Album #279: Can – Ege Bamyası

  • Released: 1972
  • Origin: Cologne, Germany
  • Label: United Artists
  • Best Track: Pinch

I love Can, but I’ve only really heard their first two albums, Monster Movie (1969) and Tago Mago (1971). I suppose logic says I should continue my journey by listening to their third.

There’s definitely more than a touch of Warhol-esque abstraction about the krautrock pioneers putting a picture of a tin on the front of their album, the name of which is Turkish for ‘Aegean okra’. It kind of sums them up – presenting something as art that had never been viewed in that way before.

The sheer volume of Tago Mago, from a band said to have played loud enough to make people physically vomit at their shows, is toned down a little here in favour of intracacy. ‘Pinch’ almost sounds like a continuation of ‘Mushroom’ from that album, but with the non-formulaic drumming giving it a different vibe.

Odd-time signatures are aplenty on this record, with ‘One More Night’ the best example. ‘Soup’ is the most avant garde track, with its squawking and stuttering reminding you how amazing it was that this stuff was written nearly half a century ago. It ends with two tracks that must have been about the most conventional they had done at the time – ‘I’m So Green’ and ‘Spoon’, the latter of which even made the German Top 10.

A great album from what is genuinely one of the best and most influential bands ever.

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