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on 1 January 2013
I got this box set for Christmas - and have found it very good indeed. I had expected more unstructured outtakes, but the editting has left us with a more or less coherent set of tracks. The live version of Spoon (on cd2) is one of the best tracks, with it and the other live material capturing the the improvised nature of Can live. If you can, listen to this 3cd set alongside the 4 cd 'semi-offical' Canobits collection. This fills in some gaps in the recording history.
I will be in a minority it wanting to hear more archive stuff from the period after Damo. I just think this period was very creative in their live work with very extended improvisations.
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on 15 May 2016
I'm listening to it at the moment and it sounds very good to me. Enough to get my old early Can records down from the loft and play them. Excellent value as well
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on 14 December 2012
If you're new to Can, then don't start here. But if you're a confirmed Can fan, then there's lots to interest. Live versions of early favorites, ideas that never made it onto an album (but perhaps should have done so!) and even a track from before the Can were the Can.
The notes are very good, with Irmin commenting on each track and a short background on how the album came into existence.
My only criticism is that the cardboard sleeve is a bit fragile, but they may be because it's hard a lot of use in the past few weeks!
A must have, esp. if you love early Can.
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on 15 August 2012
It's like a dream I once had about finding two Can CD's in Guatemala and the next day I did. Having been a Can fan since the early 70's and owning all 13 major releases in three formates ..what can I say three more wonder CD's packed full of more Can. What Can anybody want. Now my life is complete. Am I happy ..Hell yes..If you don't buy this box of Can magic then your life will never be complete....
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on 14 December 2016
Good item
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on 18 June 2012
Been a while, hasn't it? Originally conceived way back in 2008, it was a few years after that, in early 2011 that the box set was announced. Delay after delay happened, but finally, well over half a year later than planned, we have it. So, was all this excitement worth it, or does this box set consist of sonic barrel scrapings from the bands long forgotten jams? Well, if Can keyboardist Irmin Schmidt hadn't have had anything to do with it, it might well have done. He remembers that "We always had tapes running, but 10 years' tapes running all the time 12 hours a day would come to an unimaginably big pile...But perhaps a tape would have 10 minutes on it that we thought were good. So there were little snippets and bits and pieces of all kinds from different periods on one tape... chaos." By the sounds of it then, with fifty hours of tapes, had they given in to that money-spinning temptation of releasing multiple volumes, each could have been of a very dodgy quality. Thankfully, this won't be the case. "This is the final extract from the archive. More, there isn't. There are another 47 hours not worth releasing, which will definitely disappear." Schmidt stated, in one sentence, crushing any further speculation.

The set's twenty six pounds asking price seems reasonable, given that you get three discs, three hours of music, a rather sumptuous 10" box and a 28 page booklet. It doesn't disappoint musically either. Starting proceedings is Millionspiel, a trippy rocker locked in Can's trademark percussion-led groove. "Obviously the tapes weren't really lost, but were left in the cupboards of the studio archives for so long everybody just forgot about them." Schmidt's sleeve notes explain, and even after listening to the album for a few minutes you start to wonder why they hadn't dug out the tapes earlier. The Malcolm Mooney led classics-in-the-making Are You Waiting for the Streetcar and Deadly Doris both feel like they could have been contenders for inclusion in 1976's archive comp Unlimited Edition. It's an impressively diverse album, too. Though there's the normal Can fare of tribal deep-funk grooves and some mega jamming, there's also darkly ambient sound collages reminiscent of their disturbing masterpiece Amung or one of fellow noise god's Faust's trippiest moments. Blind Mirror Surf even sounds like an early unreleased Mothers of Invention sound collage. As disc one goes, special mentions should go to the awesome seventeen minute jam Graublau, which rips up chunks of different jams, stitches them back together and leaves the listener to revel in the chaotic brilliance, and also the sinister When Darkness Comes, another example of Mooney's great improvisation.

Discs two is equally brilliant - the early portion of disc two continues where the first left off, with plenty more Mooney material. There's also plenty material from the classic Damo Suzuki era. Disc three comprises of later material, and although their albums did waver in quality when Suzuki left in 73, even the post Soon Over Babaluma material here is rather good. Admittedly at points, disc three is rather weaker than the first two discs - without any vocals to hold things together; the lengthy live tracks (of which there are quite a number) feel chaotic and less focused than they surely would otherwise. However, it never descends into being unlistenable, and is always quite enjoyable - although you do start to wonder why you're listening to this when you could be hearing Tago Mago. There are some gems on disc three, though. Messer, Scissors, Fork and Light is brilliant, Alice shows them at their drugged out mellowest, not dissimilar to Unlimited Edition's Ghommorha in sound, whilst the outstanding live version of Mushroom (which actually appears on the superb bootleg album Horrortrip in the Paperhouse, although here the sound quality is vastly better and it is correctly named 'Mushroom',rather than Paperhouse as it was called on the the bootleg) couldn't be more different from the studio version if it tried, and is even better for it. So then, not only is the album itself (for the most part) brilliant, but I feel that the decision to make the album roughly chronological (One or two tracks skip ahead a few years, but they never feel out of place) adds to the album, and balance between Mooney and Suzuki material is excellent, both having a roughly equal amount of songs, with plenty of instrumentals in between. Basically then, those who value good music need to own a Can album - they're massively influential, and really changed the musical rule book, and given the broad array of eras this covers and the quality of the material, this is an essential purchase for long time fans, and also a worthy introduction to newcomers alike, although the easier option for those looking to fill their heads with Can may be to just buy Tago Mago, which has just recently been reissued in a 40th anniversary edition, and work your way from there.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 July 2012
In my experience most people I have tried to play Can to have actively hated them. However some of us, think they made some of the most amazing music ever.

If you are in the latter camp then this is a worthwhile collection. The packaging is hefty and distinctive, with a decent booklet and the CDs set in recesses. As with other reviewers, one disk was rattling about loose on arrival, however it plays okay. At ten inches square this is probably something for your bookshelf.

The music is a mixed bag, there is stuff here that I cannot imagine anyone listening to more than once. There is stuff here that is as good as anything produced by Can. The problem is that no two folk will agree what is the dross and what is the gold. If you are a Can fan then the box set is a safe purchase. It is likely to be deleted in a year or two, and you could always sell it then for some extra money. For me however it is well worth keeping. Even if the quality is distinctly patchy, it is fascinating to peak behind the curtain to hear just how this incredible music was put together. It seems to have been composed as free-form jazz, rather than by assembling standard rock or pop elements.

If you are not familiar with Can, then the very generous Anthology (Remastered) is the place to start.
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on 24 January 2013
It's the quality and validity of the music on The Lost Tapes that makes this box-set so much more than a barrel-scraping exercise. Can always sounded like an advance party, an exploratory force reporting back from the blasted fringes of pop music - and the sense of striving, of constantly seeking to take flight inhabits the majority of these 30 pieces.All of the elements that made Can such a compelling proposition are in place: the relentless, periodically mesmerising repetition driven by Liebezeit's unshakeable, funky drumming, the angular guitar and keyboard contributions, and an overwhelming sense of a microwave-style power-without-discernible-heat.In the case of the earliest recordings, Mooney's often-improvised vocals have an unhinged intensity (Waiting for the Streetcar finds him ranting "are you waiting for the streetcar?" until the words lose all meaning), while Suzuki's later contributions are gentler, if no less distinctive.

Often there's a sense of either imminent arrival or recent departure: Desert is closely related to Soul Desert (from 1970's Soundtracks) and A Swan is Born either prefaces or postscripts Sing Swan Song (from 1972's Ege Bamyasi), for example.

Throughout, Can sound by turns tender and soothing, hypnotic and inexorable, straightforwardly rocking and atonally abstract, playful and intense. Julian Cope said Can "sounds only like itself, like no-one before or after", and we can't think of a better way to describe The Lost Tapes........i couldnt agree more mr reviewer - i didnt write this its just i couldnt write a better review !!!!!!
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on 5 March 2017
Vectoring in from Quadrant Nine, somewhere near Betelgeuse, there’s an echo, then banging over a bouncing rhythm made seemingly of skittering mice like creatures as Michael Karoli, Can’s multi-instrumentalist, goes surfbound. The mice like creatures run faster and a flute tries to take flight, before silence breaks out. What at first sounds like the bizarre soundtrack to a German sci fi film, filmed in Honolulu on a budget of mad drugs and squonkophone, turns out to be a track called ‘Millionenspiel’ which opens this magnificently confusing three CD box of madness by the influential krautrockers.

It’s the late sixties and Can are more madder than Stockhausen meets Gerry and the Pacemakers, they’ve only been together ten minutes and already they’ve changed the world. These studio, and occasional live recordings have been extricated from the cobweb covered Can vaults and coated with love by keyboardist Irmin Schmidt. They are utterly astounding in their brutality, sense of exploration and magical musical experimentation.

Second track on disc two ‘Are you waiting for the streetcar’ is a jam in a cul de sac of temporal repetition, repeat ad infinitum, and a bit longer. You can go with it or skip with a migraine, I go with it and come out after ten minutes with new found understanding of mental illness. Third track ‘Evening all day’ is arsing about in the studio, as a horse breaks its tether, the band are looking at each other waiting for something to happen, clippety-clop clippety-clop follows, and nothing happens, apart that is from them inventing jazz reggae.

Next up is ‘Deadly Doris’, who turns out to be deadly for 3.09 minutes of audio rocket fuel that attains orbit via vocalist Malcolm Mooney’s mantra and Jaki Liebezeit’s superhuman drumming. Doris is sexy, she’s also deadly, and the result? Can invent punk rock in 1968.

A more structured rock ‘n’ dirty roll, fuzzed up manna from Deutschland is a sixteen minute freak out called ‘Graublau’. It’s 1969 and men are on the moon, Can are well, not anywhere, in the world we know. In your head, perhaps? A figment of Sgt Pepper ? Who knows ? They seem to exist outside of time, Graublau’ begins to disintegrate at four minutes, then comes back as Dinosaur Jnr, 20 years before Dinosaur Jnr are born. Someone turns on a sonic splatter machine and we’re covered in love vibrations and Dalek guitar ago-go. There’s a tune in there Jim, but we’re not gonna let it out, as the disembodied voices, all machine warped and crazy, interlude, shout, off into that dark night, again, but this time with added Aphex Twinisms and short wave radio flutter from an orbiting alien spacecraft offering sixteen minutes of pure Can. I can’t take any more.

This reviewer takes a drink, surfaces, into ‘When darkness comes’ (1969), featuring mild feedback and conjuring images of when dinosaurs walk the earth. You can almost hear them in the background as Mooney free associates and frightens my cat. I don’t know what is happening, I’m frightened, quick get me Gerry and the Pacemakers to calm me down. ‘Blind mirror surf’ and ‘Oscura Primavera’ date from 68, like soundtracks to Hungarian cartoons about demented woodcutters, all drone and WTF was that?

Shoot into 1972 with ‘Bubble rap’, proto grunge guitar riff and Damo Suziki taking the mic along with some seismic cosmic funk as Karolis’s guitar probes the wasted body of Sly Stone. Damo sounds like he’s surfing on a lava flow of great acid as he dissolves into the universal enfolding light of God.

The chemistry of Can has been written about, conjectured upon and dissected for years, I can’t possibly add anything to what has been said, (but i’ll try anyway), even though all you need to know is all there in the music. Take ‘Your friendly local neighbourhood whore’, the shifting rhythmic structure is so ethereal with Holgars Czukays bass meshing perfectly with Jakis’s busy drumming to form this seamless, cohesive pattern which is so hypnotic and is the sound that makes Can’s fourth studio album Ege Bamyasi so revered.

Ok, back to disc two, seat belts on and to ‘Midnight sky’ from 68, which is like The Doors but without the leather trousers. You’ll know ‘Spoon’ , but here is a 17 minute live version of very, very large proportions that grows and grows into a mushroom the size of Manhattan.

Two other pieces take pride of place here, ‘Dead pigeon suite’ and ‘Abra cada braxas’, both clocking in at the ten minute mark, the former contains very few dead pigeons, but plenty of strangely percussive serenity; no jarring of the senses on this one, just a gentle ride on a horse made of morphine and bass strings. ‘Braxas’ is a swooping eagle about to die on the slopes of Mount Doom. It’s incredible, and it’s only 1973. ‘A swan is born’ is a mere snippet of what later became Swansong, ‘The loop’ sounds like Status Quo playing skiffle inside an Asda bag.

Disc three goes from 1970 to 77, it’s got a nine minute live version of ‘Mushroom’ on it, there’s a jam that gave birth to ‘Mother sky’, a stupendous instrumental workout ‘Midnight men’, that sounds like Joe Meek channeling a passing comet and ‘Networks of foam’ is the sound of an anal probe accidentally going into God’s eye.

As for ‘Barnacles’ (1977) it’s just the best thing I’ve heard this year, it goes plonk plonk plonk, but in the most beautiful way you can imagine. You’ll not be surprised that it’s also got some drums on it. Basically, there’s more throbbing Krautrock here than you can shake a stick at.

What’s more you’ve got extensive liner notes and photos on top of three hours of unheard Can. You won’t like all of it, but tough, I do.
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on 11 August 2012
So some people think this is only worth 3 stars, do they? Madness. I've been a can fan since I was about 14 in the very early 70's and have pretty much everything they've ever recorded. But this is something else. Just astonishing. Magnificent. Bewllderingly good. And every other superlative you could think of. People often say, don't they, that every fan of 'whoever', will want this. In this case, every can fan MUST - simply MUST - have this. Just fabulous.
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