As many who read this blog know, I am a big fan of that controversially named alt-rock genre “Krautrock,” the catch-all term that covers the bands that rose out of the ashes of German pop in the late 60s, from Disco pioneers Kraftwerk to the ambient wonders of Cluster to the noisy explorations of Faust to the hippie psychedelia of Amon Düül. I would say Can fall more along the lines of Amon Düül, though I’m not as familiar inside-out with their catalog, as I am with some of the other bands mentioned.
The bands on the Portland, Oregon-based indie label Other Electricities have united to produce a tribute album to Can, available for free as a stream or for download in both MP3 and FLAC formats. Titled Hunters and Collectors: A Tribute to Can.
All the artists, though obscure, really seem to capture the spirit of Can. Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love kick it off brilliantly by slowly driving “Sing Swan Song” under the skin with their lush, dreamy interpretation of the Ege Bamyasi track. E Jugend who– surprise– actually hail from Germany, close the album by stripping away the psychedelia of Tago Mago‘s “Oh Yeah” and reduce it to its minimal Krautrock core. Everything in between proves worth exploring with the patience all Krautrock deserves.
The idea of such a tribute album also proves to be a refreshingly smart marketing ploy by an indie label. Instead of the usual free comp of choice cuts culled from already released or soon-to-be released albums of bands you never heard of, they had their roster of artists record exclusive tracks that pay tribute to an important group in the DNA of alternative rock. Smooth move.
Krautrock and indie rock fans alike, start downloading. Hunters and Collectors: A Tribute to Can does not disappoint. Again, Download it here.