“The first version of Can’s Mother Sky to cross my path was an edit, and even that was better part of eight minutes. The album in question was a double vinyl compilation called Cannibalism and to this day it remains my go-to when somebody asks me what’s the best starter Can album. Because it covers the most ground while tactfully avoiding their later just-not-as-great stuff. Because Can, in their prolonged moment, were f***ing great. Not just the best of the so-called Krautrock crowd, but maybe (on some days anyway) the best damned band ever, from anywhere, any time. And for me, that moment starts with 1970’s Soundtracks (an album’s worth of music made for various movies) because it’s the first Can offering to feature Damo Suzuki‘s vocals, which definitely rise to occasion in the fourteen-plus minute original version of Mother Sky. It’s 1970 and the five piece Communist-Anarchist-Nihilist combo known as Can are getting down to it somewhere in Koln, West Germany, releasing the thunder, inventing the future. Nothing will ever be the same.” (Philip Random)
Neu! being German for New! Hero being the closest Neu! ever came to a proper song with lyrics and singing and everything. Meanwhile, at pretty much the same moment in time, somewhere across town, their former band mates Kraftwerk were perfecting what would come to be known as techno-music. So maybe call Hero a proto-form of punk. Beat simple and four-to-the-floor, everything else snarling melodically along until screaming to noise at the end. And the world would hear it one way or another, the times would change. And seriously, who better than some malcontent German hippies to call bullshit on the whole notion of heroism? Or whatever it’s about.
“I don’t often brag about specific albums I own. But holy sh**, how cool am I to have a mint 1972 Japanese pressing of Faust‘s So Far with 12-page booklet intact! And I paid less than ten bucks for it. Which would all be pointless blather if the music itself didn’t deliver. Which it does, So Far being an album of strange and extreme moods and sidetracks (some might call it noise) with It’s A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl either a #1 pop hit in another, cooler, far weirder and better universe (where Faust really were The German Beatles) , or just a long brash walk along a certain razor’s edge – where genius actually touches stupidity, but it never falls in, even when the saxophone finally arrives past the six minute point, out of tune, of course.” (Philip Random)
The sixth of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, working no particular theme, pursuing no particular agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.
06. Pulse + Return
Bobby Blue Bland – I’ll take care of you
Air – alone in Kyoto
Can – I’m too leise
Agitation Free – pulse
Beastie Boys – Eugene’s Lament
Guru Guru – oxymoron [immer middle]
Can – return to BB City
My Bloody Valentine – loomer
CloudDead – rifle eyes
Groove Armada vs Tears for Fears – Pharaohs
Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“The story of the Cosmic Jokers goes something like this. Germany 1973, a guy named Dieter Dierks is throwing cool parties in his studio, all musicians welcome. Just show up, gobble some acid, lay down some tracks. And he gets some top players throwing in. Members of Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein among others. Later on, Dierks would do more drugs and muck around with the tapes, maybe get his girlfriend to speak over things, then release it without telling anybody, or cutting them in on any royalties. Which got lawyers involved, and Cosmic Jokers relegated to the extremely rare Krautrock category. But Galactic Supermarket seems to have found me anyway.” (Philip Random)
“Krautrock weirdoes Guru Guru get as close as they ever got to a normal rock and roll song in what appears to be an attempt at an actual radio friendly single. Nice try, guys. It would’ve been new to the world in around 1973, but I didn’t heard it until least ten years later. Punk and then post-punk had to blow through, eviscerate all my suburban preconceptions before I was ready for such an elevated strangeness.” (Philip Random)