Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Holger Czukay / Rolf Dammers ‎– "Canaxis" (Spoon Records ‎– SPOON 015 1969/1982

Eno was never one for passing over a chance to be 'inspired' by other artists work. Most of his 'innovations' were directly lifted from the German electronic underground of the early seventies.
One piece of work that stood out as an obvious influence for Eno's ethno-based collaborations was this early album from CAN's erstwhile bassist and tape editor, Holger Czukay, assisted by electronic composition chum Rolf Dammers.
The technique involves using chopped up field recordings of unknown traditional music and singing from the third world and asia.
Here's what it said on the cover of this re-issued version:

"A few month after the foundation of Can Holger Czukay recorded his first solo album Canaxis. The music has its origins in different parts of the world. It was arranged with the intuition of exploring and preserving the geniune character and beauty in an ambient context. Here for the first time Czukay explored the idea of 'sampling'."

Every octogenarian nowadays tries to claim to be the first one to have used 'sampling', which is crap.This was tape collage/splicing, as taught by Stockhausen to his students....including Czukay.
Hell there were shit-loads of novelty records in the fifties and sixties that used the same techniques long before Czukay, or even Stockhausen.Not forgetting the innovative work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
'Sampling' was something completely different, involving a machine that could play any captured sound at different pitches, like the Mellotron did with tape loops...but that is never mentioned in the who did it first stand-offs.
No, Czukay didn't invent sampling, but he did get there first with the 'white man makes western Ethnic culture clash crossover collage' thing, that Eno nabbed for himself later on with the excellent 'My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts'.


1 Boat-Woman-Song 17:39
2 Canaxis 20:20
3 Mellow Out 2:12


Henk Madrotter said...

Aaaahhh thanks!!! Love Czukay! I still have his On The Way To The Peak Of Normal album and the maxi he did with Jah wobble and Kaji Lieberzeit....

And you're right about those early tape experimenters... Take this (double) album, ANTHOLOGY OF DUTCH ELECTRONIC TAPE MUSIC 1966 - 1977 VOLUME 2, there's amazing stuff on it....


And maybe not experimenting with tapes but les structures sonores-lasry-baschet, the French avant garde group who were making the most amazing instruments, starting in the early 50's:


I've managed to find one pretty amazing album from them so far:


Been hunting for more for years but alas, VERY rare and most of the guys with record stores in Rotterdam where I hunt once a year have never heard about them....

Jonny Zchivago said...

Have you got Czukay's 'Movies' album?...with 'persian Love' on it? Classic tune is that.
I've got a couple of files by that les Structures Sonares .....i'll upload them somwhere this weekend....if you want them that is?

jbull49 said...

In "Original Rockers" (great book for all nerdy musos) Jonathan King has a lovely bit about playing "Boat-Woman-Song" every day while tending the till in a classic sort of self-destructive indie record store in Bristol. Thanks for giving me a chance to hear it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Mr Z. Though being a devotee to Can and Czukay solo recordings, I never dared to spend my limited pocket money for this obscure record when it was rereleased in 82. I don`t think it is of greater importance who was the first one to try out a new technology. It is about the one who used it most effectively. I liked those cheesy sounding samples on early Hip hop records taken from totally scratched vinyl but later sampling was just an easy way to hide the lack of creativity, basically a rip-off.

Herr A

Jonny Zchivago said...

I think my favoured sampler record has to be The Residents' "The Tunes Of Two Cities".They actually used the emulator as an instrument,and its limitations only helped the creativity of the process. Make samples sound like samples is the way...yes like the early hip-hop records.