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Books Editorial

canbook.jpg All Gates Open: The Story of Can
 

Rob Young & Irmin Schmidt

Can were the avant-garde German band who drew their members from students studying under Stockhausen; the free-jazz scene; and sundry waifs and strays busking their way across Europe. Their sound was initially described as “not rock” but today they are more commonly lumped under the krautrock banner along with the likes of Neu! Popol Vuh and Kraftwerk. This hefty book is split into two parts, the first being a full biography of the band by Rob Young, a long time flag-flyer for their rug-pulling albums which contain some of the most “out there” tracks ever committed to vinyl. He has secured interviews with many of the key players in their story (although, sadly, only a curtly beguiling email from Damo Suzuki, the band’s daffy vocalist), which adds plenty of colour to their rise. Book two has been assembled by Irmin Schmidt, founding member of Can, and is a kind of oral history of the band drawing on interviews Schmidt has carried out with artists such as Mark E. Smith, Bobby Gillespie, Wim Wenders and John Malkovich. Superior stuff for fans old and new.