KR016: zeitkratzer – Lou Reed „Metal Machine Music“

Lou Reed "Metal Machine Music" cover art

zeitkratzer – Lou Reed „Metal Machine Music“

Format: 2x180gram LP, gatefold sleeve

Release date: august 5th 2014

About 10 years after their first, critically acclaimed performances of Lou Reed’s adventurous album, zeitkratzer presents an audacious new interpretation of this 20th century avant-garde classic. Here, for the first time ever, all four parts of Metal Machine Musicplayed by zeitkratzer on one recording! Seriously „clangorous“!

This new version of Metal Machine Musicis even more transparent, instrumentally pure and radical than the shortened 2007 release; live recordings from concerts in Rome and Reggio Emilia, Italy, mixed and mastered by Rashad Becker. A real sound experience!

After their first performances in 2002 (documented on the 2007 CD release on Asphodel) zeitkratzer gave Reed’s album a new thorough listen and transcribed the sounds to create an acoustic score for the ensemble to play live. Those familiar with the oft-criticized two-disc album might wonder how they pulled this off, but they did and their interpretation of the work brought it to the attention of a wideraudience. It is therefore partly thanks to the zeitkratzer version that Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Musichas been rediscovered as a classic of the Twentieth Century. It was at the live performance with zeitkratzer in Berlin, that Lou Reed spoke for the first time in public about the musical details of his composition, in an interview with Diedrich Diedrichsen.

zeitkratzer was clearly ready for the challenges of performing Metal Machine Musiclive, and drew packed houses for their presentation of the work. This confirmed their assertion that rock’n’roll as serious contemporary music has been ignored for too long, in too arrogant a way. The relentless sound forces the mind to put aside its preconceptions about what music is supposed to sound like, or feel like, or look like. The brain starts to implode, or explode, or dissolve Zen-like into the controlled chaos of the performance, discovering a strange exhilaration, accepting an invitation to explore the outer reaches of texture and timbre, to experience a sonic freedom that’s rare in any art form. These recordings from the

Metal Machine Music has become even more intense and worked out during the ten years of zeitkratzer playing it live at numerous international festivals – contemporary music festivals, noise festivals, improvisation festivals, – it’s impossible to limit this music to one genre. Metal Machine Musichas gained a new quality of clarity, sound transparence and musical intensity. Real radical contemporary chamber noise music! These recordings from the FestivalRomaeuropa in Rome and the Festival Aperto in Reggio Emilia (2012) presentzeitkratzer not only at their very best, the splendid mix by Rashad Becker also reveals new aspects of this 20th century avant-garde classic!

zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl

FrankGratkowski, clarinets | Matt David, trumpet | Hilary Jeffery, trombone | Reinhold Friedl, piano | Marc Weiser, guitar | Maurice de Martin, percussion | Burkhard Schlothauer, violin | Anton Lukoszevieze, cello | Uli Phillipp, doublebass

Press quotes on the 2007 version of “Metal Machine Music”:

Played by a live group, „Metal Machine Music“ sounds even wilder and more frenetic, and zeitkratzer’s act of fandom moves „Metal Machine Music“ into a context where, perhaps, it always belonged: as an avant-garde piece of bristling minimalism rather than a rock musician’s bizarre experiment.   New York Times, USA

 Thank goodness for ensembles like zeitkratzer.  The Wire Magazine, UK

Few records investigate the concept of “noise” more intelligently than this one.  The Sunday Times, UK

zeitkratzer gave “Metal Machine Music” back its importance …  Spex, GER

In all honesty, I can say that you’ve probably never seen or heard anything quite like this. Take a step into the new and dangerous by listening to Metal Machine Music as performed by the zeitkratzer ensemble live.  BBC London, UK