Tuesday, December 15, 2009
4 string fav's
working for more than 10 years in record stores, i've written a few times about can's music. the last was when mute made available the highly anticipated reissues - the ones where they took the coolness out of "future days", their absolute masterpiece. for me can were the door to another sound dimension, my mind really popped out when i discovered them in my late teens. "soundtracks" came first. a few days later came an impressive "tago mago" and so on. every record was different from the one before and the music was really tight and so was the band.
"inability is often the mother of restriction, and restriction is the great mother of inventive perfomance" holger czukay once said. it was through czukay's bass playing in can that i first took interest in the bass as an instrument. i admire czukay's economic use of notes, almost minimal sometimes, his use of silence, the apparent simplicity in everything he plays. you can hear it from the protopunk of "monster movie" until 1977's afro-inspired "saw delight", where he plays (bass and also shortwave radio) alongside former traffic bass player, rosko gee. czukay's bass and jaki liebzeit's drumming make one of the most inventive rhythm sections in rock.
for further explorations on czukay and apart from almost all of can's albums, i still recommend his ethno-ambient collaboration with rolf dammers, "canaxis" - where he plays shortwave radio and makes use of sampling through tape and electroacustic techniques -, and his 1980's solo debut, "movies", much in the mood of can's mid 1970's works. but for those who take interest there's plenty more czukay and can to discover, listen and read. a good biography is pascal bussy & andy hall's "the can book". julian cope writes from the heart in his krautrocksampler, in a chapter entitled "any colour is bad (1968-1973)", taking off with one of can's finest slogans from the malcolm mooney period. that same slogan was probably the reason why i picked holger czukay has the first in this series of snapshots in colour that i intend to post here. my first attempt to deal with a wider range of colours :)
this series is inspired by steve krakow's psychedelic folk heroes and guitar gods trading cards, offered with the last issues of the great galactic zoo dossier.