Friday, March 13, 2015

Can - Soon Over Babaluma (1974)

A band as exciting, inventive, and all-in-all awe-inspiring as Can deserves better than some rando blog bro trying to assert his ideas about which of their albums is "best." As far as I'm concerned, their first six albums -- of which Soon Over Babaluma is the last -- all should be considered as some of the greatest experimental rock records ever made, and trying to figure out how they stack up against each other is asinine (don't tell Pitchfork that, though, cause they're pretty sure that Soon Over is 0.1 better than Future Days.) BUT I will say that I listen to this one the most.

In the first three tracks, there are quasi-Latin grooves, something resembling early ska or reggae, some odd, distorted violin, and countless other ideas and sounds, all crammed into a remarkably cohesive yet scatterbrained sound. The final two tracks, "Chain Reaction" and "Quantum Physics", find the band joyfully riding propulsive, percussive musical mantras into previously uncharted territory somewhere in the stratosphere, leaving pretty much every other band ever far, far behind.

Track listing:
1. Dizzy Dizzy
2. Come Sta, La Luna
3. Splash
4. Chain Reaction
5. Quantum Physics

Sunshine day and night


  1. Personally I have much love for "Saw Delight", side two in particular. "Animal Waves" makes a perfect accompaniment for switching gears on tight alpine switchbacks.

    1. I do like Saw Delight, but it feels like it misses the mark occasionally -- for me anyway. I've never listened to it while skiing, though (that's what you're talking about, right?)

  2. First LP of their's I heard, so unsurprisingly it still means the most. Never understood the worship of 'Future Days' though. Big fan of their last eponymous date.

  3. @Siphonophoros:
    So glad to see your post. I opened the Comments box expecting to post an "I know I'll be the odd man out here but I love Saw Delight" spiel. Thrilled to see you beat me to it. The African rhythms (or at least that's how I hear them) that pulse through that album make it a perennial go-to for me.