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CAN - a must hear music/band/production
Old 15th June 2009
  #1
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CAN - a must hear music/band/production



Anybody listening to these guys?
Just blowing my mind how good they are, their music from 30 years ago is still fresher sounding than what's going on now. A friend turned me on to them a couple years ago, and just recently I've decided to look more into them. Just incredible stuff, I've been watching videos on YOUTUBE and reading up on them Via the net, I've heard probablly @ 25-30 of their songs in the last few days....... they are ALL awesome.

The production sounds SOO good, and does have an era/technology available at the time stamp to it, which sounds fantastic. The stuff I have heard has got to be the dictionary definition of ORGANIC. For folks who have never really understood this word when attached to music, this is THE greatest example. To me, to attain this type of recording sound seems harder than the new puncher sound that folks are after.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this info. This group has REALLY made me re-think how I want my stuff to sound, and reminded me that what is considered great sounding music/recordings will always evolve, and use the lastest technology, but there is just something about this stuff that goes beyond this.

Check the guys out!

Steelyfan
Old 15th June 2009
  #2
I became a big Can fan in the late 70s and 80s...

I tumbled to them in the used bin of my local import/punk shop (along with Magma and Faust, the kind of prog that never seemed to make the rock stations in LA).

Can really grabbed me, for many of the reasons you cite.

I loved the sense of guys playing, loose and human -- while so much of the mainstream music of the mid 70s was so heavily formatted and manicured... there was a wonderful embrace of chaos seemingly at work in their jams... and a love of rhythm, of the groove...

It was great to balance the punk and no wave I was so immersed in at the time with something as human and... swinging... as Can.
Old 15th June 2009
  #3
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Of course... One of the most influential band ever.

I have actually been in touch with Holger Czukay about the mixing desk used in their studio. I think it is now in a museum along with the army matresses (dozens of them) and the rest of it :0
It was a custom made desk (made by a guy working in a theater.)
All CAN records until (and including) Future Days should be in everybody's record collection. What an amazing bunch of musician.
If you like CAN you should check out some other Krautrock luminaries like NEU!, Amon Duul 2, Cluster, Harmonia etc...
Old 15th June 2009
  #4
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Should check out Neu, Guru Guru and Amon Duul if you enjoy Can... You know a couple of Can made a mini album with The Edge back in the early 80s?
Old 15th June 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I became a big Can fan in the late 70s and 80s...

I tumbled to them in the used bin of my local import/punk shop (along with Magma and Faust, the kind of prog that never seemed to make the rock stations in LA).

Can really grabbed me, for many of the reasons you cite.

I loved the sense of guys playing, loose and human -- while so much of the mainstream music of the mid 70s was so heavily formatted and manicured... there was a wonderful embrace of chaos seemingly at work in their jams... and a love of rhythm, of the groove...

It was great to balance the punk and no wave I was so immersed in at the time with something as human and... swinging... as Can.

The Can groove is amazing, Jakie liebzeit is one of my favorite drummer...It's funny you are mentioning Magma as it is also a really influential band, from France actually (or Kobaïa to be correct Christian Vander is another one hell of a drummer...
Old 15th June 2009
  #6
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Long time Can fan(atic) here. One of THE greatest bands to walk the face of the planet. I almost envy your experience of first-time discovery of Can. I vividly and fondly recall the first strains of Ege Bamyasi gracing my ears some 15-20 years ago... Everything up through Landed is pretty much brilliant and some of the later stuff is actually quite good as well, although the original nucleus of the band had dissolved and much of the original energy and force had sort of morphed into other things at that point.

I should add that their early records were recorded using two Revox 2-tracks - what would be, by modern standards, a very primitive set-up. I expect they had a few nice mics and a nice console of sorts, but still. Holger Czukay engineered and mixed all those records, often composing them out of carefully edited and spliced performances off their many reels of tapes. To the best of my knowledge, everything up to Landed was done by him at their own Inner Space studio. Landed was the first record taken to another studio in which more multi-tracking, overdubbing, etc. was employed. They had lost Damo as their vocalist and were certainly a different band, but you can still hear the new avenues that the new recording approach were taking them to.

Their was a thread over at Tapeop where someone was asking about the drum sound on Halleluwah. This inspired me to do some near-field monitor listening of Tago Mago and I was speculating that it was the main drum mix hard left and a room mic (compressed maybe) over hard right and I was marvelling at how cool and tweaked the sound of 'Mushroom' was. Very cool...so "wrong" that it is just perfectly brilliant. You are quite right in that they pretty much define the notion of an "organic" musical listening experience. The original poster on that Tapeop thread actually e-mailed Holger and got this response:

"thanks for enquiering me about those Can tracks. Well, all we did was playing while I was playing too and recording at the same time. Mushroom .... I had an old bass speaker and a guitar speaker which were connected to the tape machine. While recording we played the recording back from the repro head which caused a dealy and blew the result back into the microphones. We instantly listened back while we were recording. That was all.
Halleluwah was recorded by prerecorded drums and bass plus rhythm guitar, the rest was done by 2 overdubs - apart from heavy editing the tape of course.
Hope I could help you with those little details.

Enjoy what you do! "

Old 15th June 2009
  #7
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I believe Magma were the band who invented their own language and did a whole album using it way before the Cocteau Twins ever thought of it...
Old 15th June 2009
  #8
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Oh and Can's vocalist, one of the great rock and roll stories... Left on comappsionate leave sometime in the mid 70s to go see his family, (in the USA? reportedly) returned to Germany some 20+ years later and said... "What's cooking lads are we gigging soon?"
Old 15th June 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
I believe Magma were the band who invented their own language and did a whole album using it way before the Cocteau Twins ever thought of it...
Yep, it's called Kobaïan. Christian Vander received had a revelation one night in 1969...There's a cool little book written by Antoine de Caunes (of Euro trash fame) about the story of Magma. It's even online.
I think one of the best Magma album (at least as good as Mekanik Destruktiw kammandoh is called Wurdah Hitah and has been released at the time under Christian Vander's name instead of Magma, recorded in 1 day and mixed on the 2nd day in '73. A serious trip...
Old 15th June 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
Oh and Can's vocalist, one of the great rock and roll stories... Left on comappsionate leave sometime in the mid 70s to go see his family, (in the USA? reportedly) returned to Germany some 20+ years later and said... "What's cooking lads are we gigging soon?"
Damo Suzuki left after Future Days to follow a girlfriend somewhere back in '74.. (
I think Malcom Mooney left after a nervous breakdown and went back to the US in '70 (?)
Old 15th June 2009
  #11
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i've been wiring up the studio over the last week switching from my pro tools setup to my new radar + toft rig (yay!) and i've been listening to alot of my old cds to pass the time... can, yes yes! tho' embarassingly i once traded ege bamyasi on cd to a friend for slint's spiderland claiming that can played "watered down white-boy funk" ... whoops.

also have been enjoying my agitation free cds again ... check them out as well ...
Old 15th June 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
i've been wiring up the studio over the last week switching from my pro tools setup to my new radar + toft rig (yay!) and i've been listening to alot of my old cds to pass the time... can, yes yes! tho' embarassingly i once traded ege bamyasi on cd to a friend for slint's spiderland claiming that can played "watered down white-boy funk" ... whoops.

also have been enjoying my agitation free cds again ... check them out as well ...
Yeah, Agitation Free's 1st and 2nd albums are quite good indeed.
Ashra temple/Cosmic Jockers had their good moments too.
In a different style,Popol Vuh is amazing, all their albums until last last one (Agape-Agape) are must haves.
Old 15th June 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
Damo Suzuki left after Future Days to follow a girlfriend somewhere back in '74.. (
I think Malcom Mooney left after a nervous breakdown and went back to the US in '70 (?)
I am pretty sure he did follow a girlfriend and/or got married...and converted to become a Jehovah's Witness no less.

The Can Book is an essential (and often inspiring) read and covers a lot of these details through interviews, etc.
Old 15th June 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I am pretty sure he did follow a girlfriend and/or got married...and converted to become a Jehovah's Witness no less.

The Can Book is an essential (and often inspiring) read and covers a lot of these details through interviews, etc.
Yes you're right about the jehovah's witness strory. I think he changed his mind since... He's touring the world playing with different local bands, i saw him live a couple of time here in Brighton.
Old 15th June 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
Yeah, Agitation Free's 1st and 2nd albums are quite good indeed.
Ashra temple/Cosmic Jockers had their good moments too.
In a different style,Popol Vuh is amazing, all their albums until last last one (Agape-Agape) are must haves.
i'm in love with popol vuh's letzte tage - letzte nachte ... the gtrs on that record are stunningly beautiful!

one thing about agitation free's malesch that i noticed now that i'm engineering is how amazing the sequence / segues are on that record.
Old 15th June 2009
  #16
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Ahh! You've stumbled on my current favorite genre of music, if you include the tangentially related Berlinschule electronic offshoot, anyway.

What I want to sound like is all of it, mixed together. thumbsup

The fact that Can went from Tago Mago to Future Days in two moves proves to me their brilliance. The double live CD is indispensable.

My favorite Krautrock band (besides Tangerine Dream) is Amon Duul II, which was essentially a German take on Led Zeppelin crossed with the Velvet Underground and, oddly, opera. Absolutely maniacal.
Old 15th June 2009
  #17
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amon duul "one" is a pretty hot outfit as well!

paradieswarts duul is a major classic... up there with magical power mako's super record!
Old 15th June 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
amon duul "one" is a pretty hot outfit as well!

paradieswarts duul is a major classic... up there with magical power mako's super record!
Sooo chaotic, but great, yeah. Didja know that most of AD1's early records all came from different edits of the same live jam?

Guru Guru is like a bit more normal version of AD1.
Old 15th June 2009
  #19
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Wow, excellent reports and info guys.
Thanks so much for the other similiar band references, I will definately look into those. I can tell you this, after hearing these recordings, the thought of buying a "clean" preamp seems just silly! lol... you know what I mean though, just excellent sounding recordings dripping with mojo.

I have to admit, I've had some what of an epiphany about this whole discovery. This type/sound of music has always been my main interest,
and reason for creating music. Listening to Can really brings back the chills I got as a kid hearing music that touched me deeply for the first time.

Remember that?
That's the feeling I always try to conjure/create when making and recording music. If I can create something that makes me feel good, I have a good idea it will touch like minds the same.
I love modern recordings, the clarity the punch, the attention to sonic details, the subtlties that nicely recoded music offers.

It still cant' touch this stuff!

I'm never looking back, 100% mojo oriented recordings from here on out!
Anything else would be uncivilized. lol.

That singer Damo is knocking me out, where has all the great music gone?
Just so original.

Steelyfan
Old 15th June 2009
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnMarvel View Post
Sooo chaotic, but great, yeah. Didja know that most of AD1's early records all came from different edits of the same live jam?
yeah... those records were a huge influence on the younger, musician me.
Old 15th June 2009
  #21
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One of my other favorites not mentioned yet is Ash Ra Tempel, which was Klaus Schultz's band after he left Tangerine Dream but before he became fully electronic. The first album is amazing.
Old 15th June 2009
  #22
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Yeah - Can are WAY more influential than a lot of people realise! Great stuff. In fact I think I'll go listen to 'Soon Over Babaluma' right now!

Please to see Ash Ra Tempel get some props too - I didn't know Schultz was involved, I thought it was mainly a Manuel Gottsching project. Anyway E2-E4 is quite quite brilliant, and I don't even take drugs anymore!

Someone should mention... Cluster and Neu! as well, while we're on a Krautrock tip.
Old 15th June 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
you know what I mean though, just excellent sounding recordings dripping with mojo.
another disc i threw on while working was time out of mind which i also haven't listened to in years... (not listening to many cds at home nowadays... vinyl vinyl vinyl... or, ssshhh... lots of old soul on the ipod on shuffle when i'm cooking slow and low all afternoon in the sunny sun

anyway, i put on the dylan and the first thing i heard was this... "hisshhhhhh" - this room sound, atmosphere, movement, noise... talk about mojo... go daniel, go!

it actually made me kick myself for spending so much time cleaning up my recordings over the last few years...

for one, because it sounds so damn good to me now
and two because i don't remember even thinking it was noisy back in '97 before i was recording music...

context... it's a wonderful thing...
Old 15th June 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
another disc i threw on while working was time out of mind which i also haven't listened to in years... (not listening to many cds at home nowadays... vinyl vinyl vinyl... or, ssshhh... lots of old soul on the ipod on shuffle when i'm cooking slow and low all afternoon in the sunny sun

anyway, i put on the dylan and the first thing i heard was this... "hisshhhhhh" - this room sound, atmosphere, movement, noise... talk about mojo... go daniel, go!

it actually made me kick myself for spending so much time cleaning up my recordings over the last few years...

for one, because it sounds so damn good to me now
and two because i don't remember even thinking it was noisy back in '97 before i was recording music...

context... it's a wonderful thing...
Most definately friend.
Now it's all about the quality of the hiss, how comforting the white noise is, the energy of the signal being recorded (does it have an energy to it? if not, more hf....lol.), add it all up and were half way there!
I'm about to drop some $$ on some of the records you folks are talking about. I need some new vinyl to inspire future recordings.

SIde NOte;
By the way Black Dirt, how's the new mixer and hd24 treating ya?
Everything you thought it'd be?
The Akai Dps24 for me is just what the doctor ordered, it's an amazing machine that's really easy to operate (intuitive) and sounds stellar.

steely
Old 15th June 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
By the way Black Dirt, how's the new mixer and hd24 treating ya?
Everything you thought it'd be?
i am waiting on needles and pins for the toft to show up... and a few snakes... otherwise i've got everything else racked, wired, waiting to go... i've got some projects ready to roll and i cannot (sorry... CANNOT!!!!!) wait to get back to it!

a couple of things i recorded / mixed are out (or soon out) and i can't wait to compare the things i'll be working on via the radar and toft vs my pro tools work...

suuuummmmer tiiiimmmeee!

music. new gear. bbq. aaah yeah.

i've been eavesdropping on your posts about your new setup - you seem as happy as can be! congrats!
Old 15th June 2009
  #26
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A CAN free concert was the first live gig I've been to. It must have been just after Damo joined. I was about 5 at the time and never stopped listening to them since.
Almost everybody in that urban 'commune' I grew up in owned a copy of Monster Movie and 'Yoo Doo Right' is still one of my favourites.

In the late '70s John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon done a two hour radio show in which he played nothing but CAN.

One of the reasons they sound so good is that that the first records were all done in one take straight to stereo; no multitracking, no overdubs etc.

Holger (I think) did some editing with a razorblade. 'Yoo Doo Right' was edited down from a 12hr jam and the editing points are clearly audible.
Run it through a bpm counter once and Jaki never waivered more then 0.5 bpm!
(In an interview Holger said that the difference between Jaki and a drum machine is that most dmx have a 'humanizer' or 'swing' function but Jaki hasn't!)

Seen him with Jah Wobbles Solaris a few years back, a truly astounding drummer. The Best!

Last edited by O.F.F.; 15th June 2009 at 08:04 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 15th June 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
In the late '70s John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon done a two hour radio show in which he played nothing but CAN.
speaking of which... listened to second edition a few weeks ago on vinyl ... also, an amazing, amazing sounding record!
Old 15th June 2009
  #28
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FireMoon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
another disc i threw on while working was time out of mind which i also haven't listened to in years... (not listening to many cds at home nowadays... vinyl vinyl vinyl... or, ssshhh... lots of old soul on the ipod on shuffle when i'm cooking slow and low all afternoon in the sunny sun

anyway, i put on the dylan and the first thing i heard was this... "hisshhhhhh" - this room sound, atmosphere, movement, noise... talk about mojo... go daniel, go!

it actually made me kick myself for spending so much time cleaning up my recordings over the last few years...

for one, because it sounds so damn good to me now
and two because i don't remember even thinking it was noisy back in '97 before i was recording music...

context... it's a wonderful thing...

Totally agree about leaving a bit of ambience in there.. it can;t be underestimated the huge influence the ^Kraut Rock* scene has had on some modern bands. There are definite echoes of the sound in bands like Arcade Fire/ Explosions in the Sky/ God Speed You Black Emporer/ God was an Astronaut etc etc..
Old 15th June 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
it can;t be underestimated the huge influence the ^Kraut Rock* scene has had on some modern bands.
i wonder if we've got mr cope to thank for that... or spalax?

i remember watching a literary / music critic / dj / etc who i will not name wander around other music in nyc years and years ago with cope's book looking for kraut re-issues... tutt - bring crib notes!
Old 15th June 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
i wonder if we've got mr cope to thank for that... or spalax?

i remember watching a literary / music critic / dj / etc who i will not name wander around other music in nyc years and years ago with cope's book looking for kraut re-issues... tutt - bring crib notes!
Krautrocksampler is a helluvan interesting read. It's available online now, but I don't want to post a link to it in case that's some sort of copyright infringement. Just google the darn thing.

I've read from various sources that a lot of liberties were taken by Mr. Cope in the writing of that book, but it's as good as it gets as far as I know re: Krautrock.
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