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Ege Bamyasi est le 4e album studio de Can. Pitchfork l a classé #19 des « 100 albums des années 70 » et pour Melody Maker, cet album prouve que « Can est sans aucun doute le groupe de rock expérimental le plus talentueux et le plus consistant d Europe ».
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Durant leurs premières années, les musiciens de Can ne composaient presque jamais : il improvisaient sur des thèmes et des bases rythmiques, selon le même principe les musiciens de Jazz. Ils enregistraient et mixaient le résultat dans leur propre studio et publiaient les meilleures prises. En concert, chaque morceau était une création et non une interprétation. Même le chanteur improvisait chant et paroles.
Can a exploré de nombreuses pistes et ouvert de nouvelles voies: des effets électroniques bien entendu, mais aussi des collages sonores.Lire la suite ›
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Led by the manic, freakish vocals of Damo Suzuki, Ege Bamyasi bends genres with aplomb, effortlessly including pop, rock, jazz, and psychedelia into one insanely eclectic and addictive stew. This album revels in detail and unpredictability, as each song is overflowing with off-kilter time signatures and and unconventional structures. Plenty of rock bands that have emerged since Can have employed similar devices-the Flaming Lips, Blur, and the Boredoms come to mind-but Can were arguably both the first and the best. The songs here often take as their starting point only the bare bones of the traditional rock sound, but they're far from minimal, as Can were masters at fleshing out their material with decidedly non-rock instrumentation and bizarre use of tape loops.
While Ege Bamyasi may contain a mere seven songs and clock in at a relatively brief 40 minutes (about a half-hour less than Tago Mago), there's a lot of meat here, as every single track introduces an entirely distinctive and endlessly fascinating sound. Masterfully composed and sequenced, Ege Bamyasi veers wildly from one mood and style to another, but the results are always uniquely Can-esque (for lack of a better term). The opening double shot of Pinch and Sing Swan Song combines to form a perfect summation of Can's musical mission, as the first combines jazzy, driving percussion with Damo's swaggering vocals, while the second is a hushed, eerie mood piece led by sparse guitar picking and freaky atmospherics. The repetitious, vaguely upbeat One More Night is a quieter, easy-to-digest piece that provides a bit of a breather before the tense, dynamic-laden Vitamin C. Exploiting contrasts between light and dark in much the same way that made King Crimson darlings of the prog-rock scene, this latter song builds tension with some near-whispers from Damo and frantic drumming before exploding into a mantra of shouted vocals, off-timed drum hits, and funky basslines.
However, all of this brilliant material is just a buildup to the album's centerpiece, the brilliant tour de force that is Soup. Clocking in at about ten minutes, this song would be right at home on Tago Mago, as it's a sprawling, multifaceted epic that easily obliterates almost anything else that was coming out at the time. Crazed drumming, frightening shouts from Damo, screeching tape loops-it's all here, and that's just the song's first half. At about the five-minute mark, it disintegrates into an even scarier beast, as the tape loops get harsher, the instrumentation gets more eclectic, and Damo's vocals become more unhinged. By the end of the track he sounds like he's channeling some long-dead African deity while consuming massive quantities of peyote, and in this case that's a very good thing.
The album closes with two more straightforward, "poppier" songs in the form of I'm So Green and Spoon, but of course in this case the term "poppy" is entirely relative, as they still prove Can to be freakout masters of the highest order. Besides, after the aural and mental workout the first five tracks provide, a little rest is in oder anyway. In any case, Ege Bamyasi is masterpiece no matter how you slice it, a diverse, resolutely uncategorizable piece of music that defines the krautrock genre even as it stakes out its own musical ground. You simply must hear it before you die.
It's of the same bold but accessible experimentalism of Miles Davis's early fusion, the minimalist art-rock of the Velvets, and the hypnotic trance-rock of the post-punk bands it predated by nearly a decade. In its spiky grooves, its backdrop of atmospheric sounds, and the odd murmurings of Damo Suzuki is something as ageless as a primitive tribal ritual.
"You! You're losing! you're losing! you're losing yer Vitamin C!"
"Vitamin C" dissolves into a computerized scramble which turns into the more challenging "Soup" - actually it contains a good song or 2 in there before it goes off the map into some fascinating experimental territory a la the wierder moments on TAGO MAGO. "I'm So Green" is truly the epitome of COOL (unlike what some frankly misguided reviewer wrote here). We get that great jazz guitar style again from Michael and an irressistably catchy rhythm that breaks into an even catchier one at the end - very smooth. "Spoon" could be the coolest of all CAN songs. It's trippier with a distinctive atmosphere, delivered in large manner once again by those haunted keys.
This band was so creative. This album shows them in top form. I know this music isn't for everyone . . . but it should be!
I had forgotten how powerful the songs and the performances are, but I was actually startled at how the drums, guitar, and bass jumped out of my speakers. I immediately got the remastered Tago Mago as well. Both albums feature Can at the height of their powers, both albums among the best that emerged from the Kraut Rock movement.
If you're not a Can fan yet, let the music, which is different than what you're used to, sink into your soul: listen to it a lot before evaluating it. If you ARE a Can fan already, I recommend these remasters highly.