[Full Album] – Phantom Band (with Jaki Liebezeit) – ‘Phantom Band’ (1980)

Posted in Albums, Talking by Soundslike on June 21, 2009


[UPDATE: Great news–the album is set to be reissued in 2010 on the Bureau B label (home of Faust, Cluster, Wolfgang Riechmann, et al) on CD and 180g LP, as per a representative of the label in the comments below.  If you downloaded and enjoyed the album, please support them and Jaki Liebezeit & Co. by buying the reissue when it’s available.]

This is a very unusual post for Musicophilia, but it’s one I think needs to be made.  For the most part, the out-of-print albums I’d like people to hear are already shared at places like Mutant Sounds, Egg City Radio, the Library Hunt, Never Enough Rhodes or Decoder Blog.  My primary objective in sharing music at Musicophilia is to encourage the further discovery and support of featured artists, by getting you the listeners to make new purchases.  But for (very) out-of-print music, this is not an option–if you bought the overpriced LP on eBay nothing goes to the artist anyway–so all bloggers can hope for is to foment enough interest that a (legitimate) reissue eventually happens.  This is one of those cases of an album being severely out-of-print (going for $150+, if you can even find it for that; or on a similarly rare bootleg “twofer” CD), and amazingly this wonderful album doesn’t seem to have been shared on the blogosphere.  I simply ask that you support Jaki Liebezeit and Phantom Band by purchasing the one album that remains in print, 1984’s equally good ‘Nowhere.

Phantom Band, as featured at Musicophilia Daily and in the recent post-Can compilation here at Musicophilia, was Jaki Liebezeit’s principle ongoing project after Can.  On this, their first LP, they were in many ways a direct extension of Can, further developing the fusion of art-rock, Afrobeat and South American and African pop, reggae, spacey funk, and disco and electronic dance music that the former band originated on ‘Saw Delight‘ and ‘Out of Reach‘.  In my opinion, though, ‘Phantom Band is a stronger and more cohesive album than any of the late Can albums.  It’s definitely a better showcase of Can collaborator, vocalist and bassist Rosko Gee.  As I mentioned previously, it reminds me most of Hamilton Bohannon‘s warm-but-spooky disco-funk. It will also appeal to fans of the Rail Band, King Sunny Ade, Magazine, Maximum Joy, A Certain Ratio, Tony Allen or Fela Kuti, ET Mensah, fusion-era Miles Davis; 70s soundtrack work by Alain Goraguer or Roy Budd; or the funkier side of 70s sound library recording, like Alan Parker‘s ‘Afro-Rock’ LP or Janko Nilovic‘ ‘Supra Pop Impressions’.  The music is shimmering, serpentine, catchy, joyous and often wonderfully melodic.  It is rich with delectable beats, judiciously polyrhythmic percussion, slinky and bouncing basslines, glistening Rhodes and shimmering synths, minimalist funk rhythm guitar and Karoli-like leads, and unexpected flourishes like harmonica, dub production or brass arrangements, all stitched together by Rosko Gee’s sweet vocals.   It desperately deserves a reissue, and I can only assume there’s some sort of legalistic hang-up preventing Mute from getting it (and its fairly disparate but very good follow up, ‘Freedom of Speech‘) out there.  Regardless of the Can connection, this is an album that should be much more broadly heard.  Full tracklist and download link after the “more” break.

Phantom Band – ‘Phantom Band’ (1980)

01. Phantom Band – You Inspired Me (4:00)
02. Phantom Band – I Am The One (5:53)
03. Phantom Band – For M. (4:16)
04. Phantom Band – Phantom Drums (1:26)
05. Phantom Band – Absolutely Straight (3:32)
06. Phantom Band – Rolling (5:13)
07. Phantom Band – Without Desire (2:38)
08. Phantom Band – No More Fooling (4:09)
09. Phantom Band – Pulsar (4:03)
10. Phantom Band – Latest News (2:49)

[Total Time: 38:00]

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8 Responses

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  1. jeremy said, on June 22, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Oh wow, this looks phenomenal, but I must wait to get home tonight to download it. Thanks for the post and wonderful writeup!

  2. dave said, on July 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    wow! thanks for this! awesome stuff.

  3. Soundslike said, on July 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Weird that it’s not better known, don’t you think? I’d definitely say it’s as strong as any later Can album. Who knows why only ‘Nowhere’ got the reissue treatment. . .

  4. Thomas said, on September 2, 2009 at 2:00 am

    this great LP will be reissued on CD and LP (180 gram) next year (March hopefully) by our Label Bureau B. Watch out for the news.

  5. Soundslike said, on September 2, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Fantastic news! Really deserves to be out there–quite a pick up, too, hopefully, to have the central Can member’s record on the label. Were you able to pick up ‘Freedom of Speech,’ too? Congrats!

  6. […] [Full Album] – Phantom Band (with Jaki Liebezeit) – ‘Phantom Band’ (198… […]

  7. drew said, on January 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    i know the re-issue is forthcoming….but any chance of someone re-upping this? i am definitely getting the re-issue…

  8. Soundslike said, on January 26, 2010 at 6:56 am

    As I was directly informed (in a very polite, friendly way) of the pending reissue by the label, I felt it was the ethical thing to take the album down–especially as Musicophilia is meant to be a mix-oriented site. Hope it doesn’t seem like I’m being a jerk, I just want the blog to serve to promote music, not seem to pirate it, you know?

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