Can you believe it??
Krautrock titans Can will reissue 14 catalog albums on vinyl for the first time in more than a decade, starting with the classics Ege Bamyasi, Tago Mago, Monster Movie and Soundtracks. Those are out Sept. 2 on Mute.
Oct. 7 brings Future Days, Soon Over Babaluma, Landed, Flow Motion amd Saw Delight (the latter of which includes a CD).
Oct. 21 we have Can, Delay, Out Of Reach (including the album for the first time on CD), Rite Time and Unlimited Edition.
On Nov. 4 the band will release The Lost Tapes as five individual LPs. Previously it was only available as a box set.
Can was formed in 1968, releasing their debut album, Monster Movie, in 1969 with Malcolm Mooney on vocals, first introducing their sense of experimentation and layering that would go on to be perfected on the band’s masterpieces, 1971’s Tago Mago and 1972’s Ege Bamyasi. Soundtracks, released in 1970, marked the beginning of Damo Suzuki as the band’s vocalist and compiled tracks written for various films.
Can’s influence would of course go on to be felt immediately, creating the so-called “krautrock” sound alongside loosely associated German bands of the late '60s and early '70s like Neu! and Faust with driving 4/4 beats and layers of sound built around simple structures, as well as later, influencing acts such as Radiohead, Stereolab, Portishead, New Order, Kanye West and countless others. If it’s your first time to the band, these Sept. 2 releases are a good place to start.
Damon McMahon has been making lo-fi psychedelic folk under the Amen Dunes moniker over the past decade. Several tours, a stint living in China and a few records later, and Amen Dunes are having a breakthrough moment with the recently released Love, a cleaner, more precise album and perhaps one of the best of the year thus far, full of swirling, melancholic folk-rockers with carefully considered experimental touches.
I’ve read that in the past you recorded a lot of things on your own onto tape. What made you want to go for a more produced sound on this record?
I think I’ve always wanted to make records that sounded really good, but I didn’t have the means to do so. It’s always been a solitary process, it never really worked for me in studios, but I’ve always wanted to make a record that sounded really good but I never really had the ability to do that. I had specific visions for this record. I had this idea of imagining what a songwriter record would sound like if it was backed by Pharoah Sanders. I was really obsessed with this Pharoah Sanders record called Karma, I have been for a long time. I wanted to make a record that production-wise was reminiscent of that. And I couldn’t really do that with a TASCAM four-track.
Was it important to keep some of the immediacy of your earlier work? I’m thinking of a song like “I Can’t Dig It,” which has almost a live feel to it.
Sandra Vu has been the cool presence behind the drum kit in a number of bands, both on record and live. She's helped propel such bands as Dirty Beaches, The Raveonettes, Midnight Movies, Boredoms and, most often, as the drummer for Dum Dum Girls.
Now she has her own project named SISU. Judging by her resume, SISU's debut album is somehow both comfortingly familiar, drawing from influences such as girl groups and noise pop, and something entirely new. The strange tones that strike across the skies of songs like "Counting Stars" and pulsating beats under songs like "Harpoons" draw more from krautrock, industrial and experimental music than contemporary shoegaze, while Vu's vocals range from disaffected and alien to front-and-center pop vocals. Blood Tears is a delight throughout, atmospheric and cool, yet catchy and immediately memorable.
I took a minute to speak with Vu about her new project and how she came into making music on her own.
Me: I hear SISU is the Finnish word for “extreme perseverance.” Why did you choose that name?
Vu: Originally, "SISU" stems from my name, but we later found out that it was a Finnish word. I like the meaning though so we've adopted it, respectfully.