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15 October 2010

Can - 'Moonshake' (Cherry Red)

I thought this was an odd release when I stumbled across it - a 12", 45prm single for 'Moonshake' released a decade too late. And on Cherry Red records! But this makes sense - it's an early 80's label, very much 'of its time', looking back to an influence on its own sound. A bit of retro fun, recast in moody 80s low-lighting. And it works -- and 45rpm never hurts for great bass resonance. As mentioned before, my copy of Future Days disappeared somehow, so this is my sole way to hear 'Moonshake' on vinyl until a new copy arrives. I forgot all of the business happening between the notes here - it's such a busy track, with Can really trying to cram as much into a fairly low-key, repetitive groove as possible. In some ways it's as forward thinking as 'Aumgn', but just expressed within the song instead of around it. But the real reason I treasure this single is 'Turtles Have Short Legs', the greatest Can non-album track. This is Damo spazzing out with a bit of anthropomorphic nonsense over a silly, stupid piano riff. It has to be a holdover from the Malcolm Mooney days, but maybe not; the only thing I really know about it is that 'Parappa the Rapper' stole the backing music and stuck it in a playstation game, one of the more head-scratching wtfs ever. But it's a great, silly song, and Damo sorta sings 'regs' instead of 'legs' which is such a great great stereotype, captured in vinyl forever (and at 45rpm!). On the AA side, 'One More Night' sounds as great as always, a window into an endless maze of its own architecture. It says on the sleeve that Epic Soundtracks helped "compile" this, though picking 3 songs isn't really hard work. Thanks, Cherry Red!

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