Inner Space / Out of Reach

Inner Space / Out of Reach

This Can two-fer is a sweet deal, especially if you prefer the band's later linear material to its early experimental approaches. “All Gates Open” introduces Inner Space/Out of Reach, with the Traffic rhythm section of Rebop Kwaku Baah and Rosko Gee playing steadily over vestiges of Can’s earlier otherworldly background ambience, while Michael Karoli sings in near-whispers. The following “Safe” makes good use of analog tape echo, while “Sodom” lets the fuzz guitar take over lead vocal duties in this beautifully gloomy instrumental. “Ping Pong” artfully samples a table-tennis game before “EFS No. 99 Can-Can” puts a Krautrock spin on Jacques Offenbach's 1858 opéra bouffon Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). If the jazzy “Serpentine” sounds like a different band, that’s because by the time Out of Reach was released, bassist Holger Czukay had already quit Can and drummer Jaki Liebezeit was taking a backseat to Baah. Subsequently, many fans have disregarded this rare album as a legit Can release, though songs like the awkwardly groovy “Pauper's Daughter and I” have aged interestingly well.

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