Metal Machine Music

Metal Machine Music

by Lou Reed
     
 

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Like some sort of rock-cosmos analogue to the Civil War, this uncompromising 1975 recording pitted brother against brother in some mighty violent skirmishes, with none of the participants entirely certain what Uncle Lou was actually trying to do here. While not quite as intensely enervating as the original vinyl edition, which required listeners to continually flip… See more details below

Overview

Like some sort of rock-cosmos analogue to the Civil War, this uncompromising 1975 recording pitted brother against brother in some mighty violent skirmishes, with none of the participants entirely certain what Uncle Lou was actually trying to do here. While not quite as intensely enervating as the original vinyl edition, which required listeners to continually flip sides to listen to the same (or was it?) 16-minute piece that they'd just heard, this cleaned-up, 2000-released digital version retains all the purposefully ugly beauty. The four movements of Metal Machine Music -- created, as the notes sneer, with "no instruments, no synthesizers, no panning, no phasing" -- split the difference between machine-shop audio vérité and the sort of eerie drones one can hear walking beneath transformers in the middle of nowhere. Love it or hate it -- and there's really no in-between here -- this album is utterly remarkable in its ability to stand up to repeated listens: Move around the room while it plays, and you'll be amazed at the subtle but discernible differences created as the air shifts. Of course, you may find that it works just as well if you're merely trying to scare off a den of pesky squirrels. Either way, once you hear Metal Machine Music, you'll never be able to take any synth-pop wannabes seriously when they claim they're churning out "industrial" music.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - "Blue" Gene Tyranny
On this CD re-issue of the original 1975 RCA records disc, we hear an unrelenting, seeringly beautiful electro-acoustic composition for electric guitar and an array of "consumer-priced" sound-processing devices and amplifiers used by most bands of the mid-70's...inspired by La Monte Young's "Dream Music" installations, this one-time spontaneous production of Reed's pre-dated a great deal of rock-sound inspired new music (Branca, Chatham etc.) ...feedback and a lot of the Keith Richards-effect (maximum volume through small speakers) which lends a feeling of infinite universal and atomic surface compression permeating everything ..."Passion-realism was the key" is the significant line from the otherwise rather posed liner notes...sudden silences leave the listener floating.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
Label:
Buddha
UPC:
0744659975226
catalogNumber:
99752
Rank:
43905

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