Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Metal Machine Music gets a classical contemporary makeover courtesy of Zeitkratzer

Just when you thought you'd never hear about Lou Reed's phenomenal noisefest album of feedback and distortion, along comes the news hat Metal Machine Music is back in the saddle with a transcribed classical contemporary chamber music ensemble score verging on the avant-garde and industrial rock.

The CD/DVD is a 2002 concert in Berlin that Reed performed with the 11-piece German chamber music ensemble Zeitkratzer. The album "Lou Reed Metal Machine Music performed by Zeitkratzer is released by Asphodel Records on September 4th. The results are frenzied, full-frontal; a relentless physically exhausting whirlwind of sound that leaves you gasping for air.

It's noise, but not as we know it.

You can't disco dance to it in a nightclub. Indie rockers will have a tough time trying to decide which shirt to wear. If you are a Sonic Youth fan, watch out, this one's for you.

Berlin-based avant-garde sax player, Ulrich Krieger, whose projects include collaborations with Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, is the brainchild behind the current rendition of Metal Machine Music. Krieger (no relation to Robbie Krieger of The Doors), transcribed Reed's 1975 MMM album and converted it into a classical contemporary piece of avant-garde chamber music, making is a surprisingly impressive and believable acoustic score.

The results are phenomenal and brings Reed full circle, around to his vintage roots with the Velvet Underground via the cello and viola backing. The similarities are evident, but somehow you can't help thinking that John Cale is missing from the fanfare.

Metal Machine Music is a moment in time, March 17th, 2002, to be precise. Don't dare miss it.

Further information about this extraordinary release can be found here -

Lou Reed's been a busy little bee throughout 2007. First he tours his Berlin album in Europe, then releases the meditation album Hudson River Wind Meditations, and now he brings us Metal Machine Music Live.

What's next, a kabuki version of Rock'n'Roll Heart?


Inkaholic518 said...

I did not hear about this but it sounds very interesting so thank you for pointing it out. I like lots of crazy stuff that to many may be considered noise and this sounds right up my alley.

Inverarity said...

How is it only three movements and fifty minutes? Hmm. I'll pick it up, but I'm suspicious.

And how do they handle that runout groove, eh?

CK said...

Back in the day, Lou gave interviews when the double LP MMM was released and would tell the journalists that if you listened closely, one could hear snips of classical pieces, Miles Davis Bitches Brew,etc amongst the atonal cacophony that sounded like a thousand bleating goats back masked on 8 track. I've always believed that MMM was a desire for him to aurally reach the combined experience of his teen electo-shock therapy at Creedmore with the Warhol era methamphetamine doses. On that level, he suceeded. By the way, I've put a link for your blog on mine.