Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tago mago

This avante garde, trance, lo-fi, postrock, psychedelic dance music sounded forth from the catacombs of a castle in Cologne. Can recorded their cosmic garage funk with minimal equipment. They would improvise and then edit the results of their extended jam sessions with tape effects and sound collage. 

After their debut album 'Monster Movie', their lead singer Malcolm Mooney left the group.  Holger Czukay ran into Kenji "Damo" Suzuki on the street in Munich and invited him to join their experimental rock band.  The group was allowed to record at Schloss Nörvenich with Czukay on bass, engineering, and editing;  Michael Karoli on guitar and violin;  Jaki Liebezeit on drums, double bass, and piano;  Irmin Schmidt on keyboards and vocals on "Aumgn";  and Suzuki on vocals.  

Suzuki: "Surely for the other members of Can, Jazz and Stockhausen very much influenced the matter. They’re also Germans and some of them studied Stockhausen and played free jazz before they joined the band. I was much more interested in music from other continents, and also religion. I saw many shamans... I just like to be myself."

Schmidt: "We had nothing to start from. No theme, no nothing. Only the environment, in the sense of Cage that we discussed. And this is not jazz, this is something totally different...The one thing we had all in common was listening to ethnic music. When we met we figured out that everybody had listened to this -- I was into Japanese medieval court music, Noh theatre music and Bugaku. Jaki was into Arabian music. And Mickey and I were both big admirers of Balinese music, we were chasing after every tape."

Czukay: "Tago Mago is a magical work. Before Jaki came to Can, he was trying to commit suicide. He was playing with Chet Baker in Barcelona, as a jazz drummer. Then he went to Ibiza. And south of this island is a rock called Tago Mago. Mago means magic, and Tago was the name of a magic master who lived there. And Jaki was on that rock and tried to spring down because he thought his life didn’t make any sense. I think he is the one who said we should call it Tago Mago." 

 Experimental and influential, these polyrhythmic pioneers predated many modern musical forms.   James Brown, meet Pink Floyd.




Tago Mago full album:

All songs written and composed by Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt and Damo Suzuki. 

Side one
3.Oh Yeah 
Side two
Side three
Side four
6.Peking O 
7.Bring Me Coffee Or Tea 

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