Koln Sporthalle 03 - 02 - 1972
Horrortrip In The Paperhouse
Legendary Can bootleg
03 Love Me Tonight
04 Bring Me Coffee Or Tea
Tracks 1-5: Koln Sporthalle 3.2.72
Some editions have also a sixth track, Pinch, from 1973 BBC sessions
Check the "visual bootlegs" page here
Check also the entire bootlegs collection here
Super-eerie and disturbingly bloodthirsty. The band sold out to lite funk almost immediately after this was recorded, so do not pass this up at any cost, unless you listen to Arcade Fire or something. Most of this disc was recorded live at the infamous 1972 "Can Free Concert," which has been highly circulated on video forever.
The first song, a slowed-down "Paperhouse" (with a "Mushroom" intro) exemplifies the album as a whole; this track would be perfect for use in Gitmo to break down prisoners & make 'em sing (as in: tell secrets, not as in: croon). It is a slow-burning aural massacre. The most frightening part of this song is the repeated mantra "I can hardly SLEEP AT NIGHT" (not foud in the album version) followed by a key shift + extended feedback/drone guitar & drum solo at the 4:30 mark. Even the throwaway pop single "Spoon" is given a 12-minute remake into a fierce prowler. The only nonessential song is the rarity "Love Me Tonight." The freewheeling 28-minute version of "Pinch" (from '73) will test even Can diehards.
To point out that Jaki's drumming is awesome on this goes without saying.
In short, one of the most hallucinatory, and fearlessly-bold, recordings I have ever heard. You can feel rock being ripped right from its very placenta into a new realm. Every audience member's jaw at this concert must have been nailed to the floor for the duration of the gig. Basically, this is what Bitches Brew wishes it sounded like (or what diehard devotees of Bitches Brew try to brainwash people into thinking it sounds like).
I would not be surprised if Godspeed You Black Emperor or Rake formed after their members sat around a campfire one night and blasted this really loudly and were all imbued with its raw power.
This CD really needs to be picked up by Mute/Spoon and finally given a "real," official issuing to a broader audience.
Even the cover art is simple and effective, not corny like most bootleg artwork. And Merzbow (who began as a prog drummer in the '70s, and likely idolized Jaki) later appropriated a very similar design on his Pulse Demon LP. I downloaded this PRE-punk gem for free at the usually-tepid mp3 blog Post-Punk Junk. Thank you for posting this. My next goal is obviously to get the video of the concert.
The first five tracks on this Can release of dubious authenticity were taken from the famous Can free concert in Cologne, Germany, on February 3, 1972. This is the audio from the same concert documented by the video item of the out of print Can Box set, and the audio quality is quite good and the performances are outstanding. On these tracks, the group locks into one long, propulsive groove after another, blending minimalism with improvisation. Whereas "Spoon" and "Paperhouse" diverge quite a bit from the studio cuts with more improvisational moves, the versions of "Bring Me Coffee or Tea" and "Hallelujah" are fairly straightforward renderings of the Tago Mago tracks, though certainly with Can's looseness there is still enough variation. What the live versions lack in instrumental depth and studio effects they make up in energy. The only non-studio album track, "Love Me Tonight," is a nice bit of avant funk, with powerful rhythms and some great keyboard drones. "Spoon" is the highlight, with Michael Karoli's soaring, droning guitar solos wailing over the perfectly metronomic rhythm section, until halfway through the song the group turns up the intensity. The lengthy final track was recorded live at the BBC exactly a year and a month later. It seems like there are any number of these early-'70s BBC recordings where Can completely improvises for half an hour or more while vocals flow freely off Damo Suzuki's lips. On this piece, which uses rhythms loosely based on "Pinch" from Ege Bamyasi, the band flows from one sound to another without ever losing the fluid rhythm structure, occasionally pumping up the energy and at other times soaring out into more space rock territory to keep the piece from getting tiresome, and there are even a few freakouts where everything seems to collapse before the rhythms propel it on again. Very good sound quality and excellent performances make this one of the best Can bootlegs.
Full Album mp3: