In 1979 ,after leaving the hugely influential experimental german group Can . Holger Czukay had a vision quite unlike anyone else . This vision was the album Movies. Sometime previously, between 1963 and 1966 while studying under Karl Heinz Stockhausen , Czukay’s mentor and teacher gave to him what was to become his greatest advice , “Find your own sound” . These words resonated profoundly with the young Holger and after experiencing a musical epiphany on hearing The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus , Czukay decided to desert his career as a music teacher and form a band. Twelve years later , after a hugely successful and critically acclaimed career in Can he found himself becoming a solo artist for the first time since 1969’s Canaxis 5. He’d have to find his own sound again and he most certainly did. Movies to me, is a masterpiece of modern music , psychedelic, cinematic and full of fun, every listen seems more rewarding than the last , endless layers of sonic invention revealed , even after a hundred listens , there’s something new to enjoy. In short, it’s my favourite album of all time. It’s a record which in parts defies any description but I’m implored to try. This is 1979 and the detail and labour that went into the creation of this before the days of digital sampling, when you cut and stuck hundreds of bits of tape together by hand! …makes it all the more unbelievable.
Opener Cool In The Pool is about as ‘pop’ as Movies gets. It starts with a solo funk rhythm guitar and sampled flugelhorn before a whacked out song pays tribute to the refreshing qualities of a swimming pool on a hot sticky day. Littered with ‘samples’ of operatic vocals, staccato brass sequences, cartoon animal noises and foghorns . Admittedly, this really doesn’t sound like it stands a chance of actually working in any way at all. Herein lies the magic of our genius in residence. It almost sounds effortless. Next up is a 13:08 minute experimental conceptual piece (stay with me please!). ‘Oh Lord Give Us More Money’ is built on Jaki Leibezeit’s incredible super light (and tight) drum dynamics , stunning guitar virtuosity , more film samples, synth strings and melodramatic vocals , all of which swoops and drops before building into a majestic prog climax . It might be too much for most , which is why I love it probably. The rulebook has been well and truly lobbed out of the window and a brand new one is being published before the final note. Track 3 is Persian Love , a song so beautiful and original that it sounds like a gift from a celestial source or deity . A haunted, yearning, eastern vocal fills the room underpinned with a mellotronic drone and exotic guitar-like picking cuts perfectly through the persian twilight . Every superlative when applied to describe it sounds like a overstatement, but it’s not. It really is one of the most beautiful sounds on earth. Next up is another long one , (weighing in at a mega-prog 15 minutes plus!) and the final song Hollywood Symphony . A spooky paranoid synth crumbles into view and a moog cat meows in fear. A demonic fuzz guitar theme and expectant drums roll into more analogue atmospherics and pinging guitars then ” Don’t say it …Don’t even think it …. it all leads into some fearful …..endless…… nightmare ….” whispers Czukay and were in some alien dream world with our hero as the storyteller. It makes dream sense and we’re in another movie , and then another but the same ghostly theme still rolls by as we flick through the channels . It’s spellbinding stuff and constantly reveals new elements the more you listen . It rewards you by sticking with it . In the middle there’s a false ending which breaks into a lively conga original b-boy break before hurtling into a synth funk jam with space-radio samples and sports commentary . I kid you not , and it all works beautifully. Go on, treat yourself to some magic. Own this album and play it a hundred times.