Can - Ege Bamyasi LP
Can's indispensable fourth album contains some of the group's best-loved and most influential work. Released by United Artists in 1972, Ege Bamyasi offers brittle, propulsive funk-pop and boundless avant-rock in equal measure, offering strong evidence of Can music as a genre unto itself, wholly unlike anything before or since.
The commercial success of the 1971 single (and Ege Bamyasi closer) "Spoon" - used as theme music for the German TV miniseries Das Messer - had allowed Can to move into a disused cinema in the small town of Weilerwist, which they soon converted into a recording facility dubbed Inner Space, and got to work. Ege Bamyasi jumps out of the gate with the taut livewire funk of "Pinch," Jaki Liebezeit's skittering drum beat quickly encircled by the rest of the group as Damo Suzuki's glossolalia coats the track. As the album progresses, Holger Czukay's edits hew closer to pop form than they ever had before, or would again, in sharp contrast to the astronomical sprawl of Tago Mago, the group's mind-rending previous release.
Thankfully, the Can discography has been beautifully served in recent years by Spoon/Mute's closely-supervised reissue series. Ege Bamyasi is the highwater mark of Can music, the most fluent and accessible example of the band's unparalleled march through late 20th century sound.