We spent the whole night waiting for the thunder storm that rocked Toronto to blow across Lake Ontario in our direction except it never did (we even had a tornado warning on Saturday). The good news is that the storm-that-never-came did bring with it cooler temps and alleviated the mugginess that we’ve been plagued with this week making my runs (what few I’ve managed since the Musselman that is) less than fun. This morning, the weather was idea for an easy 6.5k run around sleepy Crystal Beach; cool, breezy and beautiful. And, as luck would have it, I even had some idea tunes all loaded up and ready to go with the ‘Future Days‘ album by Can.
‘Future Days’ is the 5th studio album by the German experimental rock group Can, originally released in 1973 and the last Can album to feature Japanese vocalist Damo Suzuki (not to be confused with the ‘Nature of Things‘ guy).
Despite not being the hugest “Prog Rock” kinda guy, although I do like a bit of Genesis from time to time, I also recognize that Rolling Stone magazine listed the album at #8 on it’s Top 50 Prog Rock Albums list and my Bible (Mojo; August 1995) rates it as #62 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time list, so I definitely felt it was worth a listen.
On this particular album, the band really explores the ambient direction they had introduced into their sound on the previous year’s ‘Ege Bamyasi’, and in the process created a landmark in European electronic music. The album is successful in creating a hazy, expansive soundscape dominated by percolating rhythms and evocative layers of keys. Perfect for a cool, breezy morning run.
Apart from the delightfully concise single ‘Moonshake‘, the album is comprised of just three long atmospheric pieces of music. The opening title track eases us into the sonic wash with a slow, liquidy groove, while ‘Spray‘ is built around Suzuki’s eerie vocals, which weave in and out of the shimmering instrumental tracks. The closing track ‘Bel Air‘ (complete with bird calls, wind chimes and a repetitive wheezing sound that kind of sounds like HRH when she’s dozing fitfully) is the album’s true ‘piece de restistance‘, a gloriously expansive piece of music that progresses almost imperceptibly, ending abruptly after exactly 20 minutes which, coincidentally, found me exactly in the same spot where I started the album exactly 41 minutes ago: my front porch.
After months of searching, this album has – finally – been added to our growing record collection.
‘Bout time too.
Tine the Cat enjoys it too.