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Ege Bamyasi Original recording reissued

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, May 19, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

By the time of 1972's Ege Bamyasi, Can had consolidated, with singer Damo Suzuki fully entrenched as the unstable Michael Mooney's replacement. Suzuki's vocals range from shrieks to inaudible chanting, tackling subjects as mundane as "your vitamin C" while implying an archetypal depth. Evidence of a band at the height of their interactive powers is here. Anchored by the "percussion and flexation" (as he's credited) of Jaki Liebezeit, Can delivers seven pounding sermons of rhythmic prowess, peaking with the 10:30 sound storm of "Soup." Liebezeit's long drum riff in "Pinch"--pegged by a resounding bass thoom at the end of each repetition--creates an ellipse in which feedback bursts, guitar and keyboard note clusters, and Damo's vocal witchery combine into a perfectly balanced, loping cyclone, with each element beautifully playing off the next. Like Miles's On the Corner, Ege Bamyasi is a definitive statement on merging jazz ideology with the surging menace of rock & roll. --Gene Booth
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • ASIN: B0000067X3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,975 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It seems that when it comes to Can, at least on this site, the conversation tends to be basically "Tago Mago this, Tago Mago that," which strikes me as more than a bit unfair. Tago Mago certainly *is* a brilliant album that's more than worthy of all the praise it's generated, but Ege Bamyasi, while obviously different, is in my humble estimation every bit as excellent. This album was vastly ahead of its time at its release three decades ago, but given the fact that rock music (or at least its public face) has seemingly regressed to the point of unbearable stupidity the contrast is even more obvious now. This album (much like Tago Mago) doesn't even fit into the prog-rock classification of the time, as there's little here to remind one of Rush or Pink Floyd. True, there aren't any crazed fifteen-plus minute epics of the sort you'll find on Tago Mago, but the (somewhat) more song-oriented approach of this album clearly suits Can just fine.

Led by the manic, freakish vocals of Damo Suzuki, Ege Bamyasi bends genres with aplomb, effortlessly including pop, rock, jazz, and psychedelia into one insanely eclectic and addictive stew. This album revels in detail and unpredictability, as each song is overflowing with off-kilter time signatures and and unconventional structures. Plenty of rock bands that have emerged since Can have employed similar devices-the Flaming Lips, Blur, and the Boredoms come to mind-but Can were arguably both the first and the best. The songs here often take as their starting point only the bare bones of the traditional rock sound, but they're far from minimal, as Can were masters at fleshing out their material with decidedly non-rock instrumentation and bizarre use of tape loops.
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Format: Audio CD
Few bands can boast a sound that's as original, distinctive and influential as Can's heyday albums. 1971's "Tago Mago" was Can's superb surge into the limelight, but side two's incessant sonic attack makes it hard to digest, and at times feels a little dated. "Ege Bamyasi" on the other hand is concise, pure and unadulterated Can. More direct, yet maintaining all the funky, darkly psychedelic overtones that makes up their signature sound. As always the foundations are laid down by drummer extraordinaire Jaki Liebezeit, evident immediately with the ferocious rhythmic throat-clearing of "Pinch". "Vitamin C" and "I'm So Green" are a master class in psychedelic funk, extremely physical, raw and energetic and both showcasing Damo Suzuki at his wild best. While "Ege Bamyasi" lacks the flamboyant avant-garde ramblings of "Tago Mago", there is room for experimentation within the extended "Soup", which ends in a flourish of dizzying ambience. And then there's the centre-point, the gloriously sombre and brooding "Sing Swan Song", quite possibly my favourite Can. "Ege Bamyasi" is an album rightly heralded as a pinnacle to the krautrock and 70s experimental movement. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Hearing Ege Bamyasi for the first time, more than 30 years after its initial release, cut though years of jaded rock fandom. It brought back the same tangy shock of discovery I felt when I first heard the Velvet Underground, or saw bands like Magazine, Patti Smith, and the Sex Pistols on late-night TV, and started buying records in the first place.

It's of the same bold but accessible experimentalism of Miles Davis's early fusion, the minimalist art-rock of the Velvets, and the hypnotic trance-rock of the post-punk bands it predated by nearly a decade. In its spiky grooves, its backdrop of atmospheric sounds, and the odd murmurings of Damo Suzuki is something as ageless as a primitive tribal ritual.
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Format: Audio CD
This may be CAN's most fun album. My personal favorite by this band, the album starts out with a simultaneous squawk from the guitar, a crash from drums, and a smiling sigh from out-there vocal stylist Damo Suzuki. "Pinch" proceeds to loosely veer into dangerous and unpredictable territory for nearly 10 minutes. "Sing Swan Song" is subdued and beautiful, perfectly transforming into the rhythm and quiet feel of flowing of water that begins the track. "Sing Swan Song" also serves as a precursor to the more ambient explorations of their next album FUTURE DAYS. It also, like the lighter, airier "One More Night" features a haunting (without the "haunt") keyboard sound. "Vitamin C" is such a cool song. Jaki L. steps up the intensity with a poly-rhythmic drum march and M. Karoli delivers a sinister descending jazz-guitar.
"You! You're losing! you're losing! you're losing yer Vitamin C!"
"Vitamin C" dissolves into a computerized scramble which turns into the more challenging "Soup" - actually it contains a good song or 2 in there before it goes off the map into some fascinating experimental territory a la the wierder moments on TAGO MAGO. "I'm So Green" is truly the epitome of COOL (unlike what some frankly misguided reviewer wrote here). We get that great jazz guitar style again from Michael and an irressistably catchy rhythm that breaks into an even catchier one at the end - very smooth. "Spoon" could be the coolest of all CAN songs. It's trippier with a distinctive atmosphere, delivered in large manner once again by those haunted keys.
This band was so creative. This album shows them in top form. I know this music isn't for everyone . . . but it should be!
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