26 September 2007

Holger Czukay - 1979 - Movies

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

This Holger Czukay solo disc does share many attributes with contemporary Can. There is a strong focus on dance rhythms and not so much instrumental experimentation. But where latter day Can could never quite "let it all hang out" so to speak, Movies seems very comfortable in it's campiness. It also provides a fertile field for Czukay to go wild with his innovative sampling techniques. In fact, I'd say the trip-o-meter rating is exclusively based on the sampling as the music itself often straightforward (the long tracks get a little stranger).

Even more than Can, Movies is of a kin with David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Both place samples over kind of funk/jazz like instrumentals. Byrne and Eno would use samples as the backbone of the song. Czukay doesn't sample to this extreme ("Cool In The Pool" has a distinct non-sampled vocal), but he did manage to do this first, although he rarely seems to get credit for it.

There are only four tracks present. "Cool In The Pool" sounds like a Steely Dan song with a Victorian-era cross dressed on vocal. It's really campy, but fun, and the sampling is really the main event. "Oh Lord, Give Us Some Money" is far more Can-like, featuring Can's signature descending riff. It's 12 minutes long and is far better than the "epics" can was recording at the time. Actually, there is a strong Can presence throughout this album as Leibezeit is playing drums at the top of his game throughout the album, and Karoli and Schmidt each appear on a track.

Side two follows a similar pattern with "Persian Love" once again giving us camp that you'll probably love or hate, and "Hollywood Symphony" outdoing Can's epic tracks of the same era. The latter tracks seems to incorporate a little bit of fusion into its sound, which is a nice touch.

Rather than Can's Saw Delight or Out Of Reach, I would recommend Czukay's Movies. It is after the same sort of sound as latter Can was, but tends to be much more successful, and gives a full view of Czukay's innovations in sampling. Besides, everyone from Can shows up here anyway.

Buy Me:
Holger Czukay - 1979 - Movies


Yair Yona said...

Good post. It's funny as I was listening to this album a lot latley, thinking about writing my own piece for my blog about it (you're welcome to check http://smalltownromance.blogspot.com)
Anyway, one of the greatest things about this album is actully its similarity to My Life At The.. by Eno/Byran - strange we picked the same similarity.

Btw- great great blog you've got here. I read it often.


Dr. Schluss said...

Yeah, I think this album is sort of a missing link. I always hear about Czukay being a sampling pioneer, but Bush Of Ghosts cited as the major sampling breakthrough. I think this album needs to get its due!

Thanks for the comments!

Aline Ridolfi said...

just linked your blog on ours. we are writing a book about brazilian psych music from the 70`s.




Bilek said...

Great album (note: I had already DL'it it elswhere, so I didn't DL again!), I like Can all the way through the '70's, even in their so-called weaker period. I actually find Saw Delight and Out of Reach very enjoyable, so it's only natural that I love the disco groove present in this (so-called) solo outing... As rightfully mentioned, it is sort of a Can album; you can hear echoes from Animal Waves to Pauper's Daughter & I, and up to some Ethnological Forgery Series tracks... Indeed, a missing link in the late '70's Can discography, and very highly recommended to Can fans, especially those who are keen on the said period...

paul said...

Although you refer to Holgar's techique on the album as "sampling" this was all pre digital sampling technology. He did it by cutting and spliceing tape....the hard way..


Dr. Schluss said...

Good point, Paul. I think I'd still call it sampling, but it's a much more scruffy and awesome way of doing it.

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