Review Summary: a concoction of subtle jamming, complete aural bliss.
You know the story, a band has one album that completely crowds over everything they've done, and while their other material is just as special, it seems to sadly get pushed aside. On many experimental listeners' favourite album lists, you are likely to see Can's Tago Mago
near the top, if not at the top. While Tago Mago
is a perfectly superb album with an abundance of positive points, I've always held the criminally underrated Future Days
in higher regards. Tago Mago
is a crazy album, but not one that is easily accessible whatever the mood. Future Days
trims the fat from Tago Mago
and turns down the "out there" level that made the album so different into a psychedelic ambient flow.
' sound is nearer to Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk than their krautrock peers Faust, but still manages to display all the habits that krautrock bands seem to encompass. As you may have noticed, Future Days
has only four tracks, making it very concise even though the songs are generally long. The relaxing nature and the hallucinogenic euphoria of the LP makes the album duration go in rather quickly. There is a downplay of guitar gain and solid drum patterns but the instrumental execution fits in nicely with the fragile, subtle nature that is present. Future Days
is one song and a set of three structured jams. The one song here, "Moonshake", is a delightful take on psychedelic surf but while being one of Can's shortest songs, it is admittedly the worst track here.
The best song proceeds "Moonshake" in the form of "Bel Air", a 20 minute sprawl of exhilarating bliss. The first quarter of the track features quivers of gentle pulsating, eventually transforming into a jamfest of epic proportions. With several minutes of compulsive noodling, the track soon reverts back to the gentle pulsating heard before, except more intense. The track finishes itself off with some luscious Tago Mago
style playing that closes the record off. The first two tracks don't manage to live up to "Bel Air" but accent interesting guitar tones and percussion. Title track "Future Days" is a faultless opener that eases the listener into the whole atmosphere the album embraces, featuring very original Jaki Liebezeit world percussion playing. But while "Future Days" comprehends original playing, "Spray" is clearly Jaki's best work on the album. He plays with a strong intensity that would make the song not be as effective if he was absent.
will sadly not be remembered quite as well as Tago Mago
, but for some this may be a new discovery from the other end of the musical spectrum. Sure, it doesn't feature the dark, bleak atmosphere of the band's considered magnum opus, but it does have the will to groove and settle into a euphoric background. The prominence of keyboards also add to this band's forever expanding sound, as is the band's disinterest in rocking out. Future Days
is an artistic triumph that the band would never manage to reach after this period. Let's be happy they made this before falling off the ladder.