Can: Live in Aston 1977

This is the fifth of Can’s „Live in …“ series, recorded again by some audience member, this time even in stereo — these tiny little walkman units with stereo mics that came up in the late seventies made it possible. The sound quality is not bad, especially when using headphones.

This recording shows Can with a new line-up, as it was to be heard already on their album Saw Delight of the same year. Holger Czukay had given up the bass and handed it over to Rosco Gee of Traffic. Instead bass, Holger now added sound samples, using a shortwave radio and his famous dictaphone. The radio and the pre-recorded sounds on the dictaphone he could integrate into the live music with a morse key. Mostly the samples he uses are well known already — mainly they come from Holger’s solo albums Movies and Canaxis. But there’s also a telephone which Holger used to randomly call people and integrate their clueless „Hello …?“ into the ongoing music.

While these external sounds work fine on Holger’s own recordings and relatively well on Can’s (dummyhead mixed) album Saw Delight, it does not really work in this live set. Holger’s sounds remain in the background here and aren’t making much sense — one might get the impression they were more conceded than accepted. Holger left Can with the following album, Out Of Reach, and somehow you can feel the loss already here.

Anyways, Rosco Gee delivers a solid and sometimes funky bass fundament. The band somehow seems to anticipate already the overall sounds of their following LPs Out Of Reach (the only Can album that somehow failed), and the self-titled Can, which finished the chapter Can in 1979.

Live in Aston 1977 has four tracks, two long ones and two shorter ones, all in all around 45 minuted of playing time. „Two“ is clearly an improvised version of their famous „Vitamin C“, Damo’s vocals are played here by guitar. In „Three“, Irmin spurs his Alpha-77 unit (which contains mainly ring modulation and filters). There are also some keyboard hints to „Vernal Equinox“ from the Landed album. In general, Jaki’s drums tend to clatter along a bit, while Irmin’s Farfisa organ is a bit too much in the foreground. But don’t forget the source — probably the bootlegger sat somewhere in front of him.

3 Kommentare

  • Michael Engelbrecht

    His famous dictaphone…. ich glaube, jetzt besorge ich mir doch mal auf Cd Sushi Roti Reibekuchen von Eno / Schwalm / Czukay (with his famos dictaphone) zu, von Bonn, 1999, das unlängst rauskam. Ich war bei Teilen der Jams dabei, aber wie solche improvs so sind, mal magisch, mal nicht so dolle…auch damals gab es tolle Sequenzen (in my memory)… vor Tagen eine Besprechung in PopMatters. (michael)

  • Michael Engelbrecht

    Heute kam Sushi Roti Reibekuchen an, und wo ein Eno ist, ist eine Cale nicht weit entfernt. Lukas von Domino schickte mir die neue John Cale, die dann neben Eno im Postkasten landete. Da habe ich was zu hören auf der Fahrt nach Dortmund😉

  • Jan Reetze

    Die Eno/Czukay/Schwalm ist dankenswerterweise bereits in den Streamingdiensten, von Cale erst die Singleauskopplung, Da wird der Rest wohl bald folgen.

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