Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5
Although usually cited as a solo album, Canaxis is in fact a collaboration between Can bassist/sound manipulator Holger Czukay and producer/engineer Rolf Dammers. The album credit, is in fact listed as Technical Space Composer's Crew. Although recorded a short time after Can's inception, Canaxis shares little with that band's sound except maybe in their most experimental and freaked out moments.
This disc's foundation is a series of field recordings, mostly from Vietnam. Mistakingly playing some of these recordings together with a completely different music source, Czukay realized the possibilities of found sound manipulation, and began work on this album. This has absolutely nothing to to with rock at all and is more a realization of contemporary avant music theory. If you've got a taste for that sort of thing, you very well may enjoy this.
The album proper comprises of two album side pieces. "Boot Woman Song" rests heavily on samples of Vietnamese women singing. It's very interesting and Czukay weaves in some like instrumentation to flesh everything out. As a warning though, if you find the singing annoying, side one is not going to get better.
I do like side one, but side two's title track is the real gold for me. Starting off similarly to "Boot Woman Song," the tracks fades into some chanting which is like a more mellow version of the Ligeti tracks used in 2001:A Space Odyssey, finally ending with a wall of pure electronic sound. It's very dream-like music, although it does move extremely slowly, so you need to come in with you attention span.
The recent reissue contains two bonus tracks, "Cruise" and "Epilogue." These are relatively short tracks that continue the more electronic sounds of the album. I believe that these recordings are contemporary to the album's recording dates, although my reissue says 1997. It also credits Malcolm Mooney with liner notes that were clearly written by Mr. Czukay, so make what you will.
If Can is your all-time favorite band, you still might hate this. I personally find it to be quite enjoyable and managed to finish "Metroid: Fusion" while playing this one over and over. I can't play too many albums that many times over.
Holger Czukay - 1969 - Canaxis