REVIEW

 

LOU REED & ZEITKRATZER
Metal Machine Music Live 2002 [no label 1CD Torrent: 74746]

Live at Malibran Theatre, Venice, Mar 20, 2002. Zeitkratzer are an ensemble of 11 musicians plus Lou Reed & Mike Rathke. Broadcast on Radio3. Ex FM stereo.

Metal Machine Music? Actually, it's more "Delmore Schwarz" or "I Heard Her Call My Name," a frozen moment from either (or some other), plucked off the stereo and dangled in perpetuity for as long as anyone will listen. But, if you think the Metal Machine double album was unlistenable, the sound of one man and his electronic noise box, then the live performance will drive you to distraction, because there's 13 of them up there making the noise, and though Lou and Mike Rathke are certainly among them… well, like the original album, you wouldn't know it from listening.

Love the machine, though, and this is incredible. Violin appears to be the dominant instrument, but every different frequency, every pulse and squeak and barely audible burble is recaptured by a different hand… German avant gardists Zeitkratzer are the brains behind the rebuilding, and they know their metal music well, recreating the peaks and troughs of the original soundscape and even drawing in those fabulous sequences where you think… you're sure… you'd almost swear… that there's actual snatches of music dancing in the distance, backward classics and the ghosts of riffs. In fact, the only failing that immediately comes to mind is, the live performance is about 15 minutes shorter than the original album. But there are some folk who might call that a blessing.

Bzzzgrnnnzzzzzzzbzzzzzzzzzzzzzz to them all. - Dave Thompson

Note: These tracks are scheduled for an official release by Asphodel in 2007.

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March 16, 2007