Can: Malcolm Mooney (vocals); Michael Karoli (guitar); Irmin Schmidt (keyboards); Holger Czukay (bass); Jaki Leibzeit (drums).
Recorded at Schloss Norvenich, Germany in 1968 & 1969.A ragged-but-right Can recorded the material found on DELAY before and after completing 1968's official debut, MONSTER MOVIE. Literally delayed, this important document of the band's beginnings was edited from archival tapes by bassist and co-founder Holger Czukay and didn't see release until 1981. It's a surprisingly strong collection that's redolent of the group's influences (Stooges, Hendrix, Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, perhaps the 13th Floor Elevators) and sheds light on Can's formative years.
"Butterfly" kicks off DELAY in an immediately recognisable mode. Czukay, superb drummer Jaki Liebezeit, and guitarist Michael Karoli lock into a mesmerising, maze-like groove while expatriate American artist Malcolm Mooney extemporises a parched mantra about how "dying butterfly began to fly", and keyboardist Irmin Schmidt fills the spaces with dissonant, seesawing electronics. If possible, "Little Star of Bethlehem", a spoken/sung saunter through feedback-streaked Band of Gypsies territory, and the fragment "Pnoom" are even more art-damaged. Schmidt's synthesizers lend an appealingly woozy psychedelic glaze to "Thief", an ambitious number couched in Karoli's spindly, melodic phrasing. "Man Named Joe" is warped rockabilly with a falsetto scat and wheezy, harmonica-like synth. The irresistible "Nineteen Century Man" and "Uphill" mine an arty funk-punk groove between James Brown and Iggy Pop.
3. Ninetenn Century Man
5. Man Named Joe
7. Little Star of Bethlehem