Sunday, September 10, 2017

Detourn to Forever

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It's Sunday and time for a vital tribute to a true pioneer and avatar of the music of our age.
Today's honoree passed this week at 79 from an undisclosed illness, but not before 50 years in sound construction and not before founding one of the epoch's most important and beloved bands.
Perhaps his most epic contribution to the sonic continuum is the fact that he was the very first person to begin to use records and recorded music and material to make new stuff. Back in 1968 when he started doing it, it didn't have a name.
Nowadays, we just call it sampling, and it's arguably the last major innovation we've seen in the arena. Zillions of people have used a stack of LPs and a couple of turntables to create new vistas in sound since... but this guy started it.
And then there's that band. Certainly one of the most influential ensembles ever to plug in an amplifier, there's just no quantifying what they mean to so many. Their music will still be fresh and challenging a thousand years and more from now. If you referred to them as the greatest German rock group of all time, you'd get precious little argument.
They may have been the first band of their kind to have their own studio... built for them by none other than that guy again. The idea that their first five or six records -- all indispensable to the power of essential -- were cobbled together from (mostly live-in-the-studio) two-track tape just drops my jaw right to the floor. That's right, the fuckers didn't even have multitrack facilities until around 1975!!!!
If you don't know by now, they were called The Can -- he named them after The Who, sort of -- and the man was named Holger Czukay. The experiments he and they undertook have done as much as anyone to subtly shape the last half century of recorded sound on this planet.
When he changed frequencies this past Tuesday, there were plentiful and instant tributes published in several musicianly places, detailing who he was and suggesting what tracks of his and of Can's are most representative of his output and his ideas.
Because I am 1) insane and 2) have little better to do, I took the list of songs from two of these online music mags and set about bringing their hypotheses into the real world, so to speak. I constructed a 3CD compendium of Czukay's best, utilizing all the tracks proffered by Pitchfork and most of those selected by The Stranger, plus a few of my own choices to round things out.
This little four-hour extravaganza -- as fine an introduction to the work of this compelling and extraordinary artist as may yet exist -- is titled Pitchfork Stranger Cutaway and can be found right here, as a reward for those brave enough to actually read my screed all the way through.
Additionally we have a Can concert from Halloween 1975, remastered meticulously by audiomaestro Tom Phillips from what sounds to me like a stage-miked capture made by the band themselves. This was recorded in Stuttgart and provides a marvelous snapshot of what this most seminal combo was like on the boards and in full flight in their mid-1970s heyday.
Can
Gustav Siegle Haus
Stuttgart, Germany
10.31.1975
(finkployd49-TomP V2 remaster)

01 Improvisation
02 Bel Air
03 Dizzy Dizzy
04 Pinch
05 Quantum Physics (on 'speed')
06 Improvisation

Total time: 1:19:30

Irmin Schmidt - keyboards
Michael Karoli - guitar & vocals
Holger Czukay - bass & electronics
Jaki Liebezeit - drums

unknown recording, possibly stage microphones or mixing desk, remastered by Tom Phillips from a finkployd49 tape
535 MB FLAC here
I'd advise grabbing both the mixtape and the concert, but I posted them separately to the cloud so's you'd have options. Either way, both should be taken as necessary tribute to the late Holger Czukay -- sampling forefather and a cultural alchemist for the ages -- as living proof of his indescribably central influence on the music of our lifetimes.--J.
3.24.1938 - 9.5.2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

Countdown to Eulogy

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I never seen you looking so bad my funky one
You tell me that your super fine mind has come undone
Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again
When the demon is at your door
In the morning it won't be there no more
Any major dude will tell you
Any major dude will tell you
Have you ever seen a squonk's tears? Well, look at mine
The people on the street have all seen better times
Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again
When the demon is at your door
In the morning it won't be there no more
Any major dude will tell you
Any major dude will tell you
I can tell you all I know, the where to go, the what to do
You can try to run but you can't hide from what's inside of you
Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again
When the demon is at your door
In the morning it won't be there no more
Any major dude will tell you
Any major dude will tell you
Steely Dan
Record Plant
Los Angeles, CA
3.20.1974

01 opening remarks
02 Bodhisattva
03 The Boston Rag
04 Do It Again
05 Any Major Dude
06 King of the World
07 Rikki Don't Lose That Number
08 tuning
09 Pretzel Logic
10 Your Gold Teeth II (Jam)
11 Reelin' In the Years
12 This All Too Mobile Home
13 closing remarks

Total time: 57:14

Donald Fagen - piano, synthesizer, vocals
Walter Becker - bass
Royce Jones - percussion, vocals
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter - guitar, pedal steel guitar, percussion, vocals
Denny Dias - guitar
Michael McDonald - Fender Rhodes, vocals
Jim Hodder - drums, percussion, vocals
Jeff Porcaro - drums

pre-FM master reel, remastered by Remasters Workshop
350 MB FLAC here
Any major dude will tell you
2.20.1950 - 9.3.2017