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Music Albums & Singles

CAN_col_damo.jpg Krautrock box set. Very Canny.

The off-cuts from most other bands’ output would usually hold about as much interest to me as a free year long pass to the pencil museum in Cumbria, but Can are not most other bands. Totally sidestepping rock and pop’s history, German bands such as Neu! Kraftwerk and Can went out on an experimental limb in the late 60s, early 70s to create music that sounded as though it was being beamed in from one of the distant moons of Planet Investigational. Can’s modus operandi saw them leave the studio tape running when they played, and then edit down their lengthy improvisations at a later date, but, as this box set testifies, they were left with a whole load of stuff that is pure sonic gold. It ranges from psyched-up and strung-out rhythmic assaults to more conventional garage rock tunes to the frankly berserk (imagine James Joyce banging a kettle), but this is the sound of musical history being created and forever altered. RM

Can: The Lost Tapes is out now on Spoon Records.