Soon Over Babaluma is a satellite moon in CAN’s oeuvre, perpetually orbiting the seismic mass of the music they created between 1969-1973, one last psychedelic excursion before transitioning into the tighter arrangements and slicker production of the mid-late 70s. CAN was floating ever deeper into space, fresh off the gravitational break achieved on Future Days. Recorded on the heels of Damo Suzuki’s departure, Soon Over Babaluma marked both the end of era and a reinvention of everything the CAN had been working toward— the deepening of a sound that was still hurtling toward the outer reaches.
A mysterious longhaired man in a tattered suit is stumbling his way through a barren and blazing-hot landscape. He’s been shot in the arm. The sun is cooking him alive. In one hand is a gun, in the other is a metal suitcase. Inside the suitcase? A bunch of money and a vinyl record by the cosmic rock trailblazers CAN. This is the opening scene for 1970’s Deadlock, the second feature-length film by the underrated West German auteur Roland Klick, and a movie that not only features a soundtrack by CAN, but also manages to incorporate that music into its cryptic storyline.
Over the course of Live in Stuttgart 1975‘s 91 unbelievable minutes, Can emerges as the ultimate jam band—forget whatever negative connotations you may have with the term. Here, jamming isn’t about technical flash or aimless noodling; rather, it’s about the quest for collective ecstasy, for both the musicians and the audience.
The mythic Damo Suzuki is out on the road, traveling the highways of the United States, to team with up with “sound carriers,” local musicians assembled from each town he visits. Freelance scribe and One Eleven Heavy bassist Daniel A. Brown—known for his work with Royal Trux, ‘68 Comeback, the Screws, and South Filthy—recently caught up with Suzuki via Skype to discuss his artistic approach and history.
Welcome to the November edition of the Aquarium Drunkard Transmissions podcast. It’s nearly the end of the year, and we’re looking back on 2018’s Lagniappe Sessions . Launched in 2011, the Lagniappe […]
Holger Czukay was a genius of rhythm of the highest possible order, on par with Fela Kuti, James Brown, Steve Reich, and pretty much anyone else to ever braid together […]
An American G.I. band stationed in Germany in the mid-60s, the Monks fused a pioneering sound unto themselves fusing freakbeat, blues, psychedelic rock, and an unfathomably prescient and potent display […]
Auf Wiedersehen to Can co-founder Holger Czukay, one of the primary architects of the krautrock sound, a sampling pioneer and a fearless sonic adventurer. Surrounded by virtuoso instrumentalists in Can, Czukay […]
Can’s influence cannot be overstated. Highly impacted by the improvisational side of The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa’s Mothers and Sly Stone, the group incorporated repetitive grooves that brought to mind African […]
Consider the following a public service announcement: Can’s collected session work with John Peel, recorded on four different occasions, between 1973-1975. The six tracks were released in 1995 via the Strange […]
1968 free-jazz, psychedelic, art rock-funk. Sure, and from who else but Can. Culled from the still vital Lost Tapes compilation, “Midnight Sky” is one of the group’s earliest rarities, featuring […]
There are those among us who will shudder when I say this, but let’s face facts: Can was a jam band. Indeed, jamming was at the heart of pretty much everything […]