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Whitehouse (Electronics) by Zeitkratzer
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9/10 Ant 22 October 2010

This project involves the unique German avant-garde orchestra performing a selection of tracks from the Whitehouse catalogue. The rehearsals and mixing were done in collaboration with William Bennett but he doesn't actually perform on the recordings. Anyone familiar with Zeitkreitzer's Rendition of Lou Reed classic Metal Machine music will be fully aware that these guys can magnificently  translate noise music and in this case electronic music through acoustic interments. Bennet's compositions have been arranged by Reinhold Friedl and played by the nine piece that includes Rhodri Davies on harp. I must admit that when I first read about these guys doing Metal Machine music I was sceptical to say the least but they are amazing at what they do. Here they begin by taking on 'Munkisi Munkondi' from the Birdseed album and brilliantly re-translate Bennett's afro-noise rhythms with all their primal energy.. 'Nzambi la Lufa' from Asceticists gets a thoroughly good seeing to, followed by 'Scapegoat' which was on 2001's brilliant Cruise album. Their rendition captures all the energy and tension of the original. The final three tracks 'Fairground Muscle Twitcher' Bia Mintatu' and 'The Avalanche' all appeared on Racket, sadly their final statement but they went out on a high with that one for sure. I've enjoyed these Zeitkratzer versions a lot but what I struggle with is that I find it difficult to fully immerse myself in the sounds as it's constantly at the back of my mind that "This is an orchestra playing Whitehouse tracks". I'm sure I'll get over it though. What's particularly interesting, beyond the obvious huge amounts of hard work and skill that have gone into creating this, is how their versions highlight the level of depth and genius of the original Whitehouse tracks. 'Avalanche' closes the set with suitable Menace. Top drawer stuff blurring the lines betweenmodern classical composition and underground noise.


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