Can – Tago Mago (40th Anniversary Edition) Can – Tago Mago (40th Anniversary Edition)

Do I like Can? Does anybody like Can (who isn’t a MUSICIAN [and even, then])? Sometimes I wonder if even Can likes Can but I’m guessing that depends on when you ask them, what period of their many musical incarnations you’re referring to and whether or not they still think the “krautrock” label is ironic, racist or just so fucking NME. Who knows, man? Can is/was (many moons since their inception and they still reek of a certain cultish immortality) an epic jazz deconstructive improvisational jam freak pastiche of intuition, classical composition, studio editorialism and the occasional batshit/ritualistic performance art frontman.

They couldn’t be less for everyone if they were fucking GG Allin.

Or Faust.

Actually, I lied. I do like Can. There was no real question about that. Their first record, Monster Movie (how fucking critique musical of me) possesses all the skronks, beats, rants and angularity (when I was younger I thought that meant playing guitars with a sawzall) that would help unwittingly shape the archetypes of post punk I still dream are totally threatening today.

But we’re not talking about that record. We’re talking about Tago Mago. A claustrophobic expanse of madness which was the first to feature Damo Suzuki (the dude on Monster Movie quit the band for his mental health) on “vocals” (I can not stress those cock-browed quotes enough) and marked the first of three motions that are most commonly (loosely stated…the other two being Ege Bamyasi and Future Days) considered their creative zenith.

And I suppose I would too if only I knew what the fuck Can was fucking doing.

I mean, I would like to. I feel like there’s something astounding buried somewhere between all the…well…fucking EVERYTHING that would enlighten me in a way that would make Voynich bathroom reading but…

…was that a dog barking?

I’m sorry. Somewhere in between the infinite groove of “Halleluwha” (nearly nineteen minutes) and the neo-tribal propulsions that finalize the anti-ambient simmering of “Aumgn” (closer to eighteen) I found myself researching the arguments of the Order of Nine Angels vis a vis The Church of Satan (please, please, PLEASE do not look this up).

Or was that vice versa?

Wait, is this The Residents?

Oh, dear sweet CHRIST!

See, I used to have this record. I bought it long ago in some weird post (I-just-discovered-last-year-and-now-I’m-a-prick) Neubaten exploration of Germanic postprotomusic and I haven’t listened to it in a good long while but me, being half lit and having just got my hands on this 40th anniversary remastered rerelease and a pair of righteous studio headphones (THANKS, BABY!) thought “Hey…fuck it, man…Can” but now I’m kinda freaking out.

This record is big. This record is weird. This record is so many possibilities (it’s and the band’s influence on music is almost too broad to BEGIN considering) screamed out over space and time it’s something of a wonder human civilization survived.

Maybe it didn’t.


The second disc contains three live end jam exorcisms (reiusses are nothing without [often] questionably compiled lost or live material) including a near-thirty-minute reinvention of their German Top 40 hit (not contained on this record but from the time of the aforementioned apex) “Spoon” and a surprisingly edited (Can being notorious for studio trimming) “Halleluwah.” “Mushroom” is on there too.

So, yeah man…Can.


CD 1
Oh Yeah
Peking O
Bring Me Coffee Or Tea

CD 2
Mushroom (Live 1972)
Spoon (Live 1972)
Halleluwah (Live 1972)

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