Can – Tago Mago (Spoon/Mute)
Sometimes when I listen to Tago Mago I find it hard to believe that mere human beings made this music. It makes the experiments of Miles Davis sound pedantic and overwrought. It makes James Brown sound as white and lead-footed as Pat Boone. It makes Pink Floyd sound as stupid and tight-assed you already knew they were. Like the ancients who built pyramids simultaneously in different corners of the earth, one can’t help speculating that aliens must have come down on flaming chariots to assist them with their endeavors.
Start your morning with a glass of cold orange juice and a close listen to Tago Mago. If you don’t start seeing positive results within 30 days, try a different brand of orange juice. And If that doesn’t work, should probably quit your job and start wandering the earth. But be sure to bring Tago Mago with you in one format or another. We were not put on this earth to be comfortable. We are meant to learn. We are meant to transcend. And Tago Mago is the closest thing to a guidebook the citizens of the earth have so far been able to produce. Can went on to make other albums. And along with the albums they made before this one, nearly all of them are fantastic, but none of them go so far — melodically, experimentally, sonically, structurally — as Tago Mago. This is their masterpiece.
And at the end of this, I still can’t help worrying that everything I’ve written, every explanation I’ve made, every comparison I’ve reached for, has only served to diminish this album’s mystery along with its power. We know that dissection is always a form of murder — and, in the way it provides us with comfort, the illusion of understanding, also one of the most diabolical. For now I am done murdering. Go and find Tago Mago. How you do it is not important. But once you have found it, you need to purge this conversation from your memory. I don’t need to be remembered. I don’t need to be thanked. I just need to see you renewed and amazing. I need you to take our 21st Century technologies, our 21st Century experiences, and build new sounds from our modern tools. The marketplace is already dead, so you have nothing to lose. I need you to shock yourself with the audacity of your ideas. And in turn, I need you to shock all of us. So we will know that there are still new sounds to be created. So we can be reminded that the future will be worth showing up for.
Occupy The Planet. Occupy Sound. Occupy Can. Then leave them behind, the way they once left everyone else. The future will thank you for it.