Saturday, 14 November 2020

Can's Sacrilege? - Eddy reviews the remixes

Eddy Bamyasi

As the title suggests this album of Can remixes was a risky project but it actually works pretty well and there are some exciting reworkings here which have, on the whole, been praised by the band… except Damo Suzuki that is:

It’s not my tea.

As befits the era Sacrilege (1997) consists mostly of remixed instrumentals of original tracks in the drum and bass style. Therein lies the issue. As the original Can songs are already very drum and bass heavy the artists behind this project struggled to improve upon the fab originals. It wasn’t enough to simply add some banging beats and funky drummer fills. Brian Eno sums up the problem:

Any attempt to do anything rhythmic against Jaki is an insult to his beautiful, spare playing, and just fills up the gaps he so gracefully left.

Eno’s track, Pnoom, is one of the most interesting (although it is a shame his version of Uphill has never surfaced). The 56 second free form jazz honker is given new clarity and light.

Probably the most successful tracks are the ones where the re-mixer has given up attempting to better the original and has created something altogether different. Irmin Schmidt states that he enjoyed Tango Whiskeyman but didn’t recognise it! You Doo Right is a case in point where the original basic riff is turned into a magnificent Ibiza style anthem!

About The Author

Eddy Bamyasi

Eddy is a music writer from Brighton, England, named after a Can record. Each Sunday he logs and reviews the albums that happen to be in his vintage Pioneer 6-CD magazine changer, amongst other things.

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