Zeitkratzer Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
'Metal Machine Music' is that much debated record of Lou Reed's that might have just been made to annoy label bosses, or might have been a crowning achievement of avant-garde and noise. Or maybe both. Zeitkratzer had the genius idea to perform the record live and are now showing off a new version of the classic: this record is a release of each segment of 'Metal Machine Music', as played by Zeitkratzer. It collects live performances from around Italy. If you never thought 'Metal Machine Music' could be played by an orchestra, Zeitkratzer are here to blow your mind. The performances are mixed by Rashad Becker.
Led by Reinhold Friedl, Zeitkratzer are an ensemble of musicians who work with and reinterpret compositions by an ever reaching range of avant-garde and fringe artists. Their list of works include Lou Reed, Whitehouse, Throbbing Gristle, Stockhausen, John Cage. Now they turn their mad orchestra’s gaze upon the early works of Kraftwerk, specifically their first two albums.
Zeitkratzer (the unclassifiable experimental classical collective who made their name covering Metal Machine Music) join up with noise experimenter Keiji Haino to interpret the work of radical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen! Without exaggeration this is arguably the greatest weirdo/noise/electroacoustic composition partnership ever. This is electronic noise made from traditional instruments.
Zeitkratzer are not your usual classically trained orchestral collective. They’ve collaborated with Merzbow and Keiji Haino and they covered Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music in its entirety. On Reinhold Friedl: KORE from Karlrecords they bring their experimental skills to reinterpret classical and electronic composer Reinhold Freidl, making an incredible electroacoustic racket in process.
Spanning all the hertz is the collaboration between Zeitkratzer and William Bennett. Whitehouse is an expedition into the endless possibilities one could start to address using only acoustic instruments and voices. The 5 tracks contain a broad array of orchestral instruments, wrong'un vocals and strings. The low end is so impressive for an acoustic ensemble that I'm almost convinced that they are lying. Dark as fuck. Out on Karl Records on vinyl LP.
Avant noisemaker Keiji Haino joins forces with the equally warped visions of Zeitkratzer once more, the group responsible for bringing Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music' to life as an on-stage arrangement. On 'Live At Jahrhunderthalle Bochum', Haino ditches his putrid noise extravagances, refusing to use any electronics unless they're amplifying his voice. The music is minimal so that Haino's unique voice can be zoned in on.
Forward-looking European ensemble Zeitkratzer do occasionally have to look backwards, as they do here with a disc of Karlheinz Stockhausen pieces, but they acknowledge it, naming it part of their ‘Old School’ series. Besides, one could easily argue that Stockhausen is more of the future than of the past, if you wanted to make a point of it… On their own Zeitkratzer label.
Alvin Lucier is best known for experiments in acoustics, like the stunning ‘I Am Sitting In A Room’. On this collection of Zeitkratzer-performed pieces, classical instruments used, though often with similarly abstract results. Pure, held tones are elicited from violins (‘Violynn’) and piano (‘Music For Piano With Magnetic Strings’), and frankly the results are beautiful. Also, a piece for solo triangle!
Zeitkratzer, that provocative bunch of European contemporary performers / improvisers / noisemakers, turn their attention to three of John Cage’s late works. Sensitively and intelligently played, as can be expected from these time-scrapers: they make these potentially dry and abstract works visceral and affecting. Great kiwi close-up on the cover too.
Zeitkratzer & Carsten Nicolai
- CD (ZKR004)
- £12.49 £6.25 (saving: £6.24)
- In stock and ready to ship
- Last copy