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A few months after the foundation of Can, Holger Czukay recorded his first solo album ‘Canaxis’, in conjunction with producer/engineer Rolf Dammers, this album was assembled from thousands of snippets recorded from short wave radio, a long standing obsession of Czukay's which he also incorporated into some of Can's later albums.
A refugee during the Second World War, Holger Czukay famously studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early ‘60s. That direct exposure to the challenging and experimental concepts Stockhausen expounded and encouraged was a significant spark for Czukay. Pieces such as Stockhausen’s Kurzwellen were incredibly important in helping Czukay construct his own musical vocabulary, as this pre-Can masterpiece demonstrated. Splicing tapes of disparate sources together (the album is an experimental foray into the genres of world and folk music. Featuring the Dodam Dara love poems of the Vietnamese Cham people on ‘Boat Woman Song’) this early example of sampling combined a descending motif from Western classical music, a field recording of a Vietnamese singer, various chants, luminous static tones and radio interference into a beguiling dronescape.
Nearly fifty years on, it sounds not so much like an electronic meditation but an aural prophecy, predicting a future time when music from completely diverse cultural backgrounds and heritages would be tipped into vast melting pot via a globe-spanning technology that was utterly inconceivable in 1968.