24 September 2017

Cargo Culting

Christopher D'Archangelo, Post No Art (c. 1975) as seen at documenta 14, Kassel, Germany.

via Thierry Geoffrey

Various graffiti, Athens, Greece. Summer, 2017.

07 September 2017


Honestly, back in the days when Julian Cope's Krautrocksampler doc became the Young Person's Guide to Same, I took issue with the author's assertion that German prog was part of a concerted effort to shed all all Anglo-American influences. True enough if you're listening to Neu!, Harmonia, Kraftwerk, Cluster, and Faust; but not much of the case at all when applied to most of their German prog contemporaries.

And not so true much early Can, either; which -- despite however adventurous it aiming to be -- still adhered to the arc set by Anglo-American psych/blues/"freak-out" models. But that would change soon enough , all such stuff was gradually stripped away and the music pared back to its base elements. Which is probably why Ege Bamyasi and Future Days remain the albums I most often revisit. With the former album, the band starts to shed the aforementioned baggage -- with Czukay's bass and Jaki Liebezeit's drums brought prominently into the foreground, guiding much of what transpires, mixed and crafted in a way that created an uncanny sense of sonic spatiality. The latter album followed further down that path -- far enough to achieve its own peculiar musical universe.

It was heartening to see Czukay paid proper tribute when the post-rave electronic music boom of the late 1990s came along -- his contributions as an e-musik pioneer widely recognized, thus giving him a second life with a new generation of listeners. I recall clips of him playing as festivals, bobbing and dancing around behind racks of new-gen gear, delighted that the world still kept offering him the means to further explore musical ideas that had gotten into his head from his early days as a Stockhausen student.

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