ZEITKRATZER: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music CD and DVD
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In 1975 - in order to get out a recording contract is the old, but unofficial, story - Reed made an LP of multi-tracked howling feedback that garnered for the most part appalling reviews and later made its way into 'worst records of all time' lists. It is hard to listen to by any standards. A few years ago, Ulrich Krieger made an arrangement for Zeitkrtazer, a 10 piece contemporary music ensemble, designed to reproduce at least the effect of the original release, using standard acoustic instruments and extended techniques. It's remarkably good: an indeterminate noise that goes on and on. But it works, leaving aside any questions of accuracy - this particular noise could have been claimed as a new work and no one would have been any the wiser - but then, equally, without the spiel and Lou Reed's name, nobody would probably taken any notice either. This last sad fact is probably territory best avoided, however, since it opens up the horrible nest of slime that underpins fashionable festival programming today. And perhaps I'm a bitter old cynic, who knows? In any case, in this instance, the result is good, so.... It's a complex, textured, howling drone in 4 parts, with Lou guesting on guitar at the end. The DVD has the whole concert and a post concert interview with Reed.