'Soon Over Babaluma' was Can's sixth album and its first after the departure of Damo Suzuki.
With vocal duties split between Irmin Schmidt and Michael Karoli, 'Soon Over Babaluma' saw the band take a more ambient and spacey direction, albeit with the usual dedication to sheer experimentation and sonic imagination (from the reggae-esque opener 'Dizzy Dizzy' to the inner-space sprawl of 'Quantum Physics').
'Soon Over Babaluma' was also the last Can album to be recorded on a two-track machine, and as such represents the band's last work within the technical limitations that their later recordings were free of.
This reissue LP has been mastered and cut by Kevin Metcalfe and Jono Podmore at The Soundmasters, London.
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We've had a whole load of these Can reissues flooding into the office in recent weeks and it's fallen to me to write a few words about 'Soon Over Babaluma', which resident Can expert Phil informs me was the final album of their golden era before things started going downhill and that the pulsating guitar-solo-tastic 'Chain Reaction' is the first dance song ever (although I presume both these points are debatable). It was also the first album following Damo Suzuki's departure, with Irmin Schmidt and Michael Karoli taking over the vocal duties.
It's not one of their albums that I was previously familiar with but I'm having a lot of fun with it. Five long tracks of bubbling repetitive percussion and swirling, bouncy melodies all driving purposefully together as one in a relentless krautrock trickle. For me the album is all about Liebezeit's ridiculously dextrous, imaginative drum patterns, with the rest of the band happy to bounce off him and flesh out his rhythms with their distinctive bubble'n'scrape momentum. There's a picture of Jaki looking painfully cool on the inner sleeve with a Zildjian hat, leather jacket and a cig hanging from his mouth that makes me want to go back in time and high-five him.
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- Soon Over Babaluma by Can
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