Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Listening to Holger Czukay’s 1979 album Movies… Whenever I dig this album out, it requires a few passes before the weirdness of the album wears off on me. The core of Can appear on this record at various points - Irmin Schmidt, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit were all drafted in to add a touch of their magic, and it’s probably why the album resembles in places Future Days. But on the whole the album has a far sunnier disposition than Can – there’s none of Tago Mago’s frightening experimentation, in fact the opening track Cool In the Pool could pass for skewed Euro-pop. One significant aspect of the album are the samples peppered throughout – dialogue is lifted from movies (naturally) and there’s a distinct middle eastern texture. Czukay had sampled exotic voices before, on the Canaxis album, but I wonder was the Movies album a more direct influence on Eno and Byrne’s My Life In the Bush of Ghosts (which also pulls dialogue and middle eastern vocals into its mix). Listening to the album, a scene from The Man Who Fell To Earth springs to mind, where Bowie’s character is feverishly channel surfing thru the bank of televisions he has set up – the film’s soundtrack is suddenly swamped by dialogue from old movies, documentaries, adverts, and a Roy Orbison song, creating an extraordinary bricolage of sound…

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