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Electronic Meditation
Thursday September 21st, 2017 with Sean McFee
Holger Czukay

Tonight the music of Holger Czukay (1938-2017), a founding member of Can. Czukay studied under Stockhausen and developed an interest in the possibilities of rock music after Michael Karoli, then one of his students, played "I Am the Walrus" for him. We explore the music of Can and some of his other music.
Starting off with Czukay's earliest recorded composition, a jazz piece performed on the radio in 1960, and then on to Can's biggest single from 1972.
Mellow Out
Holger Czukay - Canaxis bonus track (1960) - Spoon
Can - Ege Bamyasi - Spoon
One of Can's earliest pieces, when they were still called Inner Space and didn't have a vocalist yet. David Johnson, an early member, on flute. Gerd Dudek on saxophone.

Then, the monstrous Mother Sky from Soundtracks. Recorded in 1970, when Damo Suzuki had just joined on vocals. The other Can members are Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Jaki Liebezeit (drums), Michael Karoli (guitar).
Can (Inner Space) - The Lost Tapes - Spoon
Mother Sky
Can - Soundtracks - Spoon
1973's Future Days was Can's atmospheric masterpiece and Bel Air one of their greatest compositions, so what better night to play it?
Bel Air
Can - Future Days - Spoon
Now for something completely different. "Canaxis" was a recording of tape music that Czukay recorded in 1968 and released in 1969, just as Can was starting out. He surreptitiously recorded "Boat-Woman-Song" in Stockhausen's studio after hours (Stockhausen was working on his composition "Hymnen" at the time). David Johnson also helped with some of the recording. This album definitely shows the influence of Stockhausen but strikes out in some original ways; it can also be seen as an early use of sampling and an early exploration of "world music". This piece includes manipulated recordings of other compositions and some Vietnamese singers, building an ominous atmosphere.
Holger Czukay / Rolf Dammers - Canaxis - Spoon
Going to add in a couple of classic Can jams that listeners may not have heard. "Tony Wanna Go" is from a 1974 session after Damo had left the group and it was just Czukay/Schmidt/Karoli/Liebezeit, around the time of "Soon Over Babaluma". It appears on the Peel Sessions compilation. Then, from The Lost Tapes, the piece "Barnacles", recorded in 1977 shortly before Czukay left the group. At this point he no longer plays bass, but instead short-wave radio receiver. Rosko Gee, ex of Traffic, is on bass.
Tony Wanna Go
Can - The Peel Sessions - Strange Fruit
Can - The Lost Tapes - Spoon
Fast-forwarding to 1988. Czukay collaborated with a number of musicians after leaving Can, and also produced a number of solo albums where he continued to advance the state of the art in tape splicing and sampling. He collaborated with artists such as Brian Eno, Jah Wobble, and David Sylvian. This David Sylvian album is a lovely slice of dark ambient music.
Premonition (giant empty iron vessel)
David Sylvian / Holger Czukay - Plight & Premonition - Virgin
No time to talk about this track on-air, but on this classic "Eno + Cluster" album, Czukay plays bass on this track. The album features backwards vocals from Brian Eno, from his song "King's Lead Hat" from the album Before & After Science; that song title is an anagram of "Talking Heads", who Eno was producing at the time.

Thanks for listening!
Tzima N'Arki
Eno Moebius Roedelius - After the Heat - Water
Interactive CKCU