Holger Czukay - "Good Morning Story"
(Tone Casualties 1999, tccd 9944)
From Aural Innovations #10 (June 2000)
On Good Morning Story, Can-man Czukay experiments with samples and his brief comments in the liner notes imply that this is the goal of this disc. I haven't really kept up with his solo work over the years and so don't know if this is typical of his recent work. But Czukay has enlisted an impressive lineup up of contributors including Irmin Schmidt, Michael Karoli, and Jah Wobble among others to produce some enjoyable, if not particularly mind-blowing music.
The first three tracks, "Invisible Man", "Good Morning Story", and "Dancing In Wide Circles" are similar, sharing the same basic dub rhythm with its low thudding bass line and cool slowly soloing guitar. "Invisible Man" sounds like a sampled soundtrack to a 50's spy flick. The monolog-style vocals 'boom-boom-baby-boom' along and there are some eerie female vocals as well. "Good Morning Story" is similar but has some B-52's sounding female harmonies. By the time "Dancing In Wide Circles" came along I was getting a bit sick of this rhythm, but the guitar and synths are more varied and interesting than the first two tracks so Czukay probably could have included this one as representative, left off the first two, and then moved on.
On "World Of The Universe" we hear a more driving rhythm and I liked the guitar style which is simple but plays a bluesy but slightly dissonant melody. And the synth work is the most varied I've heard yet on this disc with bleeping cosmic sounds as well as more atmospheric textures. "Atlantis" is similar but with a start/stop electronic drum pattern.
"Mirage" is the only track that really grabbed me and not just because it's 22 minutes and has time to develop. This track says more in the first few minutes than the first five did in their entirety. A steady drone sets the base for a parade of sounds. Real or not, I hear violin and some kind of Middle Eastern horns that trade off playing solo patterns as well as playing together and against one another. Musically this is nothing mind blowing but in terms of pure sound use and arrangement and the atmosphere created I really enjoyed this track.
In summary, Good Morning Story is an interesting endeavor but if your budget only allows for one Can solo project right now I'd definitely go with Suzuki's "Seattle".
"Good Morning Story" should be easy to find in stores, but is also available through Tone Casualties.
You can also visit Holger Czukay's personal web site.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz