All Gates Open: The Story of Can (Hardcover)
CAN was the coolest band ever, and the fact that all but one of its members are dead now is surely a sign of the dark times we now live in. This book is purported to be the most definitive biography of the band yet produced, with a "scrapbook" exploring their influence through the ages. A peek inside reveals an interview with none other than the man himself: Mark E. Smith - what a treat!
-- Michael— From Michael A. Staff Picks
A unique study - part biography, part symposium - of the experimental group Can, by founding member Irmin Schmidt and acclaimed author Rob Young All Gates Open is a music book like no other. Its subject is Can, arguably the most important experimental group of the twentieth century. Formed in Cologne in 1968, Can drew their influences from the avant-garde - founding members Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay both studied under Stockhausen - and jazz traditions to create a heavily rhythmic, minimal music that redefined what it meant to be a popular band. The book comprises two elements of equal weight: a biography of the group by Rob Young and a Symposium curated by Irmin Schmidt. The latter explores, in Irmin's own voice and that of his collaborators and admirers, the tentacular influence Can have had upon not just popular music, but also the visual arts, poetry and film. Can have been a direct source of inspiration for numerous genres, notably ambient, post-punk and electronica. Their music was created entirely on its own terms, and All Gates Open defines both their story and their continuing legacy with parallel originality and insight.
About the Author
Rob Young has worked at The Wire magazine since 1993, including five years as editor. He is the author of Rough Trade, Warp and the acclaimed Electric Eden, and the editor of Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music and The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music. He has contributed to publications including Uncut, the Guardian, Sight & Sound, Frieze and Art Review. He lives in London. Irmin Schmidt is a keyboardist, composer and founding member of the group Can. He has scored more than forty soundtracks and written an opera, Gormenghast, based on the novels by Mervyn Peake. In 2015, he was made a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in southern France.