Earlier this year, the grand archives of Can’s long dormant live bootlegs were reopened to the public, with the series started by the band’s legendary 1975 performance in Stuttgart. Irmin Schmidt himself oversaw the series alongside engineer/producer Rene Tinner, sharpening the decades old bootlegs to their enormous potential. Now, the deeply thrilling “prospect of further singular recordings” described by The Quietus is to be met with ‘CAN: Live in Brighton 1975”.
The second part of the Can Live series, as to be expected with a band as emblematic of musical innovation as Can, is a tremendous live exhibition; from the meteoric drum leads of Jaki Liebezeit snaking through clamouring audience noise on ‘Brighton 75 Viers’, to a rare peek of Michael Karoli’s vocals on ‘Brighton 75 Drei’, the album reveals another perspective to the group entirely separate to their studio releases, where they are at once in almost religious commune and also steering their own ship with a nomadic beauty. The recordings show the absolutely exhaustive breadth of Can live; where their primal urgency ricochets from band to audience and back; where material that didn’t make onto the official album canon gets swirled in amongst fluid improvs; and where instantly recognisable riffs and motifs, like ‘Vitamin C’ on ‘Brighton 75 Sieben’, become transformed by the febrile onstage energies of the band.
‘CAN: Live in Brighton 1975’ features contributions from Can biographer, author and editor Rob Young and British journalist Kris Needs. Needs’ Can credentials go back to their live dates from 1973-77 at Friars Club in Aylesbury. His descriptions of the shows – “vocal lines or rhythms… loomed like iridescent ghosts then evaporated as the spirit took them somewhere else” – surface and resurface in various forms throughout the record.
‘CAN: Live in Brighton 1975’ is released 3rd December on Mute Records, in a limited-edition triple gold vinyl and double CD, both packaged in a gatefold sleeve with accompanying booklet. Pre-order here.
Listen to an excerpt from the recording below.