Can – Dizzy, Dizzy

• “Dizzy Dizzy” original music video. WOW! Thanks indeed to Vasyl Diakonov.

8.3 “Fantastic Dubbeat from Germany”

From their sixth album “Soon Over Babaluma” (United Artists Records UAS 29 673 I) released in 1974.

Following “Future Days”, the unpredictable Damo Suzuki got married to a Jehovah’s Witness and left the group, once gain leaving them without a vocalist. After a string of unsatisfactory auditions, they decided to keep it in-house and guitarist/violinist Michael Karoli stepped up, with keyboardist Irmin Schmidt also chipping in here and there.

Michael wastes no time at all in introducing his newly-learned skills – singing whilst playing on his electric violin – as “Dizzy Dizzy” comes bouncing in with urgency, almost as if in mid-flow from an hour-long jam. It seems informed by the burgeoning Jamaican dub scene and invokes involuntary exclamations of “Bucky Skank!” But maybe that’s just me. It’s an exceedingly impressive performance from all, really intense. Also, it’s clear straight away that they are not going to miss Damo; these twitchy vocal intonations take over seamlessly from where Suzuki left-off.

Come Sta, La Luna” maintains those smoky dub atmospherics, with the higher-pitched vocal of Irmin providing yet another dynamic. Playing against this seems to be some sort of bubbly water-submerged vocal sample, from whom or where I’m not sure, but I’m quite taken with it. There’s a vaguely latin feel to the rhythm and this is immediately accentuated and focused in the following progressive piece, “Splash”, a wonky instrumental rhumba which promises much but ultimately delivers little.

The group stretch out a little on side 2, as “Chain Reaction” takes us on an 11 minute proto-Techno journey that keeps Can out front as innovators extraordinaire in the never-ending artistic challenge to create and seek out pastures new. The relentless beat never lets up for a second, but sonically breaks down and builds up at various points, leaving the dancers plenty of time to express them funky selves wildly, or something. This, right here, is the square root of many alt-dance creators of the future, a remarkable sensory experience for 1974. 1974! After all that exhilaration, “Quantum Physics” serves as the great ambient come-down, as the set opts to fade away rather than burn out.

All in, this is another solid album of work for the Can catalogue.

You can check out the rest of my album reviews for 1974 here.

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