Friday, 22 June 2012

Can - The Lost Tapes

Most "previously unreleased" compilations, although worthy, rarely amount to much more than a fans-only selection of variable quality. This, on the other hand, is astounding - three CDs of previously unreleased songs, works in progress and live tracks, spanning from 1968 to 1977.

I was intending to review this album, but I've just realised that I simply don't have sufficient grasp on the English language, or know enough adjectives, to do justice to this release. All I will say is that The Lost Tapes is up there with the greatest music that Can have ever made, which happens to be some of the greatest and most influential music of all time - just ask John Lydon or Kanye West - and still no one has ever come close to sounding like Can. They are one of the few truly unique bands in the history of music. 

Having said that, I'm sure a lot of people will moan that there's not enough choruses.

Here's one of my current favourites from the release...

Friday, 1 June 2012


Whilst I'm waiting for the vinyl version to arrive in the post, here's my thoughts on the digital version...

You'd think I'd get bored of that whole 40 year old Neu! Motorik groove that bands keep peddling (see my future blog for how Neu! have become one of the most important bands in rock ever), but once in a while something comes along that reinvigorates the sound and takes the music somewhere new. Spitfire by PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING (always in capitals - it's important!) is one of such moment.

6 Music have already fallen in love with the track, with a number of their DJs fighting to claim bragging rights to who is their biggest fan (the prize goes to Tom Robinson for getting in there first back in 2009, whilst we were all oblivious to the band's charms) and now it seems as though the rest of the sane world is following suit.

If you haven't heard the song yet, then you can give it a listen , and watch the remarkable video here...

But one song does not maketh a great band, so what are the other tracks on the EP like? Well, like all their stuff (check out the equally excellent EP One and Roygbiv), the tracks lean heavily on the use of public information and WWII propaganda films - as the band say, they "teach the lessons of the past with the music of the future". There's nothing as instant or uptempo as Spitfire on the EP - it's more head nodding rocktronica (sorry!) with banjos than all out assault on the senses - but it's still pretty fantastic. The thing plays out like a concept EP starting with the outbreak of war and made all the more moving by sampled speech throughout, culminating in the touching Waltz for George (the EP is dedicated to J Willgoose Esquire's great uncle George, who was killed in Dunkirk during WWII, and the track is played on his old banjolele).