Future Days: Can’s Ambient Indie Masterpiece

Future Days - 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. 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.

Comprising only four songs, there’s the eponymous album opener (arguably Can’s finest moment – 7 minutes of absolute perfection), the typically experimental Spray, the lively pop song Moonshake (we named our other blog after this song), and the sprawling, harmonic Bel Air (which 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. Or else!

Future Days

Above is a segment of Future Days which cuts out the gorgeous two minute intro, but it provides a big segment of the song right there. The reason we’ve not added it in full is because we can’t find it in full on YouTube. Curses!

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.

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.

Bel Air

To wrap this post up, here’s a small segment of the album closer – the 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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