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Alan Warner: Tago Mago

Pocket-size Can fan letter.

As one of the great experimental rock landmarks, Can’s 1971 masterpiece Tago Mago, which made contemporaneous Floyd and Hawkwind records sound sedate, is also the band’s bestselling album. It deserves its own book and receives a warmly eloquent tribute in the hands of Scottish novelist Alan Warner (Morvern Callor, The Deadman’s Pedal).

In keeping with the compact 33 13 series, Warner recounts his relationship with this seminal album, vividly recalling growing up as a vinyl junkie in Scotland, discovering Can in the import bins, and the life-shaping impact of their music, which extended into his novels.

He comes into his own when breaking down tracks with microscopic detail, thrusting his theories at Can members, whose replies reveal secrets such as the groundbreaking editing used to construct panoramic voyages such as Halleluwah and Oh Yeah.

Further insights include Can manager Hildegard Schmidt being responsible for Tago Mago stretching to a double album, drummer Jaki Liebezeit living on an Ibiza beach facing the real island of Tagomago in the 60s, and mild-mannered Irmin Schmidt wrecking the studio during one blowout./o:p