Thursday, 7 September 2017

Can, canned



I never was a fan of controversial "modernist" composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, nor of the experimental "Krautrock" band Can (the slightly warped product of two of Stockhausen's pupils). However, I was aware of Can's influence, and in particular that of their erstwhile "knob-twiddler" Holger Czukay, who died on Tuesday - not least for the fact that many an artist of the late '70s and early '80s in that eclectic genre known as "alternative music", such as Talking Heads, Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, The Fall, Julian Cope or any number of post-punk black-trenchcoat-wearers, cited him as an influence in their musical development; and in his time he collaborated on projects with the likes of Peter Gabriel, the Eurythmics, Jah Wobble, David Sylvian and Brian Eno.

Of course, there is only so much avant-garde experimental music that one can easily enjoy - I doubt I could sit through a whole concert/album by Herr Czukay at his most esoteric any more than I would, say, sit through an entire evening of a Laurie Anderson-Philip Glass "audio-visual project", Steve Reich's Desert Music, or Miles Davis at his most 1970s-"jazz-fusion" extreme. Lord knows, I've seen some strange stuff - most recently last year's perplexing "Bowie Prom" with Marc Almond, John Cale, Anna Calvi and Amanda Palmer - but I prefer my "oddest" musical experiences in bite-size chunks, on the whole.

Rather like this one...


RIP Holger Czukay (24th March 1938 - 5th September 2017)

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