Holger Czukay

Clash

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As a founding member of the legendary German avant-garde ensemble Can, Holger Czukay is widely recognized as a founding father of experimental rock & roll. After his acrimonious split from the band, Czukay swore he'd never play live again. But the sounds of jungle, techno, and trip-hop rekindled his interest in the club scene, so when Dr. Walker (of Air Liquide) invited Czukay to join him on-stage during an underground party in Cologne, Germany, he was ready. This impromptu duo performance led to a number of more formal engagements, three of which are partially documented on these two discs. Disc 1 features three tracks from the duo's gig at the Liquid Sky club in Cologne. After a long, free-form preface, "Silent Planes" settles into a trance-inducing midtempo groove and stays there for most of the track's 19 minutes. "Liquid Skies" is more aggressive and also more varied in texture. Czukay makes great use of a radio receiver on "Twilight," from the duo's performance at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, while "Backup Dream" is funkier but also more sinister. Disc 2 continues the San Francisco material with the surprisingly abrasive "Monks, Whales and Moonbeams (Over California)" and "Anything But the Jungle." The last two tracks, the 24-minute-long "Dawn Across the Street" and a lovely piece of multicultural big beat entitled "Full Circle," come from a gig in Minneapolis. Excellent.

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