• Soundtracks

I spend quite a bit of time at my desk listening to music through plugged-in earbuds. When I’m working, my favorite type of music is the kind that’s intense enough to fuel productivity and hypnotic enough to zone out. For this reason I spend a lot of time at work listening to Miles Davis, Steve Reich, John Coltrane, and plenty of electronic music. Lately I’ve added one of my favorite bands, German rock group Can, to the mix. Yesterday I was listening to the 1970 compilation Soundtracks—a collection of the group’s early contributions to films—and got into a serious zone while listening to “Mother Sky,” a monster krautrock superjam and penultimate track on the album. Over a repeating, slightly variating two-note bass line by four-string freak Holger Czukay and four-armed drumming by Jaki Liebezeit (ranked number three in Stylus magazine’s “50 Greatest Rock Drummers” list), guitarist Michael Karoli and keyboardist Irmin Schmidt layer textural sounds and Ginsu-sharp guitar around singer Damo Suzuki’s bizarro, breathy, alien incantations. It is the best way you can spend nearly 15 minutes today.