breakdown that led to him leaving Can and returning to the USA a few weeks later.
The 14 minute Mother Sky is the first really great track Can recorded with Damo Suzuki and combines full on guitar rock (one of Michael Karoli's finest performances) with their hypnotic rhythmic pulse to brilliant effect. The track has been edited from a clearly much longer recording and the seamless, if obvious, edits add structure and changes of mood to a track that motors on at the same tempo for its entire length. On top of this, they've added some highly effective drum overdubs, dropping "bombs" into one of the most hypnotic sections. The whole track, musically brilliant as it is, is also a tour de force of recording and editing - all done with a couple of 2-track machines, an editing block and a razorblade by bassist Holger Czukay.
Finally, and perhaps most atypically, we return to (a much happier) Malcolm Mooney for the lovely She Brings The Rain, a cute sixties pop song with a slightly jazzy feel, no drums and quite psychedelic lyric. One could almost imagine The Lovin' Spoonful recording it; it's one of very, very few Can recordings that look back musically in any obvious way, though none the worse for that.
This album isn't the pinnacle of Can's career by any means, but it does contain one of their greatest tracks in the awesome Mother Sky and the rest of it varies from good to excellent. It's probably a good place to start for the uninitiated, being far more accessible, for instance, than their next album, the astounding but at times extremely weird Tago Mago.
For any Can fans who already have the earlier CD issue of this album, I'd say get rid of it and buy this - the remaster is fabulous, revealing some amazing sub-bass booms in Mother Sky, greatly improving the timbre of the guitar on Deadlock and generally being far brighter, punchier and more detailed than the earlier edition.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Jul 2011 20:08:41 BDT
great though can were and especially as you state mother sky i think she brings the rain is an insult to the talents of can and should never have made it on record.If it had been by any other band it wouldnt have even registered on any can fans radar.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2011 23:10:13 BDT
freewheeling frankie says:
Well, personally I think it's lovely but you're entitled to your opinion, and I guess you don't like cute sixties pop songs. Perhaps it's for them to define what their talents are and where they want to take their music, not you - perhaps you should try to comprehend why they'd do something like that by thinking of it as part of their Ethnological Forgery Series. I'd say you're the first Can fan (of many) that I've met who doesn't like She Brings The Rain.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2011 07:26:22 BDT
youre right i dont like cute sixties pop songs.im more sixties psyche.can arent exactly sixties pop either and im afraid it doesnt do anything for the album or the overall legend that is can.
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