ZEITKRATZER: Lou Reed Metal Machine Music CD Zeitkratzer Productions
It’s certainly an ambitious task for Reinhold Friedl’s to cover and interpret Lou Reed’s classic; in fact it’s downright dangerous and for that they have to be commended. Here Friedl directs his nine piece mini orchestra into re-working the album into four 16-minute-plus tracks (the same as Reed) and if the original wasn’t avant-garde enough in the first place, they certainly add to it.
I have to admit now, that I have only heard snippets of Lou’s double album that deeply split opinion when it was released way back. However from the offset it’s obvious that a lot of attention has been paid in making sure this isn’t some ridiculously tedious pretentious act; and in many respects, homage has been paid to Reed now that he is deceased.
Reinhold has cleverly utilised the tools at his disposal, isolating instrumentation so that each offering carefully mimics its counterpart to a tee. Strings have the closest overtones to the guitar, the noise fill-ins are produced by percussive elements and wind instruments create a generous amount of feedback. All in all, like the original, it is a somewhat noisy affair.
To be fair, when approaching this release, it isn’t going to be because it’s enjoyable to listen to. If this say had been an album not conceptually released and was original work from the artist, there would be a lot to slate it for; however, given the time taken to construct and orchestrate such a mammoth task I am torn on how to score this as a whole.
If you are one of those collectors who love re-productions of classic works this could be for you. I would add though that there is a DVD release of this in full and most likely (I haven’t seen it) this would be more beneficial. I have to let my head rule my heart on this one and whilst I am not going to slate it (much kudos for the effort), being an actual listener of music it’s likely I will never play this again.