The Lost Tapes
Jun 18, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer
It's about time they dug up some unreleased Can master tapes. Every other band of their stature gets this treatment three times over, with or without justification—such a collection from the Can-on is a welcome gift. Even if you deem it superfluous, you'll silence yourself once the first track gets started-"Millionenspiel" honestly might have been made yesterday. That's the Can time-travel promise: "We'll cover four decades of rock music evolution with just one decade in a studio in Weilerswist."
These particular recordings were gleaned from some 30 hours of unlabeled tapes captured from 1968-1977 but don't comprise hours of throwaway jams; in fact, most of these tracks were destined for albums, soundtracks, etc., and cut at the last minute due to space considerations. The classic lineup is represented—Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, and of course Irmin Schmidt, who formed the group and dug through these hours of tape with collaborator/pal Jono Podmore. Malcolm Mooney or Damo Suzuki appear as vocalists on most tracks.
A wide range of material is represented: more "traditional" Can tunes with Mooney's gift for repetition or Suzuki's for freeform meandering, random audio collage experiments, live versions of classic tracks like "Spoon" and "Mushroom," and a fair share of longer instrumental jams ranging from classical-inspired pleasantries to psychedelic soundtrack fodder to caustic noise freakouts. Not a minute comes off as extraneous. This is a wonderful collection of music from a legendary group and is an essential for any fan. Oh, and here's a chance to put this in print: Jaki Liebezeit is the god of the drum kit, and every measure he effortlessly pounded out in Can was a revelation. (www.spoonrecords.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10