Future Days: Can’s Ambient Indie Masterpiece

Future Days by Can
Blue.

It seems remarkable this album is from 1973, but Can’s selection of geniuses landed this on the planet, confirming its members were a hundred years ahead of everyone else. The sames goes for albums Tago Mago (1971) and Ege Bamyasi (1972).

Hell, most contemporary bands sound like utter crap compared to these guys. Thusly, after recently celebrating the band’s rhythm master Jaki Liebezeit, we’re celebrating Can’s statement to the world.

Future Days

Comprising of only a few songs, the album is pretty radical and bubbling with all sorts of amazing ideas. The four tracks are:

  1. Future Days: The eponymous album opener (arguably Can’s finest moment—seven minutes of absolute perfection).
  2. Spray: Typically experimental.
  3. Moonshake: A lively pop song, we ended up naming our other blog after this one.
  4. Bel Air: A sprawling, harmonic epic that really has to be heard to be believed.

The result? It really is one of the best albums of all time, one which we encourage all of you unfamiliar with the Krautrock legends to buy immediately.

Other than Moonshake, they come across more like instantaneous compositions.

The band would often just jam endlessly for hours. Then edit the best bits out of everything they did.

Bel Air is sprawling and magnificent, but it’s really the eponymous track that continues to enthrall us the most. It’s really quite perfect—genius, even.

Out of all of them, however, we’d say Spray is a bit disappointing. It doesn’t really find its feet until a pleasant singsong section towards the end.

Otherwise, the album is something of a masterpiece. Way ahead of its time. And absolutely unique even to this day.

Moonshake

To break up the lengthier tracks on the album, the band recorded what is essentially a pop single—Moonshake.

We named our other blog after this funky, quirky little number and we’ve been a big fan of it since first listening back in 2003.

Can wasn’t adverse to such efforts, but its members typically busied themselves with instant compositions.

You can hear many other short romps in the recent Can The Singles.

Part of the ’60s and ’70s Krautrock movement (which was formed to help dispel notions of Nazi Germany), Can was an experimental rock group.

In the early ’70s, the multi-member band lost original singer Malcolm Mooney during one its often gruelling gigs (sometimes lasting for over 12 hours).

He had a nervous breakdown and got stuck in a loop chanting the same lyrics over and over. Mooney headed off to America to recover.

The other members soon picked up Japanese traveller Damo Suzuki after they heard him busking in the street, with the diminutive singer performing with the band the same evening.

He hung around for the band’s three finest albums, with Future Days being his last vocal contribution.

Mr. Wapojif had the pleasure of seeing Suzuki live twice as a solo artist. The last time was in October of 2006 in London, where Suzuki stood by the entrance and greeted everyone who had turned up.

At the end of the gig he also gave everyone a sweaty hug, and blew me a lovely kiss as I waved goodbye before heading out into the night. A happy memory right there.

Bel Air

To wrap this post up, here’s a small segment of the album closerthe beautiful Bel Air commences at a sedate pace, before eventually morphing into a harmonic romp, replete with ethereal chanting.

At 20 minutes, it’s one of Can’s most impressive feats and has some radical, ambient ideas going on here, but the rush of the first few minutes is what it’s all about.

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