"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Record Collector OCTOBER 2007 - by Ian Shirley
HOLGER CZUKAY: MOVIES/21ST CENTURY
The creation of sampling and more recent adventures...
Many cite Eno and Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts as the debut of music fractured together out of captured excerpts. Eno was actually inspired to make My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts when Holger Czukay played him an early mix of Movies, the real godfather of plundered samples as musical tool. That it hasn't been availiable on CD for over a decade is a disgrace now put right.
Czukay painstakingly made over six-thousand spliced tape edits to master tapes that included all manner of sonic treatments and ideas, ranging from his own rudimentary guitar playing recorded at half speed then sped up, to all manner of voices and sounds culled from shortwave radio. Being the former bass player with Can ensured that, musically, everything was on the money. Of course, Persian Love Song, with its 'found' Middle Eastern vocals, remains the crown jewel. Movies was ahead of its time in 1979; in 2007 it's not an artefact but a living, breathing piece of music that sounds as if it was recorded yesterday.
1997's Clash reflects Czukay's live return, in the company of underground dance master Dr Walker. 21st Century is his latest album, recorded in the former Can studio and online with collaborators Ursa Major, Drew Kalapach and Luca Formentini.