Cans Ege Bamyasi
took quite a bit of time before it really started to grow on me. At first the album seemed really dull, bland, and strange without many redeeming qualities. I tend to be quite patient with certain albums, if I can’t get into it right off the bat I’ll go ahead and give it a few more tries. I think just about everyone will have to have this type of attitude when approaching Ege Bamyasi
. I’ve owned the album for about six months now and even though I enjoy it I’m still not sure if it has fully grown on me.
The aspect that makes Ege Bamyasi
such a difficult listen is how the band blends together so many different genres in such little time. Progressive rock, psychadelica, pop, and funk can all be found on this record. The driving force in all of this is obviously Jaki Liebezeits’ mad drumming skills and that’s an obvious fact right as the album begins. Pinch
kicks off the album with a shuffled, driving drum beat as the rest of the band plays whatever the hell they feel like. Some eerie guitar scratches and smooth bass licks play in the background over Jaki’s loose drumming, you can also hear lead vocalist Damo Suzuki mutter some odd sounds in the background with his heavy Japanese accent. Clocking in at nine and half minutes Pinch
goes through some funky stages while keeping its eerie and relaxed vibe. Although it doesn’t build up much it possesses a strange and murky feel giving the listener a unique and haunting sound.
Now don’t let the albums opener fool you because the rest of Ege Bamyasi
sounds completely different. Although Jaki’s drumming still plays a huge roll in the music other members of the band also do their fair share of work. Sing Swan Song
kicks off with the sound of the calm, breezy ocean courtesy of Irmin Schmidts keyboard playing. After you are lulled in by the ocean Sing Swan Song
turns into a full fledged psychadelic tune focusing on Suzukis slurred and trance inducing voice along with some thin guitar notes. Later on in the song there are some Egyptian sounding effects reminding the listener of ancient pyramids as it creates some brilliant imagery.
The most interesting aspect of Ege Bamyasi
would have to be its production. The drums are loud and boisterous while the guitar playing has a thin and skeletal feel, everything sounds kind of watered down and murky. The percussion dominates the music and this is why you need to give the album some growing time; at first the loud drumming can be a turn off yet after various listens you’ll start to discover Mark Karoli’s excellent guitar playing. Damo Suzukis voice is also very low in the mix and it’s almost impossible to understand what he is saying.
I already mentioned how Ege Bamyasi
molded together many diverse genres and it’s definitely evident towards the middle of the album. The records hit single Vitamin C
blends together eerie pop hooks with some psychadelic vocal cuts. Suzuki goes from shy whispers to bizarre shouting as the epic drum playing carries most of the song. Hints of lounge and jazz music are found on One More Night
as Schmidts groovy piano chords create a relaxing and calm atmosphere. Even Karoli’s twangy guitar playing takes charge in the middle of the song contributing some folk influenced licks. Heavy sounds of funk are found on Ege Bamyasi
as I’m So Green
is the most upbeat, poppy, and fun track off the album. Combining funky bass licks, poppy guitar hooks and simple drumming Can create a unique yet catchy pop tune.
doesn’t seem to odd until you hit Soup
which clocks in at a whopping ten and a half minutes long. There’s no way you can even attempt to classify this tune as it’s pure craziness; hard hitting guitar chords, African sounding effects, funky drumming, bizarre noise attacks, and Damo Suzukis out of control jibberish are all found throughout the song. There’s no overall feel as Can combine every possible genre and sound that they can think of to create one of the most irregular and strange songs that I have ever heard.
is definitely not for everyone. It’s unique combination of groovy psychadelica, funk, prog-rock, and avant-garde craziness was extremely ahead of it’s time and still sounds fresh as of today. The overall eeriness and haunting production gives the album a scary and murky feel yet it is full of complex percussion work and funky bass grooves. If you’re trying to get into Can then this is a good place to start but you’ll need to give Ege Bamyasi
both time and patience or else you’ll wind up quite frustrated with its bizarre yet relaxed sound.