Ege Bamyasi

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Ege Bamyası
Studio album by Can
Released November 1972
Recorded Inner Space Studio, 1972
Genre Krautrock, experimental rock
Length 39:26
Label United Artists
Producer Can
Can chronology
Tago Mago
(1971)
Ege Bamyasi
(1972)
Future Days
(1973)

Ege Bamyası is the fourth studio album by the German experimental rock band Can which was originally released as an LP in 1972 by United Artists. The album contains the single "Spoon", which charted in the Top 10 in Germany, largely because of its use as the theme of a German TV thriller series called "Das Messer" (The Knife). The success of the single allowed Can to move to a better studio in which they recorded Ege Bamyası. Ege Bamyası was remastered as a hybrid SACD in 2004 which includes a booklet with commentary on the album by former Melody Maker journalist David Stubbs, as well as previously unreleased photos of the band.

The cover artwork, in addition to being a pun on the band's name (as it depicts a can labeled "CAN"), reflects several of the band members' continued interest in traditional music;[1] "Ege Bamyası" means "Aegean Okra" in Turkish. The album has received much critical acclaim since its release and has been cited as an influence by various artists. Several artists have played cover versions of songs from Ege Bamyası. Remix versions of several tracks by various artists are included on the album Sacrilege.

Production[edit]

With the commercial success of their hit single "Spoon" (which reached #6 on the German charts[2] and sold 300,000 copies), Can was able to hire a large ex-cinema which they used as a part-working, part-living space. However, things nearly didn't work out as guitarist Michael Karoli recalled that the sessions were "frustrated by keyboardist Irmin Schmidt and vocalist Damo Suzuki's playing chess obsessively day in, day out"[1] and that "completing recording became a frantic process, with some tracks having to be recorded practically in real time and the single 'Spoon' added to make up for a shortfall in material."[1]

Ege Bamyası was recorded by Czukay in the Inner Space studio at Weilerswist, a town near Cologne.[3] It was originally released in 1972 by United Artists. In September 2004, the album, along with the majority of Can's discography, was remastered and released as a hybrid SACD.[4] The re-release includes a booklet with commentary on the album by David Stubbs, as well as previously unreleased photos of the band.

Reception and influence[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media (9.8/10.0)[6]
Stylus Magazine A[7]

Ege Bamyası has received considerable critical acclaim since its release. Pitchfork Media featured the record at #19 on its "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s".[8] British music weekly Melody Maker wrote: "Can are without doubt the most talented and most consistent experimental rock band in Europe, England included."[9] The success of the song "Spoon" and sales from this album inspired Can to throw a free concert in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The Can Free Concert was filmed by Martin Schäfer, Robbie Müller and Egon Mann for director Peter Przygodda at the Cologne Sporthalle on 3 February 1972 and is included on the Can DVD.[10]

Various artists have cited Ege Bamyasi as an influence. Stephen Malkmus of Pavement has been quoted as saying "I played Can's Ege Bamyası album every night before I went to sleep for about three years."[11] Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth recalls, "I found Ege Bamyası in the 49-cent bin at Woolworth's. I didn’t see anything written about Can, I didn’t know anything about them except this okra can on the cover, which seemed completely bizarre. I finally picked that record up, and I completely wore it out. It was so alluring. Something about it made Can seem to be playing outside of rock 'n' roll. It was unlike anything else I was hearing at the time."[12] Geoff Barrow of Portishead picked Ege Bamyasi as one of their favourite 13 Albums on thequietus.com's Bakers Dozen series.[13]

There have been cover versions of songs from Ege Bamyası by various artists. "I'm So Green" was covered by Beck and was submitted for a planned Can tribute album produced by the Dust Brothers. Kanye West sampled from "Sing Swan Song" for his song "Drunk and Hot Girls" on the album Graduation, and derives many of the song's lyrics from Damo Suzuki's vocals. Remix versions of several Ege Bamyası songs are included on the album Sacrilege. Minneapolis based hip hop artist I Self Devine sampled from "Vitamin C" for the song "Overthrow" on his 2005 release, "Self Destruction". Kleptones have incorporated "Vitamin C" into their mix Hectic City 7 – May Daze.[1] "Vitamin C" can also be heard in Pedro Almodóvar's movie Broken Embraces. Joe Frank used "One More Night" as the score for "The Road To Calvary" from Somewhere Out There.

For the album´s 40th Anniversary, Stephen Malkmus played the album in its entirety on December 1, 2012 at WEEK-END Festival in Cologne, Germany.[14] A recording of this performance was released as a limited-edition live album on Record Store Day 2013.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Karoli, Czukay, Liebezeit, Schmidt and Suzuki. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Pinch"   9:28
2. "Sing Swan Song"   4:49
3. "One More Night"   5:35
Side two
No. Title Length
4. "Vitamin C"   3:34
5. "Soup"   10:25
6. "I'm So Green"   3:03
7. "Spoon"   3:03
Total length:
39:57

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Ingo Trauer – original artwork
  • Richard J. Rudow – original design
  • Andreas Torkler – design (2004 re-release)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stubbs, David (2004). Ege Bamyasi(CD liner notes). Spoon Records. 
  2. ^ Ehnert, Günter (1999). HIT BILANZ Deutsche Chart Singles 1956-1998. Taurus Press. ISBN 3-922542-60-3. 
  3. ^ Hightower, Laura. "Can". Enotes. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  4. ^ Mute Records. "Biography". Mute Records. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  5. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Can: Ege Bamyasi > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  6. ^ Leone, Dominique (10 November 2004). "Can: Ege Bamyasi". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Ramsay, J T (7 January 2005). "Can: Tago Mago / Ege Bamyasi". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Pitchfork staff (23 June 2004). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Smith, Gary (31 August 2003). "CAN Biography". SpoonRecords.com. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Spoon 47: CAN DVD". Spoon Releases. SpoonRecords.com. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Reynolds, Simon. "Pavement interview". Melody Maker (London: IPC Specialist & Professional Press) (Spring 1992). ISSN 0025-9012. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  12. ^ Sarig, Roni (1998). The Secret History of Rock: The Most Influential Bands You'Ve Never Heard. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 125. ISBN 0-8230-7669-5. 
  13. ^ "Features | Baker's Dozen | Bakers Dozen: Portishead Choose Their Favourite 13 Albums". The Quietus. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  14. ^ Minkster, Evan (6 December 2012). "Watch Stephen Malkmus Perform Can's Ege Bamyasi". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 

External links[edit]