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.
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- Whitehouse by Zeitkratzer
5/10 Robin Staff review, 11 December 2014
Can’t say I feel at all blessed being handed a record with the huge bold word WHITEHOUSE singled out and a smaller, but still loudly-heard typeface reading GUEST WILLIAM BENNETT scribbled somewhere underneath it, but considering I like to take any opportunity to make fun of Cut Hands, I suppose I should consider this my Norman Christmas present. The press release describes this collaboration with avant-orchestra Zeitkratzer -- who enjoy, rather admirably, taking on and reworking the most experimental and often deplorable musical statements ever, including Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music’ -- as having “crystal clear, even neurosurgical precision”. I think the implication is that this record is about as fun to listen to as a brain surgery is to perform, wading through Bennett’s ridiculous noise works back in his Whitehouse days and trying to find something of worth within them. You know when you see those TV shows where the surgeon is looking at the camera they’ve placed inside the body they’re doing surgery on? That’s totally how I feel about Whitehouse. Also, I usually turn the TV off.
Basically, liking this record hinges on liking even a small crumb of Bennett’s work, which I don’t; if you do, though, then these arrangements are both an honest depiction of his work and an interesting inspection of it. That’s thanks to precise arrangements of Zeitkratzer, who can suspend and maintain its tension in different, arguably more interesting ways, evoking the same vibe white noise does but with wiry, organic string arrangements. Meanwhile, there are the usual spoken word treatises about nothing that interchange violent aggressions at no one in particular with the word “cunt”. Which is fine, we listen to Sleaford Mods. But Bennett’s work reeks of power electronics snark, the kind of pointlessly offensive confrontation that doesn’t deserve significance and tries to punctuate meaning through dark, noisy undercurrents that are best used for real experiments. Can’t forget there’s a song called “Incest” on here!
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