Mute Records and Spoon Records recently announced that they will be releasing a 5 LP Box set of legendary German rock band CAN‘s Lost Tapes on 180g vinyl. But like many other box sets, there’s a rather interesting story behind it’s eventual release. CAN’s studio was sold to the German Rock ‘N Pop Museum. The new owners lovingly preserved everything – including the army mattresses that the band used for soundproofing. But as they were taking the studio apart for it’s eventual location, they found a series of tapes marked in barely legible lettering. The tapes were stored in an archive but no one knew what was on the tapes until Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore started to review over 50 hours of music. And what they found wasn’t outtakes but tons of material that had been shelved for various reasons – soundtracks for unreleased movies, and material which never made final versions of albums due to space. The tracks on The Lost Tapes were recorded between 1968 and 1977, and they show listeners a band that’s pretty difficult to define, and a band whose influence has manage to reverberate 40+ years after their original material was released.
In fact, the bands who have claimed CAN as an influence or have admired the band include varied artists including the Sex Pistols and PiL’s John Lydon, Radiohead, Portishead, New Order, Mogwai and countless others, Check out “Waiting for the Streetcar,” the first single in the box set. Possessing an off-kilter jam band feel, the song manages to also possess a buzzing, angular funk.