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Soon Over Babaluma
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Performer Notes
  • Can: Michael Karoli (vocals, guitar, violin); Irmin Schmidt (vocals, keyboards); Holger Czukay (bass); Jaki Leibezeit (drums).
  • Recorded at Inner Space Studios, Weiserswist, Germany in 1974.
  • Whereas many fans favor the frazzled funkadelia of EGE BAMYASI and TAGO MAGO, SOON OVER BABALUMA is undeniably Can's masterpiece. With BABALUMA, guitarist/violinist Michael Karoli, founding keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, and Can's peerless rhythm section (bassist/tape manipulator Holger Czukay and human drum-machine Jaki Liebezeit) achieve an effortless fusion of rock, jazz, improvisation, world music, and psychedelia. Like no group before or since, Can assimilates the soulful sway of dub reggae, the florid, traditional dervish-dances of Eastern Europe, and the transcendental grooves of Latin and non-Western musics into an indivisible, utterly irresistible whole.
  • The impossibly fluid "Splash" sounds like the creation of a single, multi-armed music-making entity. Liebezeit's octopus-limbed polyrhythms cavort with Czukay's joyous low-end flourishes and playful splices; Karoli's strings whirl, alternately searing and tiptoe-ticklish; Schmidt's voluptuous textures bewitch, his piano enchantments pirouetting through the tango of "Come sta, La Luna." The towering "Chain Reaction"/"Quantum Physics" treads upon undiscovered provinces of rhythm and perpetually perplexing emotion--ground never again graced by human footsteps. Volcanic vocal freestylist Kenji "Damo" Suzuki had been seduced away by the Jehova's Witnesses after 1973's mesmerizing FUTURE DAYS, leaving the microphone to Schmidt and Karoli. They acquit themselves nicely as low-key singers, taking turns on BABALUMA's several vocal numbers.
Professional Reviews
Uncut (p.132) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Can's power was undiminished as they built their own aerodrome of sound...that would exert a profound influence on Talking Heads among others."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[By] 1974's SOON OVER BABALUMA, Can were operating as a pulsating groove machine."
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