Saturday, 23 June 2012

LISTEN TO: Can - The Lost Tapes



Spoon Records and Mute have issued a 3 CD box set of unreleased material from German experimental legends Can.  'Can – The Lost Tapes' is made up of unreleased studio, soundtrack and live material. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to hear 'The Lost Tapes' in full...


The Lost Tapes, out on 18 June 2012, was curated by Irmin Schmidt and Daniel Miller, compiled by Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore, and edited by Jono Podmore.


When the legendary Can studio in Weilerswist was sold to the German Rock N Pop Museum, they bought everything, including the army mattresses that covered the walls for sound protection, and relocated it to Gronau.


Whilst dismantling the studio, master tapes were found and stored in the Spoon archive. With barely legible labeling, no one was sure what was on these until Irmin Schmidt and long time collaborator Jono Podmore started to go through over 30 hours of music.


What they found was years of archived material, not outtakes, but rather tracks which had been shelved for a variety of reasons – soundtracks to films that were never released and tracks that didn’t make it onto the final versions of albums due to space.


Irmin Schmidt explains “Obviously the tapes weren’t really lost, but were left in the cupboards of the studio archives for so long everybody just forgot about them. Everybody except Hildegard, who watches over Can and its work like the dragon over the gold of the Nibelungen and doesn’t allow forgetting.”


The final cut of tracks, dating from 1968-1977, features studio material recorded at Schloss Nörvenich and Can Studio, Weilerswist with the Can line up of Holger Czukay on bass, Michael Karoli on guitars, Jaki Liebezeit on drums and Irmin Schmidt on keyboards, and on most tracks, vocals from Malcolm Mooney or Damo Suzuki.


Can was formed by ex-student of Stockhausen Irmin Schmidt, who, fired by the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa abandoned his career in classic music to form a group which could utilise and transcend all boundaries of ethnic, electronic experimental and modern classical music.

Can’s influence is well known and far-reaching and the impact they made on music is felt today as keenly as it ever has been. They themselves have always been impossible to classify and reflecting this, the scope of artists who in recent years have cited Can as a major influence is varied from John Lydon to Radiohead, The Fall to Portishead.


With a phenomenal cannon of work that includes Tago Mago, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2011 (the anniversary release was awarded 5* from MOJO, Uncut, Artrocker and Record Collector), The Lost Tapes is an opportunity to hear unreleased material from this iconic band – whoever thought that would be possible?



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