Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Bel Air (Can, 1973)

Taken from "Future Days" album, "Bel Air" is a long song (I'll say a suite in want of a better word) that includes many of the most known and appreciated features of this experimental German band. It starts with one of their hypnotic rythms, something inspired by tropical islands, this time, and with voices employed as additional instruments. Soon the rythm gets the foreground and closes the first section. The second one has a darker mood and an arcane bass line acting as a guide through colourful and everchanging landscapes, fading out and into a jazzy and spacey passage, whose final seconds seem to lead the listener into a thick and dark forest. Birds and bugs drone around, until the music comes back, suspended once again between the Hawaii and an opium den.

...And fans consider this one as the less experimental album by Can!

Here you'll find some of the best and weirdest moments of the song, free variations and apparent improvisations ripping and distorting the tropical paradise wallpaper. Rhythmic progressions and dissonant effects come like a hurricane and ravage our beautiful island, so that the final section seems to me more a mourning chant than a return to firmness. Like it or not - their music isn't necessarily a pleasant experience - Can are the quintessential musical trip from the Seventies, well beyond the borders of musical genres.