Almost a hidden treasure of sampler material, Kanye West and Earl Sweatshirt are among some of the names that push CAN into the light for younger audiences to discover. With the opening piece, “Pinch” is funk-driven and loosely based through jazz elements.
The percussion is something out of Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain era of sound and time, taking Ege Bamyasi to a sonic dimension of twisted power. The drums which are led by Jaki Liebezeit are enticing but do not overpower the mix between Michael Karoli on guitar or Holger Czukay on the bass.
The rhythm section in CAN especially on Ege Bamyasi is mesmerizing and deliberately wanting to fixate on pushing those three members as leaders of performance. With Irmin Schmidt on the keyboards, the vocals appear from Damo Suzuki and are less of the focused delivery as they are contagious and rampant.
Tracks like “Pinch” that stretch into nearly 10 minutes become ambiguous narration where Suzuki illustrates, “all alone, you’re insane, your eyes. Can’t pick the eye in the loan and you moan alone.” The instrumentation follows suit, “Pinch” becomes a frantic mess.
Something to reel Ege Bamyasi back in however is “Sing Swan Song” where “Drunk And Hot Girls” might instantly ring a bell to the ears. CAN who even mentions, “Drunk and hot girls” in their lyrics at one point becomes the groundwork for one of the more iconic tracks on Graduation.
Instead, Ege Bamyasi uses the very stoned delivery to be a game of a swinging pendulum. At one point, CAN is twisted and disoriented but not in an angry sense. Instead, in the same way that one becomes after too many drinks after stumbling home from the bar. Pressured to change motives, CAN uses Ege Bamyasi as a segue into the deliberately off-putting with “Soup.”
The elements of hard-driving rock here are a standout and create a formation of both ambiguities but also misdirection to the mix. Ege Bamyasi has times in the pieces where the jigsaw does not connect but somehow manages to explode near the end of the tracks, climaxing into fireworks.
Ege Bamyasi may end like a lit drum of oil, but the flames that build around the environment are what makes Ege Bamyasi such a fantastic piece of action. The tension is just precise enough to be a miracle on wax.