by Dave Segal
on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM
Krautrock legends Can have loosed one of their previously unreleased songs, "Deadly Doris," from the forthcoming The Lost Tapes rarities collection, which comes out on Spoon/Mute June 19. "Deadly Doris"—which sounds like it could've slotted well on Monster Movie or Soundtracks—features Malcolm Mooney with his patented, barely hinged vocal attack and Can's urgent, motorik-rock thrusts. Man, even their outtakes kick the asses of most bands' masterpieces. I have the feeling that The Lost Tapes will further solidify my belief that Can were the greatest rock band ever (although I'm willing to entertain your arguments otherwise).
Read the press release—including full track listing for The Lost Tapes—after the cut.
Featuring Malcolm Mooney on vocals, Irmin Schmidt recalls: “[This was a] spontaneous live composition from the time in Schloss Nörvenich. The owner of the castle - who let us use the studio for free - was an art collector and sometimes we would play for his guests at the opening nights of exhibitions. Malcolm loved to confuse the people by using an actual event - somebody was called Doris - repeat a few words relating to that event over and over again, like a mantra, obsessively until it would actually become scary.”
The Lost Tapes, out on June 19th 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 canon of work that includes Tago Mago, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2011 (the anniversary release was given a 10 by Pitchfork), The Lost Tapes is an opportunity to hear unreleased material from this iconic band – whoever thought that would be possible?
CAN THE LOST TAPES TRACKLISTING
CD 1 Millionenspiel Waiting For The Streetcar Evening All Day Deadly Doris Graublau When Darkness Comes Blind Mirror Surf Oscura Primavera Bubble Rap
CD2 Your Friendly Neighbourhood Who*re True Story The Agreement Midnight Sky Desert Spoon - Live Dead Pigeon Suite Abra Cada Braxas A Swan Is Born The Loop
CD3 Godzilla Fragment On The Way To Mother Sky Midnight Men Networks Of Foam Messer, Scissors, Fork and Light Barnacles E.F.S. 108 Private Nocturnal Alice Mushroom - Live One More Saturday Night – Live