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RIP Holger Czukay

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 3, 2017 03:05pm | Post a Comment

Holger Czukay

by Michael Henning

Can founder and bassist Holger Czukay died September 5, 2017. The band posted the following on Facebook: "We are very sad to confirm that Holger passed away yesterday, in his home, the old CAN Studio in Weilerswist. His wife U-She passed away only weeks before. Holger was devastated by the loss of his beloved partner, but was looking forward to making more music and was in good spirits. His passing has come as a shock. We will post more information about funeral arrangements shortly."



In the mid-1960's, Czukay studied under electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne. Can, Tago MagoCan's soon-to-be keyboardist Irmin Schmidt was another student of Stockhausen at that time, and it was not long before the two joined forces, recruiting guitarist Michael Karoli and drummer Jaki Liebezeit to round out the core Can lineup in 1968. Malcolm Mooney, an American living in Germany at the time, became their singer for the first few years. Can recorded their dynamic and fiery debut album, Monster Movie, with him. Mooney was later replaced by Damo Suzuki, a long-haired Japanese hippie who the band notoriously found busking on the street the day of one of their gigs. They convinced Damo to join them later that night for a performance and he stayed a member of the band for the next three albums. It was an excellent match, one that yielded some of the band's best work, including their sprawling psychedelic double LP masterpiece Tago Mago, the now-heavily sampled funky grooves of Ege Bamyasi, and the endearing ambient-rock classic Future Days.
Holger Czukay
Czukay did most of the engineering and producing of the early Can albums, shaping their sound with his incisive tape cutting technique, and turning group improvisations into finished pieces. No less important to the group's sound, he also played the bass with a unique style which might be best summed up as "minimalist avant-funk." Of his chosen instrument, Czukay once said “the bass player’s like a king in chess. He doesn’t move much, but when he does he changes everything.”

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Avant-Garde Music Collection Arrives at Amoeba Hollywood October 22

Posted by Amoebite, October 18, 2016 12:09pm | Post a Comment

Avant-Garde CD Sale

We are very excited to announce that we've acquired the amazing CD collection of LA Free Music Society member Juan Gomez! This one-of-a-kind collection will be on display and available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood starting Saturday, October 22nd. Juan's collection leans toward the catalog of mindfully experimental artists with classical influence, with many obscure releases and long out-of-print titles among the assemblage. It features over 700 pieces, including hard-to-find gems from artists such as Philip Glass and Olga Neuwirth, as well as labels Kairos, ECM New Series, Wergo, and Neos.

Avant-Garde Music Collection at Amoeba Hollywood

Los Angeles Free Music SocietyJuan Gomez, as an early adapter and member of the improvisational LAFMS collective, has always had an interest in contemporary music of all kinds. His taste for modernism also drew him into the musical landscape of 20th century avant-garde composers and thus inspired his interest in collecting their recordings early on. As a young man, the recordings he experienced at his local library of Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and John Cage helped to strongly influence his music buying tastes.

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Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928 - 2007

Posted by Whitmore, December 10, 2007 10:55am | Post a Comment


Karlheinz Stockhausen
has died at the age of 79 at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg, Germany. Regarded as one of the greatest musical visionaries of the 20th-century, he earned a great deal of respect and admiration from a cult following for his original and influential compositions, as well as for his authorship of new musical systems. But he’ll mostly be remembered as being one of the pivotal voices in the development of electronic music following World War Two. Though esteemed by many, he also earned a great amount of scorn from those who found his work to be “monotonous” or “unnecessary, useless and uninteresting”. He didn’t help his cause with his own awe-inspiring megalomania and eccentricities.

But ultimately he was a man who influenced practically everyone from the Beatles (he’s pictured on the Sgt. Pepper album cover,) to the Kraut rock sounds of Can (Holger Czukay and Irmin Schmidt studied with him), to the psychedelic sounds of early Pink Floyd, to the unconventional rock worlds of Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, Coil and Björk to the world of jazz and beyond with the likes of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Anthony Braxton Herbie Hancock, Evan Parker, and to the newer breed of avant garde composers like Cornelius Cardew and Hugh Davies. Stockhausen is also generally regarded as one of the originators of techno, given his experimentation with electronics which included tape, oscillators and Ondes Martenot back in the fifties and his use of beats in the 1970’s.

More recently, he made news for his reaction to the attack on the World Trade Center. Not  known outside the world of modern-music he became instantly infamous for calling the attack “the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos.” Needless to say, his comments drew outrage. He later apologized, saying that his allegorical remarks had been misunderstood and taken out of context. And just to get the story right, here is his statement.

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