Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Holger Czukay

Listening to Holger Czukay & Rolf Dammers' 1968 album Canaxis... I posted something about this album back in February and bemoaned the fact that I hadn't picked up the Spoon/Mute edition from the 90's, now long out of print. But earlier this week, I bit the bullet and bought a copy of the album off discogs, which appears to be an unauthorized facsimile of the Spoon edition, right down to the same barcode on the back cover. The only difference is the the matrix inscription on the data side of the CD disc - the Spoon edition reads: SPOONCD15 DACD AUSTRIA, the facsimile: holger czukay & rolf dammers 'canaxis' So, if you're seeking this album out, be aware of that. Happily though, the sound quality of my CD, even on my tired equipment is fantastic, this is no needle-dropping bootleg I'm glad to say... Incidentally I was searching for info on Rolf Dammers earlier and I drew a blank. He's credited on the album as "co-producer, general support" but Canaxis is Holger Czukay's show no doubt and the credit to Dammers (his name appears on every pressing of the album and early LP editions featured his photograph) is a generous one...



I must mention another Czukay CD that arrived thru my letterbox this week, more coincidence than design I might add. Looking at a David Sylvian 2CD compilation on Amazon I chanced upon a third party seller offering a used CD copy of Sylvian's 1988 collaboration with Czukay, Plight and Premonition which contains two side long pieces of evocative ambient drift. It's a warmer record than the more austere Canaxis, but still an occasionally eerie sounding album (one track enigmatically titled The Spiralling of Winter Ghosts), with various disembodied German and Russian voices drifting thru the soundscape of spectral piano chimes, treated guitar, idiosyncratic found sounds, snatches of captured chamber music and something called Infra Sound, credited on the album sleeve to Jaki Liebezeit. The CD finally replaces my crackling, jumpy vinyl copy although the LP remains one to savor if only for the stunning photograph which graces the cover. This all reminds me that I must check out the second Czukay/Sylvian album Flux + Mutability at some point...




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