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Can - Ege Bamyasi CD (album) cover





3.90 | 408 ratings

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4 stars "Ege Bamyasi" is the 4th full-length studio album by German experimental/ psychadelic rock act Can (if you count the compiled album "Soundtracks (1970)" as a studio album and not a compilation). The album was released through United Artists in November 1972. "Ege Bamyasi" is the second album in a row with a stabile lineup. Once again featuring Japanese vocalist Damo Suzuki behind the microphone.

Can had earlier in 1972 had great succes with the single release "Spoon". A single that sold over 300.000 copies and charted on the Top 20 in Germany. The track had been used as the theme song in a German TV Thriller series called "Das Messer" and gained a lot of popularity and exposure through that series. Can made a considerable amount of money on the commercial success of the single which allowed them to move into better recording quarters for the recording of "Ege Bamyasi". The sessions for "Ege Bamyasi" didnīt run too smoothly though and because of a shortage of material the band had to include the "Spoon" track on the album.

musically the material on "Ege Bamyasi" were up until then the bandīs most accessible output but itīs still quite experimental and certainly not mainstream oriented. Not even the "Spoon", which was arguably a mainstream hit, is what Iīd characterize as a track with mainstream appeal (but mainstream audiences sometimes catchess on to something, that you never thought they would).

"Ege Bamyasi" opens with the rhythmically complex and very intriguing "Pinch". Repetitive driving beats, lots of feedback noises, experimental keyboards, and psychadelic vocals. A prime example of Canīs exceptional interplay and mutual understanding of dynamics and rhythm. The 10:25 minutes long "Soup" is the most experimental track on the album. About 4 minutes into the song it turns very experimental and the rest of the song can be described as a combination of the avant garde rock sound of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention and the bizarre jazz rock sound of Magma (for the lack of a better description). Eerie noises and yelling, talking and singing vocals by Damo Suzuki. The remaining tracks on the 7 track, 39:26 minutes long album, are not as experimental but the repetitive almost tribal rhythmic playing are a dominant element on all tracks. The music is not melodic in a traditional sense of melody being something catchy that you can sing along to, but there are several memorable hooks and rhythms that make the music relatively accessible anyway. The reggae type vocals on "Vitamin C" are an example of a unique memorable feature on the album.

The musicianship are outstanding. There are so many innovative ideas featured on the tracks and the passionate attitude with which those tracks are played/sung is greatly charming. Although all musicians on the album are highly skilled and all worth a mention I will however give a special mention to drummer Jaki Liebezeit, because of his absolutely brilliant contributions to the album. Itīs hard not to adore his inventive powerful playing and impeccable sense of rhythm.

The sound production is professional, powerful, and organic sounding. Itīs almost like standing next to the musicians playing. Itīs got that authentic almost live feel to it. While everything is very well sounding on the album Iīll give a special mention to the drum sound, which is probably one of the best drum productions Iīve yet encountered. Itīs incredibly well sounding and powerful.

So upon conclusion "Ege Bamyasi" is a high quality album on all parameters. Itīs highly recommendable to anyone with an interest in experimental/psychadelic rock with a strong emphasis on rhythm. The most "out there" experiments are kept at an acceptable level, which provides "Ege Bamyasi" with an accessible edge, although itīs ultimately quite the experimental release. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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