Thursday, March 27, 2008
Can - "Stuttgart 10.31.75"
Here's a really fine set of commercially unreleased tunes from legendary German avante-rock act Can...live in Stuttgart 31 October 1975. This lineup included Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Jaki Leibezeit, and Irmin Schmidt, and with the absence of a vocalist, this is basically instrumental work (aside from some minimal mutterings on 'Dizzy Dizzy').
If you're unfamiliar with this group's prime work, this is a mid-to-later-period set (around the time of 'Soon Over Babaluma'), but still maintains most of the group's trademark sounds. It's only 4 tracks, but don't be deceived - they are all nicely extended pieces that total up to well over an hour, and the sound quality is definitely soundboard/worthy of release. The opening 'Improvisation' is really a nice jammy sort of almost jazz-rock with Leibezeit's trademark shuffling, funky, tribal percussion. 'Bel Air' is an almost ambient rock piece - pretty well relaxing and exotic. 'Dizzy Dizzy' is tight and groovy, and the 28-minute 'Pinch Improvisation' drifts into a hazy psychedeli-kosmische realm at about the halfway mark. Stunning and transcendent, if you ask me.
Man, this stuff is well over 30 years old, but one listen and you know these guys were way, way ahead of their time. If this were a new band, they'd easily be tagged as 'post-rock', believe it or not! Give it a listen yourself, and feel free to comment.