Lights, Camera, Poolside: Holger Czukay’s Movie! Gets a Re-Issue

Founding member of Can, Holger Czukay, gets a deserving re-issue for his tremendous late '70s album, Movie!
By    July 14, 2016


Will Schube doesn’t hang poolside without a gin and tonic.

Perhaps the best part of Can’s music was in their ability to blend high-art concepts with lowbrow sensibilities. The German kraut legends made music both immensely playful and impossibly avant and complex. They were pranksters but they were smarter and more talented than everyone else doing it. Can’s story is fascinating and as relevant as ever, but founding member Holger Czukay’s departure from the group and his subsequent solo career is every bit as interesting.

In 1979, shortly after Can broke up, Czukay released Movie!, a sprawling, four song collection spanning every genre from acid jazz to Mexican polka. While Can’s freeform style was reliant on an underlying tightness—an adherence to groove almost antithetical to the concept of groove itself—Czukay’s Movie! was introduced as a freewheeling adventure in whatever the hell he wanted to put to tape.

Album opener “Cool in the Pool” is an immediate contender for summer jam of 2016. Czukay fits seemingly hundreds of different ideas into the song’s five minute duration, and the result is an acid hit ode to chilling poolside and staying cool. “Persian Love” features some of the aforementioned Mexican polka, a genre I didn’t know existed until it became the only way to describe a particular section of “Persian Love.”

The album’s five tracks runs about 45 minutes, but even the fifteen minute long burners “Oh Lord, Give Us More Money” and “Hollywood Symphony” find Czukay squeezing so many ideas into their duration that they feel like many little, thrilling entities as opposed to sprawling, exhaustive tracks.

Movie! is a phenomenally interesting time stamp of an artist ahead of his time after leaving a band perennially ahead of theirs. The Grönland Records re-issue isn’t as obsessed with frills and back stories as re-issues tend to be. It’s just a very exciting, very fun record presented as is. Let’s get cool, and stay that way. It’s a lot easier with Movie! as your soundtrack.

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