INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Rock MAY 2018 - by David Stubbs
HOLGER CZUKAY: CINEMA
Anthology of recently deceased Can bassist's solo work.
It's sad to think of the difficulties suffered by Holger Czukay in his final years before his death last year - the death of his longtime partner U-She, problems in getting his work reissued. His legacy with Can apart, here was a man who built ingenious bridges between pop and the postwar avant garde, always with a determined twinkle in his eye, always with a joyful, anarchic sense of seriousness.
This collection is by no means comprehensive but it includes the bulk of his 1980s solo work, his 1969 collaborations with Rolf Dammers as Canaxis and intriguing, unreleased fragments including a 1960 outing, Konfiguration, in his early jazz guise as leader of the Holger Schüring Quintet and a 2008 late 'collaboration' built around a recording of the voice of his mentor Karlheinz Stockhausen. Both of these pieces indicate the singularly vast musical journey Czukay took over sixty or so years.
1980's Movies was groundbreaking in its inventive use of tape collage, short-wave radio recordings brilliantly spiced to make miniature masterpieces like How Much Are They? and Persian Love. He went on to make a series of albums, often featuring post-punk collaborators including Jah Wobble for whom Can had been an inspiration, including Der Osten Ist Rot (1984) and Rome Remains Rome (1987).
Although his French horn resounds like a signature motif throughout his work, Czukay's genius was as a discreet creator of space, in which ideas, energies, colours and found sounds could flow freely.